The following is from OPEIU Local 8:
SEATTLE (Aug. 25, 2017) — Northwest Justice Project (NJP) employees voted by an overwhelming margin to form a union with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8 on Tuesday, after a mail ballot election process conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The group of 163 case attorneys, legal assistants, paralegals, receptionists, screeners and other employees join with thousands of OPEIU Local 8 members in social service and healthcare organizations to improve standards for all non-profit workers.
“Choosing this work and serving our clients have always given me a sense of kinship with my co-workers but never more so than now,” said Abby Goldy, attorney at NJP in Seattle. “Knowing that there was an overwhelming favorable response to the formation of our union has re-energized me for our work. With a union, I am confident we can work together towards a better organization and I look forward to our next steps.”
Northwest Justice Project is Washington’s statewide publicly funded legal aid program that provides critical civil legal assistance and representation to low-income people. These workers help keep families in their homes, advocate for children and adults with disabilities, ensure people get access to medical care, and much more. Each year, their services reach nearly 30,000 people around Washington state.
The right to have a voice to ensure due process in layoffs, disciplines and terminations, livable wages and benefits, fair and consistent policies, and many other issues united NJP workers in their effort to form their union.
“The staff at NJP does amazing work and deserves higher wages, but their unionization was about more than money,” said OPEIU Local 8 Organizer Corinne Cosentino. “They understand the difference that bottom-up democratic decision-making can provide, and the power of joining together to be part of the larger labor movement.”
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.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FORMING A UNION — If you don’t have a union at your job, learn more about how to organize one. Today’s economy is so out of balance — with all the economic gains going to the top — forming a union is how workers can stand together and negotiate for better wages, working conditions, and a voice on the job. You can make it happen at your workplace! Click here to get started.