For the past ten years, Kickstarter’s employees have served creators and their communities in a mission to bring creative projects to life. Today, the people who deliver on Kickstarter's mission stand united — we are ready to invest in our future at the workplace we love with the creation of Kickstarter United. That’s why we’re unionizing with OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) Local 153. Through collective bargaining and a contract, we will achieve our mission: protecting and empowering each and every employee at Kickstarter.

In 2015, Kickstarter re-incorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation. This decision radically reinvisioned the company’s business model and offered a new path forward. In doing so, Kickstarter recognized that our responsibility extends well beyond shareholders.

In Kickstarter’s words, our PBC “hard-codes [Kickstarter’s mission] at the deepest level possible to guide us, and future leaders of Kickstarter.” United, we take our seat among those leaders and take the steps necessary to guarantee our lasting impact on creators and communities alike.

This is a goal that we all share; every employee works to safeguard and enrich Kickstarter’s charter commitments to creativity, equity, and a positive impact on society. All of our voices help protect what’s great about Kickstarter and improve what isn’t. That’s why our union’s focus is on all the people who build Kickstarter.

Unionizing offers all of us rights in the workplace for the very first time. This is central to achieving our mission: protecting and empowering each and every employee at Kickstarter so that we can do our work to its fullest and continue to deliver a lasting impact.

Our union hard-codes our shared values into everything that we do: inclusion and solidarity, transparency and accountability; a seat at the table. Together, we turn toward collective bargaining in order to deliver on these values, win rights at the workplace, and preserve them.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Equitable compensation across all positions, creating equal pay for equal work.
  • Diversity and inclusion in hiring, professional growth, and product.
  • A fair and transparent process when disciplinary action is taken; due process for all.
  • Consistent reviews built on clear job expectations and objective performance metrics.
  • Clearly defined and consistently implemented policies that are applied equally to everyone.
  • Policies that prioritize employee wellness, safety, and mental health.
  • The preservation of a company culture that fosters a sense of community in the workplace.
  • The proactive inclusion of employees in company-wide decisions that affect us all.

Kickstarter is an idea and an institution whose success in the service of creators and their communities is made possible by all of us. These are the basics we need in order to do that work, and these basics should be guaranteed by a contract. In our next decade, we believe Kickstarter’s mission will be more important than ever. As we deliver on that mission, it’s time to protect the progress we’ve made together and create the long-lasting workplace we all deserve.

Kickstarter has a clear path toward future success, and it begins with us standing united.

FAQs

01) What is OPEIU?

OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union) is a labor union with a focus on organizing office workers and other professional laborers. Kickstarter is organizing with OPEIU Local 153, which operates in the NY/NJ/CT tri-state area.

02) What are the workplace improvements Kickstarter United is seeking?

Kickstarter United will be made up of all employees in the bargaining unit and, as such, we will work together once the union is ratified to propose improvements that are decided upon together. That said, these values will be among the terms we will seek to solidify in a strong union contract:

  • Equitable compensation across all positions, creating equal pay for equal work.
  • Diversity and inclusion in hiring, professional growth, and product development.
  • A fair and transparent process when disciplinary action is taken; due process for all.
  • Consistent reviews built on clear job expectations and objective performance metrics.
  • Clearly defined and consistently implemented policies that are applied equally to everyone.
  • Policies that prioritize employee wellness, safety, and mental health.
  • The preservation of a company culture that fosters a sense of community in the workplace.
  • The proactive inclusion of employees in company-wide decisions that affect us all.
03) How does an NLRB election work?

An NLRB election is a process used to determine whether a majority of employees wish to be represented by a union.

In order to conduct an election, 30% of eligible employees must sign a petition (or a union card) expressing interest in forming a union.

A secret ballot election is conducted by the NLRB at the workplace once a bargaining unit has been agreed to.

04) Who is eligible to vote?

See the Notice of Election (posted on the KSR bulletin board and emailed to all employees) for a list of eligible job titles, and all details related to election timing and location.

05) Where are we voting?

On-site voting will take place at the Kickstarter office. Eligible US-based remote employees will be able to cast their ballots by mail.

06) When are mail ballots due back?

Mail ballots must be received by the Region 29 labor board no later than three weeks from the date of the election.

07) What if I’m out sick or on FMLA or PTO on the day of the election? Are there absentee ballots?

No. The National Labor Relations Board does not allow absentee voting under any circumstances. If you are not a full-time remote employee, you must show up in person to cast your ballot. 

08) Who will oversee the election?

The National Labor Relations Board will conduct this secret ballot election. Both Kickstarter United and SOT will each select one non-supervisory, non-managerial employee to observe the election alongside the NLRB.

09) How many votes does it take to officially form a union?

It takes a majority (50% +1 vote) of those who vote to win our election.

10) What happens next if the vote passes? How do contract negotiations work?

If the vote passes, we will have won the right to negotiate a legally binding contract that secures our rights at work. The first step in that process is that all members of the bargaining unit will elect a bargaining committee and commence contract negotiations. That committee, with the help of a seasoned representative from OPEIU, will work with SOT to negotiate a contract, soliciting and incorporating feedback from union members throughout the process.

Once KSRU and SOT come to an agreement, every member of the bargaining unit will have the opportunity to vote on the contract. Only then—when the contract is finalized, voted on, and ratified—will the bargaining unit begin to pay dues. The average length of a union employment contract is around three years.

11) What are union dues, and how much are they?

Dues are $48.50 per month. No one will pay anything until after the final contract is voted on by the bargaining unit and signed.

Union dues ensure that all members have the resources to negotiate strong contracts and have access to legal support. Local unions rely on union dues to represent members and handle any issues that arise.

12) Are there legal repercussions to organizing a union?

When organizing a union, employees are protected under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA).

https://www.nlrb.gov/how-we-work/national-labor-relations-act

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