Employees at civic tech company Nava PBC request voluntary recognition of their wall-to-wall union with OPEIU Tech Workers Union Local 1010

Employees at civic tech company Nava PBC request voluntary recognition of their wall-to-wall union with OPEIU Tech Workers Union Local 1010

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2022) – A supermajority of eligible employees at Nava PBC today requested from their employer voluntary recognition of their union with OPEIU Tech Workers Union Local 1010.

The unit of 171 employees at Nava, a public benefit corporation that focuses on solving digital issues in the public sector, are unionizing to promote transparency in internal company policies, ensure pay equity, increase staff well-being and retention and to attract new talent in a highly competitive space.

In requesting voluntary recognition, Nava United is asking management to bypass the lengthy, convoluted and skewed National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process in favor of a collaborative approach that will lead to a stronger staff and organization and lives up to the stated mission of the company.

Sharon Warner, a senior software engineer at Nava since November 2016, said the company's growth has made the prospect of a union contract ever more appealing. "As I've grown as a software engineer, I've seen the company grow by hundreds of people," she said. "One unfortunate side effect of that growth is the distance between workers and leadership has grown, too.

"Our union will provide a framework for how to scale and maintain an open, transparent culture," Warner added.

In their letter requesting voluntary recognition, Nava United emphasized the importance of their work and why a union contract would help make the organization a better place to work.

Shaun Mosley has been a designer and researcher at the company since March 2020. When his co-workers began talking about the benefits a union could bring to the workplace, he "was immediately in support of the movement.

"After being at Nava for nearly two years, I know a union will push the organization to be even more equitable, inclusive, open and transparent," Mosley explained.

This request marks a continuation of Local 1010's successful organizing campaign that began with the first tech union in the nation, Kickstarter United, in early 2020. At tech companies across the nation, including Nava, there is a sustained interest in organizing for better wages, benefits and working conditions. 

"This is about improving our conditions at work – like pay and paid time off – but the longer we've been organizing, the more I realize it isn't about any particular demand," said Sean Fern, a Nava senior infrastructure engineer since June 2019. "We're doing this to get a say in how the company evolves in the coming years. We're doing this to improve how both the tech and government contracting industries treat workers."

Nava United has given management until Feb. 10 to respond to their request for recognition. If it's denied or ignored, Nava United is prepared to file immediately and win a representation election with the NLRB.

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