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Dina Kolker focuses on public sector labor relations, working with some of New York City's most significant benefit funds and  public employee unions including United Federation of Teachers, Association of Legislative Employees, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators and the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Union, Local 831 IBT, as well as the New York City Municipal Labor Committee, a consortium of the City’s municipal unions. Ms. Kolker has represented clients in negotiations, arbitrations, administrative proceedings and litigation in a variety of areas in both state and federal court, including labor, employment, contract, pension issues and constitutional rights. She has been involved in various collective bargaining-related matters, including binding and non-binding contract arbitration pursuant to the Taylor Law and related court proceedings. She also advises clients regarding internal union governance and compliance with applicable federal laws.  Ms. Kolker contributes to Stroock’s Public Employee Law Reports bulletins and is a frequent speaker on public sector labor matters. She is the New York Hiring Partner and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. 

“Dina is incredibly competent. Her ability to navigate through difficult issues and make you feel at ease is outstanding,” Chambers USA reports.

Representative matters in which Ms. Kolker has been involved include:

  • Representing a new union of legislative employees in its historic effort to organize employees of the New York City Council, successfully forming the largest union of legislative employees in the country;
  • Guiding the unions representing pedagogues and administrators, among others, in the City school district through every stage of the COVID pandemic;
  • Representing administrators in community based-publicly funded early education programs who are predominantly women of color in seeking pay parity with their less diverse district counterparts;
  • Defending unions in the education sphere from a coordinated effort to defund them by seeking retroactive recovery of agency fees in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus case;
  • Representing one of the City’s largest municipal union in contract arbitrations and related mediation and administrative proceedings;
  • Representing the municipal union umbrella organization in various health benefits and collective bargaining related matters;
  • Successfully representing a coalition of unions, community groups, parents and elected officials in challenging the improper closure of schools in violation of provisions of the State Education law;
  • Representing a class of some 48,000 current and former public employees and their unions challenging systemic inaccuracies in the calculation of pension benefits amounting to more than $160 million over the course of decades; and
  • Successfully representing a municipal union in its contract arbitration seeking to enforce contractual workplace assignment seniority rules in the context of the unprecedented influx of demoted long-time managerial staff.
  • Named to Crain’s “2022 Notable Women In Law” List
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Labor & Employment: Up and Coming
  • Recognized by Chambers New York for Labor & Employment: Up and Coming
  • Recognized as "Law Power 100" by City & State 2021
  • Received a 2020 Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award from The Burton Awards, a nonprofit program associated with the Library of Congress
  • Recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation for 2017 and as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2013-16
  • Featured in The New York Times Magazine as one of the top women lawyers in New York State, as recognized by Super Lawyers magazine in its 2013 New York Metro Super Lawyers and “Rising Stars” lists
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States
  • Honorary member, The Supreme Court Justices Association of the City of New York 
  • Honorary member, The Association of the Justices of the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Speaker, “Public Sector Labor and Employment Developments Since The Pandemic Began: Court of Appeals Roundup,” New York State Bar Association, June 10, 2022
  • Speaker, "COVID-19: Permanent Impact on the Public Sector Workforce," Cornell University, January 27, 2021
  • Speaker, “Janus & Beyond: The Future of Public Workers,” The Murphy Institute for Labor Education and CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, July 26, 2018
  • Speaker, The Janus Workshop at The Worker Institute, New York, NY, May 24, 2018
  • Panelist, “The Future of Labor and Public Employment: Implications of Janus v. AFSCME, Part 2,” New York, NY, April 19, 2018
  • Speaker, “Labor Relations & Employment Law Committee Meeting,” NYCLA, New York, NY, December 7, 2017
  • Co-author, "‘Jab or Job’: Where Are We on Vaccine Mandate Litigation?" New York Law Journal, January 19, 2022
  • Co-author, "BLM Mask Cases May Shape Activist Free Expression At Work," Law360, August 2, 2021
  • Co-author, "Religious Schools Get Public Funds Yet Discrimination Pass," Law360, June 22, 2021
  • Co-author, "Public Employee Speech in a Pandemic," Employee Relations Law Journal, January 4, 2021
  • Co-author, "Public Sector Unions Can Survive Janus," ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, October 2020 
  • Co-author, “A Legislative Storm Is Brewing Over NYC 'Rainy Day' Fund,” Law360, March 4, 2020
  • “For Public Employees, Speech Is Free, But Is Anyone Listening?” Employee Relations Law Journal, May 2019
  • Co-editor, Stroock Reports: Public Employee Law, analyzing developments on issues relevant to public sector unions

Quoted in: 

  • "Union workers sue to stop NYC from firing unvaccinated employees," New York Post, February 9, 2022

New York

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

J.D., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2003

B.S., Cornell University, 2000; Industrial and Labor Relations

Law Clerk, The Hon. Brian M. Cogan, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2006-2007

Dina Kolker focuses on public sector labor relations, working with some of New York City's most significant benefit funds and  public employee unions including United Federation of Teachers, Association of Legislative Employees, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators and the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Union, Local 831 IBT, as well as the New York City Municipal Labor Committee, a consortium of the City’s municipal unions. Ms. Kolker has represented clients in negotiations, arbitrations, administrative proceedings and litigation in a variety of areas in both state and federal court, including labor, employment, contract, pension issues and constitutional rights. She has been involved in various collective bargaining-related matters, including binding and non-binding contract arbitration pursuant to the Taylor Law and related court proceedings. She also advises clients regarding internal union governance and compliance with applicable federal laws.  Ms. Kolker contributes to Stroock’s Public Employee Law Reports bulletins and is a frequent speaker on public sector labor matters. She is the New York Hiring Partner and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council. 

“Dina is incredibly competent. Her ability to navigate through difficult issues and make you feel at ease is outstanding,” Chambers USA reports.

Representative Matters

Representative matters in which Ms. Kolker has been involved include:

  • Representing a new union of legislative employees in its historic effort to organize employees of the New York City Council, successfully forming the largest union of legislative employees in the country;
  • Guiding the unions representing pedagogues and administrators, among others, in the City school district through every stage of the COVID pandemic;
  • Representing administrators in community based-publicly funded early education programs who are predominantly women of color in seeking pay parity with their less diverse district counterparts;
  • Defending unions in the education sphere from a coordinated effort to defund them by seeking retroactive recovery of agency fees in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus case;
  • Representing one of the City’s largest municipal union in contract arbitrations and related mediation and administrative proceedings;
  • Representing the municipal union umbrella organization in various health benefits and collective bargaining related matters;
  • Successfully representing a coalition of unions, community groups, parents and elected officials in challenging the improper closure of schools in violation of provisions of the State Education law;
  • Representing a class of some 48,000 current and former public employees and their unions challenging systemic inaccuracies in the calculation of pension benefits amounting to more than $160 million over the course of decades; and
  • Successfully representing a municipal union in its contract arbitration seeking to enforce contractual workplace assignment seniority rules in the context of the unprecedented influx of demoted long-time managerial staff.

Honors & Awards

  • Named to Crain’s “2022 Notable Women In Law” List
  • Recognized by Chambers USA for Labor & Employment: Up and Coming
  • Recognized by Chambers New York for Labor & Employment: Up and Coming
  • Recognized as "Law Power 100" by City & State 2021
  • Received a 2020 Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award from The Burton Awards, a nonprofit program associated with the Library of Congress
  • Recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation for 2017 and as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2013-16
  • Featured in The New York Times Magazine as one of the top women lawyers in New York State, as recognized by Super Lawyers magazine in its 2013 New York Metro Super Lawyers and “Rising Stars” lists
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 United States

Memberships

  • Honorary member, The Supreme Court Justices Association of the City of New York 
  • Honorary member, The Association of the Justices of the State of New York
  • New York State Bar Association

Speeches & Events

  • Speaker, “Public Sector Labor and Employment Developments Since The Pandemic Began: Court of Appeals Roundup,” New York State Bar Association, June 10, 2022
  • Speaker, "COVID-19: Permanent Impact on the Public Sector Workforce," Cornell University, January 27, 2021
  • Speaker, “Janus & Beyond: The Future of Public Workers,” The Murphy Institute for Labor Education and CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York, NY, July 26, 2018
  • Speaker, The Janus Workshop at The Worker Institute, New York, NY, May 24, 2018
  • Panelist, “The Future of Labor and Public Employment: Implications of Janus v. AFSCME, Part 2,” New York, NY, April 19, 2018
  • Speaker, “Labor Relations & Employment Law Committee Meeting,” NYCLA, New York, NY, December 7, 2017

Publications

  • Co-author, "‘Jab or Job’: Where Are We on Vaccine Mandate Litigation?" New York Law Journal, January 19, 2022
  • Co-author, "BLM Mask Cases May Shape Activist Free Expression At Work," Law360, August 2, 2021
  • Co-author, "Religious Schools Get Public Funds Yet Discrimination Pass," Law360, June 22, 2021
  • Co-author, "Public Employee Speech in a Pandemic," Employee Relations Law Journal, January 4, 2021
  • Co-author, "Public Sector Unions Can Survive Janus," ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, October 2020 
  • Co-author, “A Legislative Storm Is Brewing Over NYC 'Rainy Day' Fund,” Law360, March 4, 2020
  • “For Public Employees, Speech Is Free, But Is Anyone Listening?” Employee Relations Law Journal, May 2019
  • Co-editor, Stroock Reports: Public Employee Law, analyzing developments on issues relevant to public sector unions

Quoted in: 

  • "Union workers sue to stop NYC from firing unvaccinated employees," New York Post, February 9, 2022

Admitted To Practice

New York

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Education

J.D., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 2003

B.S., Cornell University, 2000; Industrial and Labor Relations

Clerkships

Law Clerk, The Hon. Brian M. Cogan, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2006-2007