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Eye On Boise

Idaho Democratic Party staff votes to unionize, picks IBEW as its bargaining rep

The Idaho Democratic Party’s staff has voted to unionize, authorizing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 291 (IBEW) as the collective bargaining representative for four of its six employees. The only staffers who won’t be in the new bargaining unit are the executive director and one part-time staffer.

“Although it creates some challenges, I am pleased our staff has decided to unionize,” said Bert Marley, state party chairman. “We believe that every Idahoan deserves a real chance to achieve the American dream, and this means allowing workers to organize, bargain collectively, and earn livable wages. Our staff is setting an example of what it means to ‘walk the talk’ for other state parties and progressive organizations around the country.”

Mark Zaleski, business manager for IBEW Local 291, said he believes this is the first state political party staff in the United States to unionize. “We’re excited to represent them,” he said. “This is a huge milestone for the IBEW and the IDP.”

The party and the union now will begin work on negotiating a contract.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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