Disability Rights Advocates Finalizes Its First Collective Bargaining Agreement!

DRA logo + Engineers and Scientists of California Local 20 logo + "Disability Rights Advocates Finalizes Its First Collective Bargaining Agreement!"
DRA logo + Engineers and Scientists of California Local 20 logo + “Disability Rights Advocates Finalizes Its First Collective Bargaining Agreement!”

In October of 2023, in Disability Rights Advocates’ (DRA’s) 30th anniversary year, DRA finalized the organization’s first collective bargaining agreement—a proud milestone for everyone across the organization. Throughout nearly three years of detailed negotiations, staff members and management team members came together to strengthen a culture of transparency, equity, and inclusion.

“As a disability rights organization, with a disabled CEO, that is proud to support disabled employees, it was important to me that we create a new model for our workers that hopefully sets a precedent for other organizations to follow.  We believe that when we invest in our employees, the impact is exponential: benefiting our clients, our partners, our donors, and hopefully the broader legal advocacy and disability rights fields,” said President & CEO, Rebecca Williford.  

DRA’s staff unanimously ratified this agreement, which includes robust, transparent compensation scales (prioritizing increases for the lowest-paid employees), flexible working conditions (including options to work remotely, hybrid, or in-office), sabbaticals for employees who have worked at DRA for 6 years, and 20 weeks of job-protected medical and disability leave. 

DRA senior staff attorney and negotiating team member Meredith Weaver reflected, “While the process was not always easy, DRA’s attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff members are excited to have a contract that supports all of DRA’s workers and sets a firm foundation for our future as an organization. We are particularly proud that this first CBA includes so many of the sorts of disability-friendly workplace policies–including proactive accommodations procedures, flexible work options, and generous leave–that, as advocates, we want to see replicated everywhere.”  

DRA is one of many nonprofit organizations that have embraced a labor Union to further their missions. DRA’s mission is to advance the rights, inclusion, and equity of people with disabilities, and the organization’s stakeholders look forward to the collaborative journey ahead. Read DRA’s collective bargaining agreement.