After months organizing, staff voted 80 in favor and 15 against the union, with 28 contested ballots cast by employees whose eligibility for representation the administration challenged. (Contested ballots are only counted to break ties.) According to the organizing committee, 164 staffers are eligible for representation.
As KQED reported Thursday, California College of the Arts’ plan to consolidate campuses in San Francisco largely motivated the union effort, with staff worried about its effect on job security. Organizers believe unionizing will provide leverage with school administration as the workplace transforms.
Echoing broader concerns in the arts and higher-education sectors, staff believe representation will help win raises as cost-of-living, namely housing and commuting costs, outpaces wage growth in the Bay Area. Organizers also stressed that unionizing benefits students through stabilizing the workforce.