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Northwest Justice Project staff (OPEIU 8) ratifies first contract

SEATTLE (Dec. 10, 2018) — Continuing the national trend of increased organizing among doctors, lawyers, nurses, and teachers, 180 employees at the Northwest Justice Project (NJP), a statewide law firm committed to combating injustice and improving access to the civil justice system, voted last year to form a union with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8. The union, which has approximately 7,000 members, also represents similar professionals at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The new union members at NJP just voted to ratify their first union contract by an overwhelming majority of 97 percent.

NJP’s attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, screeners, outreach workers and receptionists began fighting for their first contract with concrete goals in mind: increased pay more in line with their peers at other non-profit legal organizations, updating an archaic benefits model, and securing just cause provisions. After a hard-fought 11 months of bargaining, they successfully obtained all of that and more.

“At NJP, we work every day to ensure our clients receive due process and are treated fairly,” said Elizabeth Flavin, NJP attorney and bargaining team member. “Our union contract brings those same principles home to us.”

OPEIU Union Representative Valarie Peaphon said, “Workers still organize, bargain, and win, despite all obstacles. The hard work of the OPEIU negotiating team, backed by the vision and solidarity of the entire bargaining unit, made this agreement possible. Collective bargaining works!”

OPEIU Local 8 is a progressive, democratically run union working for social and economic justice since 1945. 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. Learn more here, including how to join Local 8.


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