Contact us!  The first step is to start a conversation. You can contact Policy and Organizing Director Lauren Casey at During this conversation we can talk about your workplace, the concerns employees might have, and improvements you might like to make, and We can give you a general overview of ESC Local 20 and the organizing process.  Information like how many employees are in your work group, the specific work being performed by the particular work group seeking to organize, and how the work of your group fits into the general structure of your employer will be especially useful for this initial conversation.


Build a Committee. If you want to organize your workplace, you can’t do it alone.  A strong majority of your co-workers must support the idea.  We build majority support by forming an Organizing Committee (OC).  The role of a member of the OC is to work with the union staff in communicating with your co-workers during the campaign and assist in assessing and building support for the Union.


Establish a Showing of Support. The Organizing Committee will collect Authorization Cards or Petition Signatures from a majority of the employees, either physically or electronically.  Once a significant majority of the group has committed to support the Union, the showing of support is filed with the federal agency responsible for conducting union elections, typically the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  A vote or hearing will then be scheduled shortly after filing to certify the support and recognize the employee’s desire for representation with ESC Local 20.


Election. If a vote is required, the vote is conducted either in person or by mail, depending on whether all the employees work in the same place. The election is by secret ballot and only government agents count the ballots.

The lead-up to the vote is a crucial time in organizing,  as this often is when the employer might make promises (or even threats) to try to make employees change their minds. During this time, it is important that our OC is communicating with our supporters and answering any questions or concerns that come up. It’s important to remember that without a written contract there is nothing to hold management to their promises and that even the best of intentions can be overturned by a change in management or lack of funding or approval from higher-ups.


Bargaining. Once the Union is recognized, contract negotiations with management will begin.  A Bargaining Committee will be formed that includes representatives from the work group, plus an experienced lead negotiator from ESC Local 20.  The committee develops the top bargaining priorities, gets directions from the full membership of the newly represented workgroup, and will negotiate until reaching a tentative agreement with Management. Any tentative agreement then must be approved by a majority vote of all employees in the workgroup — this process is called contract ratification.


Is my support for the Union confidential?

Yes, ESC Local 20 will keep the identity of who signed authorization cards confidential from Management. Under NLRB rules, voting is by secret ballot.

During the course of organizing, we sometimes suggest that our supporters “go public” as a group so that we can show our unity and support for the union.  Supporters who go public are protected by federal labor law.