Basic Rights Oregon unionizes with AFSCME


Portland-based gay civil rights group Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) is now a union employer. BRO’s board of directors agreed last week to recognize Oregon AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) after all 15 staff members signed union authorization cards. Most of Oregon AFSCME’s nearly 25,000 members are state, county, and municipal employees, but the union also represents workers at a handful of non-profit organizations.

Basic Rights OregonBRO and Oregon AFSCME have worked together closely for years on political campaigns, and BRO’s mission — to bring about equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians — is a cause Oregon AFSCME has long championed.

BRO’s political manager, Amy Herzfeld, also has union ties, as a former state director for Working America — AFL-CIO’s at-large community affiliate. BRO board member David Cutler is on staff at SEIU Local 49. And BRO board member Nancy Haque is a former organizer for the workers rights group Jobs with Justice.

Executive director Jeana Frazzini said the move to unionize is consistent with the group’s values, and pledged to meet in good faith to negotiate a first union contract.


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