August 12, 2016
Walking the walk, not just talking the talk
North Carolina’s largest progressive think tank, the NC Justice Center, has unionized, with staff joining the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW. On July 15th, Justice Center workers secured their first contract.
From the news story in Indy Week:
Marion Johnson, policy advocate for the Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center and the union chairman, tells the INDY that members started organizing in the summer of 2013. The Justice Center voluntarily recognized the union in spring 2014, after a majority of the members indicated they wanted to join a union.
“The Justice Center practices what it preaches,” says executive director Rick Glazier. “We believe in workers’ rights and union capacity to advocate for and protect those rights in a myriad of circumstances. We would be hard-pressed to lobby other employers and the state to do what we say but not follow through on that ourselves.”
“We wanted to have a formal say in the decision-making process about our own wages, benefits, layoffs, and other working conditions in the organization,” Johnson adds. “We felt like a union was the best way to allow us to have a formal seat at the table when these things were being discussed.”
“The staff at the N.C. Justice Center have long been allies of ours in the fight for economic fairness, so we are excited to welcome them as members of our state’s labor movement,” said NC State AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, MaryBe McMillan, in a statement celebrating the victory for democracy at work.
“I hope this inspires other non-profit employees to organize.” — MaryBe McMillan, Secretary-Treasurer, NC State AFL-CIO
To: Staff at the N.C. Justice Center
Thank you for having the courage and determination to come together in union, speak up for one another, and negotiate collectively for a contract that will not only protect your ability to provide for yourselves and your family but will serve as an example to people working at non-profits across North Carolina that they, too, can work for a just cause while earning just wages and having a good life outside of work.
Congratulations on what you’ve accomplished, and welcome to our family of people working in unions for a better life!