FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2020
Contact: Kelly Russo, OPEIU Local 2
Employees at DC SAFE overwhelmingly moved to form a union with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2 on Friday, October 30, 2020 by filing for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. DC SAFE is Washington, DC’s foremost resource for victims of domestic violence - as the District’s only 24/7 domestic violence crisis intervention agency.
Employees at DC SAFE have been organizing over the past three months, through conversations about how to make the workplace more sustainable for staff and how to strengthen the services they provide to victims of domestic violence. DC SAFE staff are seeking a greater voice within the organization through which to guide the important mission they carry out and ensure that employees have the protections they need to thrive in the workplace.
The newest members of Local 2 want to make sure DC SAFE remains committed to its core principles of empowerment and self-determination. As explained by Claire Carty-Tolentino, Supportive Advocacy Services Advocate, “the staff at DC SAFE have been talking about unionizing since 2013, so we are honored to be the group who sees it to fruition. As workers and as advocates, we believe in exercising our legal right to a voice at the workplace. We look forward to the many benefits unionizing brings such as less turn over, living wages, and a seat at the table.”
Staff are committed to ensuring that their efforts are deeply impactful on improving the quality of service they provide to clients and reducing turnover to strengthen the depth of institutional knowledge and effectiveness of their staff. “As advocates, we are eager to represent our clients better through our legal right to unionize. A seat at the table for us means a seat at the table for them,” explains Carty-Tolentino.
Staff look forward to a speedy elections process through which they can have the opportunity to express their lawful right to form a union without delay.
OPEIU Local 2 is a labor union supporting over 8,000 professional workers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We represent staff members across a number of sectors, including healthcare, non-profit, and more.
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