The union draws upon Community Catalyst's roots in the labor movement and seeks to bolster the organization's commitment to equity and justice.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2021
(BOSTON, MA) — Community Catalyst, a national nonprofit health care advocacy organization, announced today the voluntary recognition of its staff union, Community Catalyst United. A card check completed by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice confirmed near-unanimous consensus among membership and officially codified the union’s formation. Exactly six months after announcing their intent to unionize, Community Catalyst United is proud to join SEIU Local 888.
Community Catalyst United will include members of Community Catalyst’s staff that work every day to ensure that health care policies reflect the diverse needs of communities across the country and support advocate partners in over 40 states. The union believes providing a mechanism through which all staff are given a voice in organizational decision making is an integral part of Community Catalyst’s success and will bolster its mission to live its values as a mission-based, justice-oriented organization.
“Our organization’s motto is ‘Everyone should have a say in the decisions that affect their health.’ We are looking forward to building a union that gives staff at Community Catalyst a say in the decisions that affect their work and work environment,” says Siena Ruggeri, CCU member and program and policy coordinator for the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Ruggeri continues, “As we continue to deepen our commitment to health equity, Community Catalyst United will help the organization practice these values internally and foster greater solidarity with the health justice movement.”
Community Catalyst partners with unions to mobilize and build power for health justice. In the organization’s technical assistance, Community Catalyst has demonstrated it values unions as key coalition members who help their partners advocate for change on the state and local levels. CCU members say they look forward to bolstering that partnership internally now, too.
"Community Catalyst United is the voice of its members and brings us closer together," said HaiYen Nguyen, Boston-based accounting associate for Community Catalyst. "CCU is where we can share our thoughts and perspectives we didn't know where we should bring up before it was created. Now, we have CCU and we are confident that CCU will step up and be that voice for all members' interests in the workplace."
“Community Catalyst is proud to voluntarily recognize Community Catalyst United. As an organization committed to advancing all people’s health and wellbeing, we have long valued and supported the critical role unions play in advancing health and economic justice in this country,” said Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst. “We believe unions make all workplaces stronger, including ours, and we look forward to collaborating with Community Catalyst United in service of our shared goal of building a more equitable and inclusive workplace.”
Unions are an integral part of Community Catalyst’s history. The organization’s founding Executive Director, Rob Restuccia, was himself a steadfast union supporter. Restuccia maintained a commitment to supporting health system workers across the country throughout his career. Members of Community Catalyst United say they look forward to carrying on this legacy of cross-movement partnership, especially during physically distanced times.
“While you'd think during a pandemic, I'd feel further isolated from my peers in fact, I've never felt closer to them,” says Amanda Ptashkin, Community Catalyst United member and project manager at Community Catalyst of six years. “I am based remotely in Atlanta so I've always had that virtual connection. However, through our efforts over the last year to unionize, I've been bolstered, supported and encouraged by my colleagues.”
Ptashkin continues, “This community has proven even more valuable as we all tried to navigate life under COVID. My heart is bursting with pride to stand alongside my friends. We are Community Catalyst United!”
About Community Catalyst United: Community Catalyst United (CCU) unites the staff of Community Catalyst. As members of SEIU Local 888, we seek to provide staff at all levels a voice at Community Catalyst because we all should have a say in decisions that affect our work. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatUnited or visit //linktr.ee/commcatunited
About SEIU Local 888: SEIU Local 888 unites more than 8,000 public service, education and not-for-profit workers throughout Massachusetts. Learn more at www.seiu888.org.
About Community Catalyst: Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for health equity and justice. We partner with local, state, and national advocates to leverage community power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit //www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.