Employees at Nava PBC Secure Recognition of Their Union, the Largest in Civic Tech
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 25, 2022) -- Staff at Nava PBC, a civic tech organization that builds government services, today secured voluntary recognition of their union, Nava United, with OPEIU Tech Workers Union Local 1010. They are now the largest union of workers in civic tech.
Employees at Nava requested voluntary recognition in February and have spent the interim weeks in negotiations with company leadership to define the scope of the bargaining unit. Nava’s leadership pushed back hard, following the lead of many tech companies, cutting out entire departments from the bargaining unit. Nava United fought for an inclusive bargaining unit that included technical and non-technical staff, and workers were able to include 12 colleagues who would have otherwise not been protected by the union.
After today’s successful card check, Nava United will move forward to begin contract negotiations with the company. As detailed in their voluntary recognition letter, workers are eager to promote transparency, ensure equity, increase staff well-being and retention, and attract new talent.
As employees head to the bargaining table, Senior Infrastructure Engineer Sean Fern said, “Everyone asks 'what are our demands in building a union.' And yes, this is about improving our conditions at work -- like pay and PTO -- but the longer we’ve been organizing, the more I’ve realized this isn’t about any particular demand.
“We're doing this to get a say in how company policy evolves in the coming years. We're doing this to improve how both tech and government contracting industries treat workers," they continued.
With this win, the group joins the wave of recent wins for tech workers.
“Winning a strong union takes incredible discipline and sustained action,” said RV Dougherty, a tech organizer with OPEIU Local 1010. “Nava United has demonstrated what is possible when workers stick together even in the face of massive attrition and organizational change. I’m excited for tech workers to learn from this union and continue to imagine what is possible when we take action together.”