Celebrating the AVP Union

The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) is pleased to announce that on Thursday, April 8, AVP’s management voluntarily recognized a staff union.

Dear Community,

AVP’s non-management staff is now represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153. The management and board of AVP wholeheartedly support the union and are looking forward to partnering with all staff as we negotiate a union contract and continue to make AVP not only a leader in our work with and for survivors of violence but a premier non-profit workplace.

In the past few years, we have all seen unionization efforts and various other internal conflicts tear apart some of our sister organizations in the LGBTQ community and the larger social justice movement. We know that the times when our communities are under attack and suffering the most can also be the times when we turn our pain and frustration toward each other. We are clear that in this moment, we must stand together, united in our commitment to make AVP stronger than ever— for our clients and community members, as well as for our staff.

Even before our staff unionized, our management team and board were clear and communicated to staff that we would embrace a staff union if the staff chose to form one. We stand together in the belief that a staff union is not a threat but will play an important role in giving workers a more collective, proactive voice and role in our organization’s decision-making processes.

This last year has been tumultuous in more ways than we can describe. It has also been a catalyst for change. This is another opportunity for all of us at AVP to live out our core values and intention to create an anti-oppressive, survivor-centered workplace that serves and works with our clients and community members to build safety and equity.

As a former union member, union organizer, and avid labor supporter, I appreciate the effort it takes to organize a union, and I celebrate the staff’s commitment to each other, the communities we serve, and our organization. The management team, board, and I are fully committed to embracing and working with the union. We are proud to be part of a long history of non-profit organizations that have unionized and celebrate the role unions can continue to play in our movement.

In peace and solidarity,

Beverly Tillery