OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA (Feb. 23, 2022) – A supermajority of employees at Impact Justice (IJ) have formed Impact Justice United (IJU), and today requested from their employer voluntary recognition of their union with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 29.
"The energy we have invested into organizing with our colleagues is a direct reflection of our commitment to our work at Impact Justice," said IJU in its letter requesting recognition from the founder and president of the criminal justice reform organization, Alex Busansky.
"Forming a union strengthens our collective pursuit of dreaming of a humane and restorative system of justice in the United States," the letter continued. "We draw inspiration from Impact Justice’s core values and guiding principles — each of which speak to the necessity of unionizing."
The unit of 56 employees seeking recognition of their union is continuing a national trend of nonprofit employees organizing for better wages, benefits and working conditions at mission-based organizations.
IJU listed their employer's core values and guiding principles of diversity and equity, liberation and integrity as reasons they've decided to come together in union. Unionizing will, they wrote, bring the organization closer to its professed values while also strengthening IJ's important research, policy and advocacy work in pursuit of a more humane criminal justice system.
IJU has requested a response from management by Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. PST and a start to the collective bargaining process shortly thereafter.
"In the event that leadership is unwilling to recognize us," they wrote, "we are prepared to file for and win an election through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)." In asking for voluntary recognition, IJU is asking its employer to bypass the lengthy and flawed NLRB process in favor of a collaborative approach that truly respects the rights of IJ staff and strengthens the organization's core mission. "Voluntarily recognizing Impact Justice United will promote transparency, ensure equity, and increase staff well-being, in alignment with our organization's core values," they concluded.