Aug 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Democratic campaign arm staffers approve union contract

Illustration of donkey running towards the left

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Staffers at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have voted to approve a collective bargaining agreement, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The House Democratic campaign arm's more than 250-member union is the largest collective bargaining unit in the Democratic Party, and will offer a key test of how a unionized campaign committee staff performs in the final stages of a crucial midterm election.

Driving the news: Over 99% of staffers voted to ratify the agreement between the DCCC Staff Union, a part of Teamsters Local 238, and DCCC leadership, according to a press release shared exclusively with Axios.

  • Union spokesperson Reed Elman Waxham said in a statement the agreement "makes great strides towards supporting Democratic campaign workers and equipping us with the support we need to show up every day and protect the Democratic House Majority in November and for years to come.”
  • Tim Persico, the DCCC's executive director, said it will make the organization "an even better place to work," allowing it to live up to its values and "ensuring the DCCC will continue to attracted and retain ... extraordinary talents."

The details: The contract includes 100% employer-based health insurance, wage increases, rewarding employees who bring "valuable language expertise" and establishing "comprehensive grievance and arbitration provisions."

  • The agreement will also "[lay] the groundwork for workplace standards in Democratic campaigns," per the news release.
  • A DCCC spokesperson told Axios that refers to DCCC staffers who move to support campaigns, but said they "broadly hope that our work helps provide a template for running competitive, professional Democratic campaigns."

The backdrop: The unionization effort was first announced in May, with the DCCC immediately voluntarily recognizing it.

  • It comes as part of a trend of surging unionization efforts among Democratic campaigns and liberal organizations, as well as congressional staff.

What's next: Some provisions of the contract will begin immediately, while others will phase in "over the next few weeks and months," the DCCC spokesperson said.

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