The guardians of Justice in New York State, the thousand plus Judges that work in New York State Court have been without a raise for over twelve years. Signaling growing unease with no raises within this time period, some Judges have signaled support to organize a union-like group representing Judges.
This group, which is quite unique, would be able to negotiate for better wages for Judges and help settle other conditions of employment amongst the Judges in New York State, much like labor unions negotiate for their organized members. This extraordinary move from a group that rarely makes such bold action, is a sign of the growing frustration of Judges in the State. Judges are dealing with increased caseloads and greater pressure, without any raise in pay or benefits in the last decade.
However, this move has attracted quite a bit of attention for a normally conservative group. The New York Times has looked into many Judges who have been discussing this organizing drive, and have found that while it would function as a union in regard to Judges’ wages and benefits, it would not likely result in a slowdown or strike of Judicial work. The organizing is further complicated by the fact that some Judges are appointed, while some are elected, exerting pressure on certain Judges on both sides. In any event, this development is incredibly interesting and we will continue to follow these judicial organizing efforts.