Just as the Land Stewardship Project is committed to gender, racial, and economic equity in our bodies of work, we are working to combat issues of inequity in the workplace as well. Making sure staff, volunteers, and member-leaders feel valued and supported is not only how we live out the values we hold, but also how we make sure that we are doing our best, most sustainable work.
Here are some examples of what this work looks like:
• In 2017, LSP developed a Gender Equity Team, a committee made up of several board and staff members. Acknowledging that LSP has the opportunity to demonstrate on-the-ground what gender equity looks like and what it can mean for all of us, the team has led the implementation of:
– Gender-based staff caucuses to provide space for staff both to process and do anti-oppression work.
– Standardized procedures that address sexual harassment within LSP’s environment.
• In 2020, LSP implemented a pay equity initiative that standardized a salary schedule across the organization and resolved gender and age pay disparities.
• LSP offers six weeks of paid parental leave, flexible scheduling, and COVID-specific time off.
• Knowing that lack of access to broadband internet in rural areas can make online work difficult, LSP assists staff with hotspot setups and other technology needs.
It’s easy to want to focus on highly visible work that excites and mobilizes people. But that work is most effective when there are strong internal and technological systems supporting staff and members across the organization.
For LSP, this means investing in things like:
• Robust personnel and administrative practices to support staff.
• Technology upgrades that enable more effective communication and organizing across the region.
• Time and space for staff to connect with and learn from each other and with other organizations to foster cross-organizational and allied work.
• Developing project and data tracking systems that allow for effective collaboration.
Land Stewardship Project staff, like many nonprofit staff around the country, have chosen to form a union. In the fall of 2021, LSP’s board and management announced that they fully support staff members’ right to unionize and recognized the Land Stewardship Workers Union, which is part of Local 12 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU).