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To: Adoption STAR Executive Staff and Board

Support Adoption STAR workers unionizing and fighting retaliation! 🧸⭐️

We respectfully and formally request community support in ensuring that Adoption STAR:

1) We represent a majority, so recognize our union or remain neutral as we pursue a union election to gain a seat at the table as we negotiate for our wages, conditions, and policies at work with the support of CWA local 1122.

2) Reinstate the 4 employees illegally fired under section 8(a)(1) & (3) of the National Labor Relations Act to right the Unfair Labor Practice committed.

Why is this important?

Adoption STAR is an agency we have all poured our days, nights, and weekends into while we maintain our own families. Ethical adoption agencies are hard to find in a field with so many historical wrongs, so much exploitation and trauma to address - and we are truly proud to build and maintain STAR. We provide a unique and ethical service of pro-choice pregnancy options counseling and adoption planning, helping to unite expectant moms in an unexpected pregnancy with a family she can trust and maintain a relationship with. We find homes for older children who are unable to unite with their birth families and enduring the instability of foster care. We run a small international program. We prepare families painstakingly for all of the above.

From the office, the field, to the hospital, we field calls, maintain confidentiality and legal compliance, and are with people as they go through life-changing events in their families.

💔 But some of us struggle when we try to grow our own families, or even to make ends meet. 💸

🚑👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 We do not receive any assistance with cost-sharing for our dependents in our healthcare plan, severely cutting into our wages. One of our workers makes only a few hundred dollars in her paychecks despite being a full-time master's level professional, to insure her family.

🤱🤯 We do not have a standard for parental leave, leading to inconsistent and inadequate solutions when we become parents.

📝💰 We face strict compliance and administrative tasks as a child welfare agency, but these positions salaries and supports are inconsistent and low compared to local standards. We found that a new member of this team was making the same amount as a worker who had been here 3 years.

😷🦠 We have not received employee health specialist fittings for N95s for our clinical staff that goes into hospitals. One worker has contracted COVID and then had to be off work from her vulnerable expectant clients for extended time.

☎️🕐 We regularly work on-call without guaranteed coverage to make up the hours that burn us out, and always without compensation.

When we began organizing, we knew we would make the agency an even more ethical place we were proud to serve at. Instead, four employees who spoke up about our COVID exposures, wages, and unmanageable caseloads were illegally fired. Another worker resigned out of opposition. As of the time of our election, three more pro-union workers overwhelmed with being lied to and intimidated daily, while still faced with inadequate compensation, left.

These staff were given no reason or warning of the action taken against their livelihoods, alarming our clients and STAR’s remaining employees. Together, they've given years of service and built their programs, and leave behind several urgent and active cases. This action has increased all of our urgent workloads drastically and unexpectedly. This action has damaged the agency’s reputation, connection to our clients, and ongoing cases. It has the potential to damage our relationships to the entities who partner with us. This action, as it was taken without warning or explanation, has left the remaining staff fearful with no guidance on how to maintain our own employment.

We ethically cannot leave the families, moms, dads, and children we serve in the dark. We are organizing because we love Adoption STAR... and we ARE Adoption STAR. Please support our efforts. Thank you for your solidarity - we are going to make it through this together. 🧸⭐️

Updates

2022-07-29 09:49:56 -0400

We were forced to withdraw our petition.

Adoption STAR shocked lawyers by suddenly challenging almost every previously agreed-on ballot, putting off bargaining. We’re exhausted. From the start, we lost 4 leaders to retaliation, & 4 more as they were lied to and intimidated daily at our small office.

How they can go so low, refusing to negotiate openly with their own workforce, retaliating against employees with years of service, is still beyond us.

This campaign was about each other… we don’t have each other anymore.

Helping professionals, fight for your worth. We go above & beyond in traumatic, broken systems. We deserve standards. Regardless of recognition, think & act like a union because you are one. Vote on everything. Stand strong & with dignity. They stand arrogantly in their self-interest, the least you can do is protect yours collectively.

We’ll pursue the Unfair Labor Practices until the end. Thank you CWA 1122 for helping us.

Solidarity & love forever,
STARs United

2022-05-03 11:45:11 -0400

I can’t believe over 600 people support us. Thank you 💔💪

We need principled workers in adoption more than ever. Having all options is the foundation of a healthy pregnancy - our health & social care systems are founded on force.

I was devastated finding out some coworkers were struggling financially. Our profession is hard to organize - we are self-sacrificing: we care endlessly and get burnt out. I found we care endlessly for each other too.

Then 4 organizers were abruptly fired.

The consequence was being ripped away from clients, & ending my health insurance & income soon after my husband and I started trying to grow our family.

We aren't organizing because we didn’t love our jobs - we are because we do. It’s never easy to push something to evolve - child welfare, or your workplace.

Fight for the system to change, & respect, rather than fear, fighters.

- Mo M
https://bit.ly/mostarsunited

2022-05-02 17:15:30 -0400

500 signatures reached

2022-04-30 09:04:34 -0400

Thank you for over 400 signatures in support of our demands for recognition/neutrality, and addressing the unfair labor practice! Keep spreading the word! 🤝📝

This is my first time organizing. Seeing how much better equipped we are to advocate for ourselves & negotiate when working together is extremely comforting.

After a few months at Adoption STAR it became relatively clear that the compensation was not going to continue to allow me to make ends meet without struggling, even to afford my daily commute as one of a limited number of employees required to work fully on-site. When these concerns were brought to management, with research to back up our claims and various solutions for them, they were all but brushed off. Multiple of us were abruptly fired within days.

I hope that organizing can help ensure better working conditions for all members of Adoption STAR’s team while also creating an environment of positivity and trust.

- Jacob C
https://bit.ly/jacobstarsunited

2022-04-28 14:42:59 -0400

THANK YOU for over 350 signatures on our petition! 💞🧸

This is my first time organizing with workers. I am fortunate in the sense that I do not rely on the agency for medical benefits or the majority of our family’s income. If this were to be the case, it would be unlikely that I could continue in my role.

I do, however, see my coworkers continually struggle. I have seen first hand the difficult decisions my coworkers face when it comes to expanding their families, receiving adequate benefits, and being compensated fairly.

And as an advocate, both in title and by nature, I cannot be silent.

- Sue R
https://bit.ly/suestarsunited

2022-04-27 08:17:10 -0400

Welcome to our first PUBLIC day!

Adoption STAR has a long-standing reputation as an adoption agency with a strong set of ethics and is an organization committed to support and advocacy for all members of the adoption triad. As an adoptee myself, this is what drew me to the agency and led me to seek employment here.

However, the agency unfortunately leaves much to be desired in way of the support it provides for the workers that make the agency what it is. Not having a consistent standard for parental leave and no cost-sharing for family health insurance has made navigating my transition to a working parent more challenging than it should be.

I support unionizing because I know that the work we do at STAR is important and changes lives, and we deserve to be compensated and supported in a way that is commensurate to our service.

In solidarity!
- Carly S
https://bit.ly/carlystarsunited

2022-04-25 10:20:36 -0400

In one weekend, 100+ of our friends, family, & colleagues have shown support as we take these first steps!

This is my first time organizing. Since starting, I can't get over how common our concerns are, and how together we can make a difference. I want our colleagues to have a seat at the table, and power in influencing the agency. I want to ensure that our legacy is one of ethics, transparency, and support for all members of the adoption triad. For years, I saw Adoption STAR as the pinnacle for what ethical adoption should be. But recent actions taken by management at the agency have opened my eyes to the reality that while we all have good intentions, there is a serious disconnect between our workers and executives. Together, we can unionize, and make it better.

Thank you SO much!

- Kim B
https://bit.ly/kimstarsunited

2022-04-25 09:03:59 -0400

100 signatures reached

2022-04-24 08:15:08 -0400

50 signatures reached

2022-04-23 20:23:07 -0400

25 signatures reached

2022-04-23 19:40:47 -0400

10 signatures reached