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LAO Interim Local Committee Election

March 21, 2017


  1. Since a majority of LAO lawyers voted to be represented by the Society, we will be represented by the Society as our bargaining agent. Being a member is voluntary. Membership allows you to vote, run for office, serve on union committees, and benefit from the affinity program that provides access to discounts. It allows you to participate in Society activities.
  2. We are about to vote on our negotiating committee (known as the Interim Local Committee). To become a member who is eligible to vote for the ILC fill out the membership form [click here to download] by April 25 and submit it to [email protected].
  3. Voting for ILC opens on April 19 and closes on April 28. Any LAO lawyers who has filled out their membership form by April 25 may vote. Ballots will be counted on or around May 2.



Make sure that you are a member of the Society of United Professionals so you are eligible to vote. If you have not already done so, you must fill in the membership form [click here to download] and submit it to the Society right away to [email protected]. The deadline for registration as a member to be eligible to vote is April 25, 2017.

To reiterate: only Society members may vote.

The voting period is from April 19 to April 28, 2017.

Note: nominations to run for election closed on April 13.

The vote count shall be completed and announced to the membership on or around May 2, 2017.


Dana Suvagau, who is an LAO lawyer and Society member, will be working with Society staff to ensure a fair nomination and election process for the Bargaining Committee. She will be available to answer questions and facilitate the nomination process.


The Campaign Committee, which has led the organizing drive internally, and the Union have been working on developing a process for you to elect a Negotiating Committee that will be as representative of geographical location, areas of practice and equity considerations as possible.

The Negotiating Committee will be called the Interim Local Committee (ILC, for short) because, in addition to negotiating a collective agreement, it and the Union will handle any day-to-day issues that might arise.

The election process for the ILC is given below. To vote for the ILC you must submit your membership form. The deadline for nominations to the ILC was April 13 and is now closed.

SUB-COMMITTEES – What are the responsibilities?

All members will work together to achieve the best collective agreement possible. Within the Committee, the twelve elected members will fill three kinds of roles. Sub-committees will be organized after the election based on interests, expertise, need, and representativeness. Individuals may fill more than one role.

At the table - responsible for preparing and being present for meetings with the employer.

Internal - responsible for surveying members and setting priorities for collective bargaining, conducting membership consultations and providing updates, and maintaining regular contact with members

External - responsible for representing the interests of LAO lawyers in public and contacting and working with other stakeholders on issues of relevance to LAO lawyers.

LIAISONS – How can we ensure that the committee will be representative of our workplace?

Ideally, the Committee will be comprised of a range of expertise and perspectives to ensure that we can provide the best service possible for our members. Of the 350+ lawyers in our bargaining unit, it is estimated that more than a third of the membership work outside of the GTA, 2⁄3 are female and, 1/4 are racialized. Therefore, we need a variety of voices to step forward to ensure that these perspectives are not lost. Every member of the Bargaining Committee will be responsible for representing all members in the bargaining unit.

Within the Committee, there will be three kinds of liaisons. Individuals may act as a liaison for more than one group:

Regional liaisons - at least four spots will be for lawyers to ensure that lawyers from outside of the GTA are represented. (Legal Aid’s 2010 Regional Organization

Non-criminal liaisons - at least two spots will be for lawyers who are responsible for making sure that lawyers who do not practice exclusively criminal law are represented

Equity liaisons - at least four spots will be for lawyers who are responsible for making sure that lawyers from equity-seeking groups are represented. Equity-seeking groups include, but are not limited to: women, Indigenous persons, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons.

All those elected to the ILC will be reimbursed for lost wages and benefits, travel and accommodation expenses and child-care costs incurred due to work on the ILC.

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