The employees of AccessMatters, a Philadelphia nonprofit that provides sexual and reproductive health care services to marginalized populations across Pennsylvania, announced Monday that they are unionizing with The NewsGuild. They will join the Philadelphia local.
“We are unionizing in order to improve and equalize working conditions across our office to benefit our employees, management, and clients alike,” organizers said in a press statement.
“We believe that all clients who receive services through AccessMatters deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and we know that when staff are not treated equitably, our clients are the ones who suffer first. High turnover, low morale, and chronic inequity in pay and benefits are not just problems for our staff – they directly impact our ability to provide consistent, high-quality, trauma-informed care to the tens of thousands of people throughout Pennsylvania who are served through AccessMatters’ programs.
“While we look forward to improved working conditions, including higher and more equitable pay, transparency in organizational decision-making, and increased job security, we are most energized by this opportunity to improve the care that we provide to our clients throughout the region and beyond.”
Hil O’Connell, a member of the AMU Organizing Committee and senior research analyst at AccessMatters said, “as a queer, trans, chronically ill person, I believe wholeheartedly in the disability justice rallying cry: ‘Nothing about us without us!’ The same applies to labor justice! The AMU gives us a guaranteed seat at the table of high-level organizational decision-making — a seat we know we need.”
Andrea McCord, the Program Manager for Mature Adult Services, said that the AccessMatters Union allows us to “develop a contract with staff input that helps to address the inequities Black staff face because of racism and anti-Blackness,” inequities that we continue to see in other nonprofit and for-profit organizations across Philadelphia.
They are asking supporters to send an email and sign an open letter to management urging leadership of the organization to voluntarily recognize the union.