INTRODUCTION: AccessMatters is a regional non-profit with national reach located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a leader in sexual and reproductive health care delivery and advocacy, AccessMatters works to eliminate disparities in access and care for communities living at the intersection of poverty, racism (white supremacy), sexism (patriarchy), homophobia and transphobia, and ableism. We — the staff of AccessMatters — have chosen this work because of our personal commitments to social justice and health equity, and we believe that the struggle for justice begins at home, and in the office. We are unionizing in order to ensure that our internal policies, procedures, and personnel practices are aligned with our commitments to equity and justice in the broader community.
MISSION: The mission of the AccessMatters Union (AMU) is to build collective power, shared understanding, and a strong sense of community among all staff employed at AccessMatters. By exercising our fundamental right to collectively bargain for a contract, the AMU aims to improve and equalize working conditions across our office to the benefit of employees, management, and clients alike.
VISION: We envision a workplace where:
- All staff members are guaranteed equitable treatment and economic rights under a contract, including fair compensation and hiring, universal accessibility accommodations, and protected procedures for grievance resolution;
- Staff and management are held equally accountable to the collectively-bargained standards outlined in the contract;
- Staff can continue to collectively bargain for improvements in our working conditions without fear of retaliation or retribution; and
- Staff and management work together to make our dream of a racially just, trauma-informed, economically equitable, and collaborative workplace a reality.
Our vision is guided by a set of key principles.
We affirm that Black Lives Matter. We believe that building accountability and solidarity through a contract is a key step towards dismantling white supremacy and anti-Black racism in our workplace. We believe that unionizing will increase racial equity in compensation, hiring and firing, benefits, and overall work experience to a degree that is not possible through external training and consulting alone.
We affirm that “access to quality, affordable health care - including sexual and reproductive health care - is a human right.” We believe that the right to collectively bargain as a union is equally fundamental.
We believe that the best workplace is a workplace that is affirming of difference and representative of the communities it serves. Our workforce should reflect and honor our organization's home: the city of Philadelphia.
We believe that all clients who receive services through AccessMatters deserve to be treated with equity, dignity, and respect. As members of our own client communities, providing services in our own hometowns, AccessMatters staff deserve the same commitments.
We believe in the power of a democratic workplace, where staff at all levels are empowered to participate in high-level decision-making (including processes regarding job promotions, salary negotiations, and performance reviews), and where managerial decision-making processes are transparent and legible to all staff.
We believe that all workers have the right to fair and equitable accessibility accommodations in the case of physical or mental illness or disability, regardless of their job duties or supervisory discretion. Unionizing allows us to formally protect those accommodations in a contract.
We believe in a gender-equitable workplace, including (but not limited to) a workplace where there are no disparities in compensation or benefits between men, women, and non-binary people, or between cisgender and transgender people.
We believe in a workplace free of xenophobia and discrimination against immigrants, regardless of documentation. Unionizing enables us to protect the working conditions of all workers, regardless of immigration status or national origin.
We believe that staff at AccessMatters — a sexual and reproductive health organization with a strong family planning program — should be supported in creating and sustaining the families we desire. This includes the provision of paid parental leave for birth and non-birth parents, accommodations for working parents, and comprehensive coverage of all health care expenses.
We believe in a workplace free of all forms of harassment, intimidation, violence, and abuse. Staff who experience harassment of any kind should have a clear, formal path for grievance resolution, as guaranteed in a contract.
We believe that a unionized workplace is a fiscally sustainable workplace. When worker rights are protected and working conditions are improved by a collectively-bargained contract, staff will want to stay at AccessMatters, and turnover (with all its attendant costs in money, time, and morale) will decrease.
We believe that unionizing is an act of love — for this organization, for its mission, and for each other.