Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) seeks to reinvent collective bargaining for the 21st century and ensure that it starts including a range of issues from affordable housing to racial and immigrant justice in order to it benefit both workers and the broader communities they live and work in. The program works through concrete initiatives that build innovative dynamic partnerships between labor organizations, worker centers and a wide array of community, religious and racial justice organizations to advance demands that represent a comprehensive “Common Good” agenda. It also promotes this emerging alternative agenda through conferences, regional meetings, a "Common Good” Toolkit and other resources.
The Bargaining for the Common Good Network is managed in partnership between the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO), the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE), and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University (KI).
BCG Welcomes Three New Advisory Committee Members!
Cecily Myart-Cruz is a teacher, activist and the United Teachers Los Angeles President, The first woman of color president in the union’s 50-year history. She previously served as UTLA/NEA Vice President for six years and taught for 26 years, at both elementary and middle school levels. As a UTLA Area leader, she has worked with schools, parents, students and the community to oust 23 “bully principals” and collaborated with school communities in initiating a year-long boycott of district periodic assessments in protest of excessive testing of students.
Rob Baril has been president of District 1199 NE/SEIU since January 2019. Rob’s approach to social justice and organizing combines a belief in the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglas that “power concedes nothing without a demand” and Martin Luther King’s guidance that “love is the only cement” that can hold a broken society together. Previously, Rob served as Organizing Director for a decade helping organize over 10,000 workers from nursing homes, group homes, and home care into 1199.
Rev. Francisco Garcia is a PhD student in Religion at Vanderbilt University and a Graduate Research Fellow at Vanderbilt Divinity School’s Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice. An Episcopal priest and former community and labor organizer, his research project entails developing theologies and ecclesiologies (church models) rooted in the organizing, social movement, and liberative faith traditions, in order to better equip communities of faith to address the pressing justice issues of our time.
NEW REPORT: Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health
Bargaining for the Common Good and partners Institute for Policy Studies and United for Respect have released "Billionaire Wealth vs. Community Health: Protecting Essential Workers from Pandemic Profiteers," a report on the skyrocketing wealth of billionaires on the backs of frontline workers. Read more here.
11/19/20 - Shifting Power: The Working Majority Transforming Religion and Politics
KB Brower (CIWO Fellow & Organizing Director, Bargaining for the Common Good) and Betty Hung (Director, UCLA Labor Center) discussed the relationship between religion and labor, exploring historic and contemporary challenges and opportunities between theology, faith communities, and the labor movement. WATCH HERE!
Demanding Safe Schools: Across the country, schools have reopened and teachers, students, and communities are struggling with upticks in COVID-19 cases and trying to prevent outbreaks. A coalition of unions, parents, and students hosted a second National Day of Resistance, Wednesday, September 30, to demand safe and equitable instruction and police-free schools. Find out more at demandsafeschools.org.
WEBINAR: Mapping the Common Good: Lessons for Building BCG Campaigns. This webinar features a panel of on-the-ground common good organizers sharing insight for igniting powerful common good campaigns. Click here to watch.
Welcoming Afua Atta-Mensah to BCG Advisory Committee: Afua Atta-Mensah is the Executive Director of Community Voices Heard (CVH). CVH is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure racial, social and economic justice for all. View the BCG Advisory Committee.
Mapping the Common Good: On May Day 2020, BCG launched a new interactive map tool that will allow unions, community groups, and activists to plan for upcoming contract negotiations and work together to build common good demands. This tool has information on over 5,000 contracts (affecting over 3 million people) nationally and is growing every day. Read more at the Forge: Organizing and Strategy.
WEBINAR: On Monday, April 20, 2020 the Bargaining for the Common Good network, SEIU Local 26, and The Leap came together to discuss the first union strike over climate issues that was led by 4000 janitors and community groups in Minnesota. Moderated by Javier Morillo, CIWO Fellow and former President of SEIU Local 26. #BargainClimateJustice Click here to watch the webinar!
- The Forge Special Issue: Bargaining for the Common Good: CIWO and our partners in the BCG Network are thrilled to announce a new issue of The Forge: Organizing Strategy and Practice -- Bargaining for the Common Good: Organizing in the Coronavirus Era and Beyond. This special issue, authored by many members of the BCG Advisory Committee, includes pieces by CIWO's Marilyn Sneiderman, Sheri Davis, and Todd Vachon. We are so excited to be sharing this work with you, especially at such a critical moment for social, racial, and economic justice. Read more & access links here.
- Bargaining for the Common Good: Climate Justice Convening – March 31-April 1, 2020
The Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University (KI), and the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers (CIWO) hosted the virtual the Bargaining for the Common Good: Climate Justice Convening on March 31—April 1, 2020. Click here to watch the opening session featuring Naomi Klein, Judith LeBlanc and Saqib Bhatti.
Hundreds of environmental, climate, and labor leaders and activists from around the country gathered virtually to discuss how unions and community can come together to bargain for climate and environmental justice. The virtual convening featured activists from across the U.S. and abroad, sharing the challenges and successes of Bargaining for the Common Good campaigns as well as information about the current climate and environmental crises communities are grappling with, and the global public health crisis we are all experiencing due to COVID-19.
- Watch the BCG Webinar: Chicago Teachers’ Strike for the City Our Students Deserve, moderated by Marilyn Sneiderman, CIWO Executive Director, Thursday, March 5, 2020.
- This webinar featured Chicago Teachers' Union Vice President Stacy Davis-Gates, Grassroots Collaborative Executive Director, Amisha Patel (both members of the BCG Advisory Committee) who lead a discussion with union members, students and teachers around the strike and the organizing that led to a victory for Chicago’s most vulnerable students and families.
National Convening: Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education
In November 2019, over 75 representatives from higher education unions across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Bargaining for the Common Good Higher Education Convening. The convening was jointly hosted by Rutgers CIWO, ACRE, and Georgetown Kalmanovitz Institute. Read more.
SEIU Leader on Joining Together to Bargain in Higher Education
Malini Cadambi Daniel, Higher Education Director at SEIU and a member of the BCG Advisory Committee, wrote a blog post about her experience at the BCG Higher Ed gathering from a union leaders' perspective. Read more.
BCG Advisory Committee
The Bargaining for the Common Good Advisory Committee, a new national advisory group composed of key union, community and racial justice leaders to help guide and support the BCG network, was recently announced. Read more
BCG UTLA Webinar - Click here to watch!
Almost 200 union and community activists from across the country joined a webinar on February 22, 2019, to learn from the successes of the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) and their community partners with their multi-year campaign and 6-stay strike. Read more
Bargaining for the Common Good – Higher Education (2019)
The labor movement is alive and well on college campuses! In November 2019, over 75 representatives from higher education unions across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) Higher Education Convening. The convening was jointly hosted by Rutgers CIWO, ACRE, and Georgetown Kalmanovitz Institute. CIWO’s Marilyn Sneiderman and Legna Cabrera facilitated sessions alongside other leaders in the BCG network. “CIWO is excited to partner with unions, community and racial justice groups to build a movement to transform bargaining into cutting edge Bargaining for the Common Good!” -- Marilyn Sneiderman, CIWO Executive Director. Learn more about this event.
Bargaining for the Common Good – Housing Justice
Over 200 organizers and activists from labor unions, housing justice organizations, worker centers and community organizing groups from across the country gathered in Chicago on July 28-30, 2019 to learn from the latest research and discuss important solutions to the nationwide housing crisis. The Bargaining for the Common Good (BCG) Housing Justice convening was a joint effort of CIWO, the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor (KI) at Georgetown University. BCG activities were held at the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas. Learn more about this event.
Bargaining for the Common Good – Higher Education
In late February 2018, the ‘Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education Convening” brought together over 200 labor, community and racial justice leaders representing 50 campuses across the country to strategize about common good bargaining and organizing. The convening included sessions about the theory and strategy of how to build the power to win and transform our campaigns into broader community fights, and how to wage inspiring common good campaigns that connect workers more deeply to their union and increase membership in preparation for the Janus Decision. Cohorts of union, community, and student leaders discussed a shared vision for building long-term community-labor partnerships that can fight for common good demands. Learn more about this event.
Bargaining for the Common Good – Racial Justice
More than 120 participants from national and local labor unions as well as racial and social justice community organizations gathered during March 29-31, 2017 at the Tommy Douglas Center in Silver Spring, MD. The convening was hosted by a steering committee of representatives from labor and community organizations, including Rutgers School of Management Labor Relations’ Center for Innovation in Worker Organization, the Action Center on Race and the Economy, and Georgetown’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Learn more about this event.
Going on Offense During Challenging Times
CIWO Executive Director Marilyn Sneiderman, together with Secky Fascione, Organizing Director of the National Education Association, co-wrote Going on Offense During Challenging Times, published by New Labor Forum (January 2018) explaining that, "Bargaining for Common Good aims to avoid transactional relationships between community and labor by building lasting alignments between unions and community groups, not merely temporary alliances of convenience. When unions and their community allies develop strategy, demands, and actions together from the beginning of a campaign, the results can be impressive." Read more here.
Additional BCG Articles
- Before the Chalk Dust Settles: Building on the 2018 Teachers’ Mobilization by Maurice BP-Weeks, Stephen Lerner, Joseph A. McCartin, and Marilyn Sneiderman
- NeaToday: Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education by Mary Ellen Flannery
- Why Labor and the Movement for Racial Justice Should Work Together by Maurice Weeks and Marilyn Sneiderman
- Bargaining for the Common Good by Joe McCartin
- How to Build at 21st Century Labor Movement: Confront White Supremacy by Erica Smiley
- How We're Setting Our Contract Bargaining Tables to Advance Racial Justice by Luster Howard, Maricruz Manzanarez, and Seth Newton Patel
- Teacher-Community Unionism: A Lesson from St. Paul by Mary Cathryn Ricker
- Opportunities Found and Lost: Labor, Radicals and the Early Civil Rights Movement by Robert Korstad and Nelson Lichtenstein
BCG Videos from the Field
- Video: Center for Race and Equity by the Seattle Education Education Association
- Video: From Our Schools to the Streets: Justice for Philando Castile by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers
- Video: Bargaining for the Common Good - the Sacramento Teachers Association by the National Education Association
- Video: Fix LA March on City Hall - Our Streets Not Wall Street by the Fix La Coalition
- Video: City of LA in Crisis by the Fix LA Coalition
- Hotel Worker Pact in New Jersey Features Novel Benefits - April 16, 2018
- Workshop: Bargaining for the Common Good: Going on the Offensive in Troubled Times - June 3, 2017
- Bargaining for the Common Good - Racial Justice - March 29-31, 2017
- Forum on ‘Bargaining for the Common Good: Lessons from L.A. and Beyond' - July 13, 2016
- Bargaining for The Common Good Convening with NEA and NJEA - May 21-22, 2016
- Corporate Social Responsibility - October 27-29, 2014