California District Council 57

Council Director

Oakland, CA


Council 57 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees is seeking an accomplished leader to assume the position of Council Director. The right candidate will have a well-developed organizing perspective with a record of leading staff as they help build powerful member-led organizations.

Established in 1963, AFSCME District Council 57 is a progressive labor organization dedicated to providing professional service, resources and training to develop, empower, unify, guide and support the work and responsibilities of 22 affiliated local unions. Council 57 represents approximately 26,000 workers employed in a wide variety of positions, primarily in state and local government. Our members work as administrative support personnel, health, mental health, and social service professional and technical employees, in transit, maintenance, utility and parks jobs as well as superior court and classified school positions. We also have members employed by private hospital, health and transportation agencies.

The AFSCME Council 57 Director is the Chief Executive officer who leads a staff of 38 employees, and is responsible for managing a budget that exceeds seven million dollars. The Council Director is directly responsible to the 14 member Executive Board who sets policy. The Council Director is charged with adeptly advising the Executive Board, managing the Council’s operation and skillfully representing the long-term vision and strategic direction of the Council guided by the District 57 Constitution and Bylaws, and Delegate Assembly.

The Council Director’s responsibilities include:

  • Institutional Leadership – exercising inclusive and decisive leadership to advance the mission and vision of AFSCME Council 57 and the American Federation of State Local and Municipal Employees
  • Long Range Planning – maintaining focus on the strategic goals and priorities established by a systematic strategic planning processes, and successful implementation of the plan in a rapidly changing environment
  • Stewardship of Financial Resources – providing oversight and necessary due diligence to ensure the financial health of the Council.
  • Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability – maintaining focus on continuous improvements and assessment to insure effectiveness and efficiency of Council 57 programs and services
  • Public Policy Advocacy – serving as a key player in championing pro-worker public policies in California, working with coalition allies and key stakeholders
  • Staff Relations – supporting high standards for work on behalf of Council 57 locals and their members, and building effective, collaborative relationships with the Council staff and its staff unions



  1. Council 57 is committed to a culture of organizing where members are engaged and mobilized in the interest of demonstrating the relevance and value of union membership
  2. Council 57 has set ambitious internal organizing goals through its AFSCME STRONG initiative and has made excellent strides in engaging members in signing up fee payers and new political activists
  3. Threats from the right wing have sparked renewed activism among Council members
  4. Council 57 has made good strides in its use of social media in engaging more members in the work of the union - it seeks to build this capacity
  5. Issues like the rising cost of housing and health care in California are immediate opportunities for Council 57 to engage with coalition partners to address these pressing needs faced by our members
  6. Renewed activism, inspired in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, has strengthened alliances between Council 57and community partners fighting for social justice
  7. Council 57 has recently completed a comprehensive strategic planning process that has identified goals for growth through organizing and political activism and has identified internal needs to support the goals of the strategic plan


  1. Council 57 locals and members are spread out over a large geographic area. This is a very diverse membership both culturally and occupationally
  2. At times the competing interests between local unions, executive board members and staff makes the need for increased collaboration and prioritization essential
  3. Improvements in management accountability and reporting systems are needed to ensure consistency and effectiveness in the work of the Council; clarification of reasonable expectations for staff work is needed
  4. Council 57 seeks to improve its organizational effectiveness through innovations that balance the organizing and representational needs of its members
  5. There is a need to anticipate local staff needs, provide training and mentoring of new staff and for additional staff development and mentoring generally, particularly as experienced staff are retiring.
  6. The persistent war on labor by right-to-work forces and attacks on California public employee pensions require constant vigilance and creative responses


  1. A leader with vision and integrity with a record of dedication to union goals and values
  2. A record of accomplishment in all aspects of labor advocacy including collective bargaining, organizing, representation and political action
  3. Experience working with a union executive board. Flexible, can offer advice and options, yet follows policy & direction given by the board
  4. A creative problem solver who is decisive but flexible with strong follow through
  5. A confident manager who can delegate and avoid micromanaging
  6. An individual who is accessible, open, collaborative, inclusive, and is committed to empowering members through collective action
  7. A leader who has succeeded in building coalitions with labor and community partners
  8. A proven manager with administrative and management skills (including personnel, organizational, budgeting and fiscal management)
  9. A leader who has mentored and guided staff and members to be effective in organizing and leadership development work
  10. A leader who is a skilled communicator, is calm under fire, and can accept all types of feedback
  11. A leader who has successfully facilitated conflict resolution and consensus


  • At least 10 years of combined representational and organizing experience (internal and external) in the labor movement, or employee advocacy groups
  • A record of leadership experience in positions of increasing responsibility in a labor organization including work in a management position for 3 years


  • Bachelor’s Degree or any combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent; Graduate degree preferred

AFSCME Council 57 is prepared to offer a generous and competitive salary, defined benefit pension plan, and benefits package consistent with experience, skills and demonstrated abilities

The Application
To apply, please submit two (2) separate documents:

  • A letter of application that addresses the opportunities and challenges identified in this recruiting announcement as well as how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to serve the needs of AFSCME Council 57 (not to exceed three pages)
  • A current resume including an e-mail address and contact phone number along with links to job-relevant professional social media listings for example Linkedin

Send the above documents by email only to:

Margolies and Potterton, AFSCME Council 57 Search Consultants
Jim Potterton: jpotterton@sbcglobal.net

For additional information, nominations, or confidential inquiries, please contact:

Jim Potterton in California @ (831) 332-9324, jpotterton@sbcglobal.net
or Ken Margolies in New York @ (845) 499-6636, kam47@cornell.edu

Deadline for Applications: Friday, January 27, 2017, 5:00 PM Pacific Time.


AFSCME Council 57 is deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. We are an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. Women and people of color are encouraged to apply.

To protect the integrity of this search and selection process we require that all prospective Council Director candidates and their advocates refrain from contacting members of the District 57 leadership about this position. Any questions or concerns about the process should be directed to the Search Consultants listed above.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.