Progress Toward Reaching a Collective Bargaining Agreement

It is a central part of our mission at Code for America to work tirelessly to find solutions to meaningful challenges in the civic tech space. 

So we’re pleased to be back at the negotiating table with Code for America Workers United to find a way forward on some of the remaining issues that stand between us and one of the first-ever collective bargaining agreements between a union and a technology nonprofit. 

On May 4, both negotiating teams met for two hours. We began by expressing our continued commitment to engaging in the talks in a cordial and respectful manner, and we’re pleased that each side agreed to adhere to a set of communications norms, which everyone hopes will deepen trust and limit opportunities for misunderstanding. This includes: listening to understand, assuming positive intent, and understanding and addressing the impact of the words we use.

Because we’re breaking new ground here, these can be challenging talks with each side bringing closely-held perspectives to the table. Despite the challenges, we’ve made significant progress.

Code for America and CfA Workers United have already reached tentative agreements on eight significant issues, and, yesterday, we started addressing three additional non-economic issues yet to be resolved. We’re optimistic that agreements can be reached on many of these matters soon.

There are still two big hurdles on the horizon.

First, we’ve agreed that the union will ask the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to help work through critically important issues on the Unit Definition front. There’s broad agreement that 80+ (out of 200+) roles at Code for America should be included within the Unit. There are important questions about another 50 or so roles that don’t fit neatly into definitions created for different types of organizations. We’re hopeful that the NLRB will work through those issues as expeditiously as possible.

Next, informed by these answers, we can proceed to the core economic issues–compensation, benefits, and even the length of the workweek.

Code for America remains committed to the negotiating process, and we believe that there’s a clear roadmap for making progress on the outstanding issues in a way that will lead to a collective bargaining agreement that works for our organization, our team members, and could serve as a model for other organizations that go through this process down the road.

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