The following is from OPEIU Local 8:
SEATTLE (July 16, 2015) — Compass Housing Alliance employees voted by an overwhelming margin to form a union with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8 on Tuesday, after a multi-day election process conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.
The group of 100 case managers, counselors, maintenance staff, attendants, tellers and other employees join with hundreds of Local 8 members in social and housing services working to improve standards for all non-profit social service workers. Compass Housing Alliance is a Seattle based non-profit organization that provides emergency and transition shelter, affordable housing and supportive services for men, women, veterans and families around the Puget Sound region. Each year, their services reach nearly 8,000 people.
“I’m very proud of all of us who worked so hard to win this honor and privilege of union membership,” said Darryl Lewis, Attendant at the Hygiene Center, which offers homeless men and women a place to use the restroom, take a hot shower and do laundry. “I feel much more secure staying in this job now that I know we are all working together, our voices will be heard, and important decisions that impact our lives will no longer be decided without us.”
The right to have a voice to ensure safe working conditions, livable wages, fair and consistent policies, and many other issues united Compass workers in their effort to form their union.
“I love the work we do and the people we serve, and that’s why I’m so excited we’ve voted to form our union,” said Jennifer Carter, Counselor at Nyer Urness House, supportive housing in Ballard operating on a “housing first” model. “This will help us advocate for the needs of the staff and the clients, and to use our voice to make Compass an even stronger agency.”
OPEIU Local 8 represents more than 6,000 members all over Washington state working in many settings including offices, health and home care, housing, social services, the insurance industry, legal services and the public sector. For more information, visit www.opeiu8.org.