Teamsters 856 Members at Rainbow Community Center Unanimously Ratify First Union Contract

On Wednesday, March 22, the workers at Rainbow Community Center ratified their first union contract, which included wage increases and improved benefits for the entire unit.  

“It feels absolutely incredible,” said Rae Messer, Association Clinician and Trainer at Rainbow Community Center. “After ratification, I couldn’t stop singing the whole way home.”

“The power of worker solidarity is in full display,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters 856 Secretary-Treasurer. “Our Rainbow Community Center members stood united throughout negotiations and never lost sight of the goal: a strong Teamster contract.”

The new contract provides a realignment of wages to reflect years of service, living-wage increases, just cause protections, and a grievance procedure for job security. 

“These members serve some of our most marginalized groups,” said Corey Hallman, Teamsters 856 Union Representative. “Their work directly improves the lives of countless members of the LGBTQIA+ community. We are so proud of their achievement and welcome them to the Teamsters.”

The unanimous ratification of the new contract has excited the new members, who are now looking forward to being more involved in the Teamsters.

“Workers, including LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC non-profit and mental health workers, deserve to have a sense of job security, equitable and livable wages, good benefits, a voice at their workplace, and joy,” said Messer. 

Rainbow Community Center Teamsters provide vital services to the LGBTQIA+ community in Contra Costa County, including mental health clinical services, food pantries, HIV support, youth, adult and senior programs, and transitional programs for the houseless.

Founded in 1949, Teamsters Local 856 represents over 17,000 hard working members in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento, and Central Valley communities in Northern California.