CfA Workers United
We, the workers of Code for America, are proud to announce that we are unionizing. Forming a union will promote transparency, ensure equity, increase staff well-being and retention, and add to the long list of reasons why Code for America is a leader in the fields of nonprofits and tech. As a union, we will build a stronger, more sustainable organization for all staff, the people we serve, and partners we work with.
A People-Centered Approach
Unionizing is the direct democratization of our workplace. Just as our work centers the experience of our clients, we believe that our workplace must center the experience of its employees. We stand with Code for America’s core belief that those most impacted by policies should be directly involved in their design and the decision making process.
Equity and Inclusion
We believe our union can provide the space for all workers to advocate for themselves and each other with dignity and protection, regardless of level, discipline, race, class, ability, gender, or sexual orientation. Unionizing is tangible and measurable work that challenges siloed power structures created by white supremacy culture. Utilizing a more democratic decision making structure is our way of expressing support of Code for America’s belief that governance can and should be equitable. As a union, we will be supporting the collective struggle for justice and standing in solidarity with other working people.
A union gives non-managerial staff a seat at the table. Unionizing allows us to remove the barrier between staff and management, so that we may make decisions that benefit the organization collectively. We are eager to collaborate with management to promote a worker-centered workplace through our union.
A union is a safety net for ourselves. I support a union at CfA because we can better support our clients when we’re heard and our needs are met.
Every worker deserves a union!
– Rachel Edelman, Designer
Workers deserve more than just a voice in decision making that affects them, they deserve power. That’s what democracy is all about, and having a union brings democracy to work for all of us.
– Ben Calegari, Engineer
What is a union?
Unions represent employees at a company or organization in negotiations with management about wages, benefits, and workplace policies. Without representation from a union, management can dictate working conditions with no formal input from employees. Once employees form a union, management is legally bound to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement that will govern terms of employment at the organization.
Why do we need a union?
All workers deserve to see themselves represented fully in their workplaces. Beyond that, we want to gain a seat at the table and work with management to build more transparency around our roles and organization-wide decision making.
In our work, we believe the voices and lived experiences of people most affected by government policies must be centered in the formation of those policies. Forming a union models those values by claiming the power to democratically shape how we work together. It will enable our relationship with management to be more collaborative, give us a sense of ownership and empowerment in our workplace, and set an example for other organizations in the technology and nonprofit worlds.