June 13, 2024 by Sydney Avitia Jacques

The Southern Maine Workers’ Center is hiring an organizer to join our staff collective!

What is SMWC?

The Southern Maine Workers’ Center is a member-led organization with the mission to create a worker-led movement that improves the lives, working conditions, and terms of employment for Maine workers. We promote worker justice through a combination of anti-racist political education, organizing, and advocacy. We are organizers first and foremost, and we follow a base building and transformative organizing model that goes an inch-wide and a mile-deep with our members. This is because our key focus is on leadership development, and developing those with lived expertise navigating the systems of oppression into even more effective agents of systems change. Because these same leaders bear the brunt of state violence in all its forms, we deeply value inputting joy and rest into our resistance practices.

Throughout our history we have envisioned and fought for systems change through the creation of paid sick days, dental care, paid family leave, and universal health care. Since the early days of the pandemic, we have been crafting a new fight that will represent our history as we prepare for an uncertain and unsustainable future. Our focus today is on workers in the care economy – all the workers who’s labor power is essential to feed, clothe, heal, and care for our communities.

What is a staff collective?

The Workers’ Center is run primarily by a core group of dedicated volunteers with the support of staff to coordinate our programs and develop the leadership of our members. We envision our three-person staff collective as a microcosm of the movement ecosystem, where our different areas of strength come together in a powerful harmony. Just as the movement we are building has a role for everyone, our staff remains flexible to work with and augment the gifts that each worker brings to us through their unique lived experiences. We embrace constructive feedback and conflict alongside rest, joy, laughter, and beautiful trouble. Read more about what this looks like at our How We Work page.

Organizer Job Description


After assessing our current team, we feel particularly excited to synergize with someone who is creative, intuitive, grounded, and detail-oriented. We expect many of the proposed job responsibilities to grow and change over the first year of work. We do not expect applicants to bring experience across all areas of our work. Rather, we are excited to receive applications from those with one or more of the following capabilities or experiences:

  • Experience in the fields of humanities and care including: caregivers, storytellers, healers, teachers, artists, and frontline responders. 
  • Experience planning or facilitating community events such as meals, meetings, celebrations, conversations, dances, etc.
  • Experience mobilizing resources through grassroots fundraising, relationship building with foundations, or donor engagement.
  • Lived experience navigating poverty, working class struggle, racial difference, colorism, immigration, colonization, disability, queerness, or other forms of oppression & difference. 
  • Organizing experience canvassing neighborhoods, organizing workers at their workplace, or advancing racial and economic justice campaigns.
  • Language skills beyond English proficiency, particularly in Spanish, Portuguese, or French.
  • Roots within Maine’s working class communities, such as Portland’s Bayside/West Bayside neighborhoods, rural Maine, or Lewiston’s tree streets.


  • Recruit new members to build the political power of local poor + working class communities via grassroots actions, community events, community outreach, digital outreach, phone banks, 1:1s, and campaign activities.
  • Create space for members to bring their full selves to the work. Help to maintain an infrastructure of care within SMWC that responds to the structural violence of our economy, offers support, and builds community between diverse oppressed workers.
  • Work with member leaders and other staff to coordinate admin and program committee meetings through agenda creation, facilitation, meeting turn out, and follow ups.
  • Support the growth and stability of SMWC’s membership by participating in dues drives and membership orientations.
  • Participate in peer-peer support on a diverse team of staff organizers through individual and group meetings, regular communication, shadowing, coaching, and intentional feedback.
  • Support data management for committees (inputting new contacts into the database, organizing volunteers for data entry, etc).
  • Prioritize sustainability over the long haul and guard against burnout by restoring and regenerating labor power via regular rest and breaks, maintaining an intentional pace and workflow, and not working more than 32 hours/week.
  • Depending on interest, location, & ability:
    • Foundation relationship building, grant writing, and donor organizing
    • Provide guidance to ensure SMWC campaigns (and strategies and tactics) are on track to advance social, racial, and economic change.
    • Bookkeeping & budgeting support
    • Coordinating administrative office operations
    • Support members taking leadership and contributing to storytelling over our social media channels and other communications.

Workplace culture + benefits

Work schedule & location: SMWC staff often work later into the evening or on weekends for meetings & events. SMWC is a 75% work from home organization that hosts regular in-person committee meetings at our office. Our regular member meetings are hybrid, hosted at our office in Portland, Maine with a Zoom option. Staff attend in-person whenever possible. Our special in-person events are primarily in Portland, and sometimes in Lewiston or other nearby towns.  

Our team-approach to working together means there’s support around larger efforts whenever we’re doing something hard, and we’re united together to celebrate our collective successes and wins. This position will be onboarded to the staff team as an equal co-partner alongside Syd and Ronny, who currently anchor SMWC’s Political Education and Work With Dignity committees.

This salaried position will start at the same rate as everyone on staff, which is currently $54,600 per year and will increase each July based on cost of living increases. Paid time off includes 20 vacation days and 10 sick days annually, plus holidays including a full week of office closure between December 24 and the first week of January each year. We work 4 days a week (32 hours). This position comes with health insurance via Community Health Options, dental & vision insurance via Delta Dental, and an annual wellness stipend. We also offer paid family leave, paid bereavement leave, a 4-month parental leave policy, and a sabbatical fund.

How to Apply

Please send a resume and a cover letter to We’d love to read cover letters no longer than 500 words, describing your interest in working for SMWC and the strengths you will bring to our work. 

We plan to conduct interviews in two rounds, with an initial 30-minute phone interview from members of our Personnel Committee to be followed by a round-table interview with SMWC members and staff. We may make additional requests for short in-person 1:1s to more deeply acquaint ourselves with final-round applicants.
We are happy to show flexibility to work with the right person! At the same time, we’re motivated to fill and start this position as soon as possible. We hope to receive all applications by July 14th and seek to hire and have this position start by August 12th. If you think you’d be a good fit for this position but need to start sooner or later than that, please let us know!