Press Release

Appalachian Voices announces first collective bargaining agreement with Appalachian Voices Workers Union

Jan. 4, 2024

Molly Moore, Director of Program Communications,, (828) 278-4076

BOONE, N.C. — Today Appalachian Voices and Appalachian Voices Workers Union, a unit of the Progressive Workers Union, each announced their inaugural collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was ratified on Dec. 20, 2023.

“We’re proud to implement a union contract that reflects our shared values,” said Appalachian Voices Executive Director Tom Cormons. “Throughout the bargaining process, we have been guided by our shared mission, our experiences as employees, and our shared commitment to Appalachian Voices as a sustainable organization that centers diversity, equity and inclusion and fosters an environment where all employees can thrive. The resulting contract makes us an even stronger organization.”

Appalachian Voices employees voted in June 2021 to unionize, with management voluntarily recognizing the union shortly thereafter. Management and union representatives chose to engage in an interest-based bargaining process, a collaborative approach that emphasizes problem-solving and allows both sides to share their interests and perspectives on a given topic. Bargaining began in spring of 2023.

As the bargaining teams worked through the various issues addressed in the collective bargaining agreement, the process focused on identifying common interests and mutually beneficial solutions based on shared values. These core values are the sustainability and thriving of Appalachian Voices as an organization impactfully advancing its vital, mission-driven work; a commitment to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and ensuring those principles are a foundation of the organizational culture; and a deep appreciation of the importance of the employee experience.

Key aspects of the collective bargaining agreement include increased vacation, health, holiday and parental leave and increases in wages including establishment of salary floors for all union positions and guaranteed cost-of-living adjustments, weighted to provide a greater increase for employees at lower salary levels.

“As an organization dedicated to protecting the land, air and water of our region and ensuring our communities can thrive, we’re committed to providing a workplace that supports our team members and their families,” said Appalachian Voices Deputy Executive Director Kate Boyle. “Appalachia has a long and proud union history, and we are glad to be a part of it.”


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