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Progressive Workers Union (PWU) representatives went into a meeting with Sierra Club leadership today expecting to negotiate a wide range of issues between the organization and the union in order to avoid a strike. The meeting was portrayed by Sierra Club as an opportunity to discuss impact bargaining, next steps in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations to replace the expired contract, and discuss pending unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board. Regrettably, Sierra Club offered no new proposals today to avoid a strike.   

Sierra Club’s mismanagement of the 2023 reorganization and layoffs, for which the union engaged in impact bargaining, led to another round of reorganization and layoffs happening right now. In a recent all staff meeting, Sierra Club leadership had the audacity to blame staff salaries and benefits for its own mismanagement of the budget and reorganization last year.

“Sierra Club leaders conveniently ignore that they enabled a state of chaos at the organization that requires massive union engagement, causing burnout due to a failure of the organization to live its values like balance and collaboration, because of Ben Jealous’ mismanagement of the original restructure and layoffs,” said Erica Dodt, Sierra Club National Unit Representative & Bargaining Representative. “Even though Sierra Club offered nothing new during our meeting, PWU responded with a scaled down proposal in hopes the organization will actually meet us in the middle to avoid a strike. PWU presented a path for the Sierra Club to avoid a strike, and it’s up to them as to whether they take it.” 

Today, in order to avoid a strike: 

  • Regarding the collective bargain agreement: PWU agreed to Sierra Club’s proposal to utilize a federal mediator to resolve the remaining differences in the bargaining agreement, if the organization agrees to our layoff protection proposal, remove its language around timesheets, and withdraw their proposals to strip a number of pre-existing CBA benefits.
  • Regarding unfair labor practices: PWU asked to reinstate six union leaders and address issues related to grieving Article 1, the diversity & equal employment opportunity provision of the CBA. 
  • Regarding layoffs: PWU asked for the reinstatement of 12 PWU members, based on seniority, in exchange for removing a 7% wage increase for national members in 2024 and no layoffs of national unit members for the duration of the budget passed in May. If anyone on the list is being transferred into another role or is willing to forgo their spot on this list (VSP/Involuntary) the spot will be transferred to the next most senior person

PWU has offered to meet with the Sierra Club again on Tuesday to continue negotiations.