Historic First Union Contract between SOLAB Union (AFSCME Local 1908) and Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati


For Immediate Release 

Contact: Namita Waghray ([email protected] / (440) 305-1117 

April 18, 2024 


SOLAB (Southwest Ohio Legal Aid Brigade) AFSCME Local 1908 Ratifies First Contract 


Historic First Union Contract between SOLAB union (AFSCME Local 1908) and Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati 


Cincinnati, OH — Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati employees including attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, intake and reception, and other staff, have officially voted to ratify their first union contract. SOLAB (Southwest Ohio Legal Aid Brigade) affiliated with AFSCME Ohio Council 8, held their contract ratification vote on April 17, 2024, with union employees voting overwhelmingly in favor of the contract. The union (SOLAB) is now waiting on the employer to sign the negotiated contract. The multiyear contract addresses many of the concerns employees raised when organizing. The newly ratified contract will include 8 to 10 percent wage increases for all unit employees, enhanced benefits, improved job security policies, and the opportunity to address workplace concerns. 

“As Legal Aid workers, we are in our community day in and day out alongside our clients, working to resolve fundamental legal problems. We care deeply about our work and our co-workers. We have ratified a contract that moves us forward with robust pay increases. It gives us a seat at the table and amplifies our voices. It makes Legal Aid more sustainable for all. SOLAB has stayed united together throughout this process, and I am incredibly proud of us.” Zach Frye, Attorney with Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati and President of SOLAB. 

 Union employees were also able to negotiate an expanded paid leave and parental leave policy and establish a labor management committee that gives employees the opportunity to address workplace issues with management regularly. SOLAB members believe that many of the negotiated changes will directly address two of their main reasons for forming a union - the high rate of turnover and improving workplace culture.  

The organizing and negotiations process began exactly a year ago and SOLAB union members were grateful for the support they found among each other, as well as the larger labor community in Cincinnati. SOLAB is the first Legal Aid organization in the Cincinnati region to unionize. They join other unionized Legal Aid employees in Cleveland and Columbus.  

SOLAB unionizing plays an important role in the legal environment. When any employee can stand up for themselves and their profession the individuals and the communities, they serve are stronger and better for it. AFSCME Ohio Council 8 congratulates SOLAB members on their first contract. We look forward to partnering with the Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati in enforcing this labor agreement that is fair for all involved and advances the society’s mission Sean R. Grayson, President, AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL- CIO. 


AFSCME Ohio Council 8’s members provide the vital services that make Ohio happen. With members in communities across the state, serving as nurses and social workers, in schools and cultural and not for profit institutions including zoos and museums, to sanitation workers and public infrastructure employees — AFSCME Ohio Council 8 advocates for fairness in the workplace, safe and healthy workplaces, excellence in public services, and freedom and opportunity for all of Ohio’s working families.