We are an organization that fights every day to improve the lives of public workers across our state. Our immediate goals are better wages, working conditions and protection from unfair treatment. Our long-term goal is collective bargaining rights for public workers.

UE Local 170, West Virginia Public Workers Union, is a member-run organization made up of over a thousand state workers. We are public workers at the state hospitals, Division of Highways, Department of Health and Human Resources, Parkways, Capitol Complex and many other state agencies.
Our members are organizing at over 130 workplaces across the state. With every new member, our fight for better jobs and conditions for public workers gets stronger.
UE Local 170 is a member-run organization. Members form local union chapters which unite workers in your workplace or area to address common issues. Members elect chapter officers and stewards to meet with management on issues which concern you.
Members in each chapter also have a representative on the UE Local 170 state executive committee, which coordinates the union’s overall work. Each year chapters send delegates to a s t a t e w i d e convention to elect state officers and set union policies. The members vote on what the union’s priorities will be and how union monies will be spent.
We are also part of UE, a national union that provides us with staff, research, legal, educational and strategic planning assistance. Our local elected representation at the regional and national levels of UE plays an important leadership role in the national organization. The UE is an independent, democratic union representing 35,000 workers. UE Members are united in their fight for improving the lives of working people.

UE members come from all walks of life and include office workers, bus drivers, university and college workers, factory workers, social workers, health care workers, and many other occupations. The UE's slogan is "The Members Run This Union."


In 2007 when then-Governor Joe Manchin proposed a small, one-time bonus for state workers instead of an actual cost of living wage increase, UE Local 170 members responded by organizing our first Presidents’ Day Rally under the “Gold Dome” at the State Capitol. As the result of our collective action, state workers received a three-and-a-half percent wage increase. In the months after the rally, hundreds of state workers joined and began organizing UE Local 170.
Later that year, our members held our founding statewide convention and elected statewide officers and adopted a constitution and action plans to advance the interests of state workers.


UE Local 170 has grown to become the largest non-teaching public workers union in West Virginia. UE Local 170 is leading the fight for safe and healthy workplaces, meaningful caseload standards and against state privatization efforts, among other issues. We are fighting to defend state workers’ basic democratic rights at work and to expand workplace protections. We are also active on national issues through our affiliation with UE, a national union recently named “America’s Most Valuable Union” by The Nation Magazine.


  • Grievance victories. Rehiring and back pay for workers unjustly fired, inaccurate evaluations corrected, unjust suspensions removed, planned disciplinary actions reversed, pay adjustments won, and more.
  • Pay increases won through collective action at the legislature and through reclassification grievance settlements.
  • Job security gains made by defeating the unpaid furlough bill and fighting for improved staffing levels at state hospitals and other state agencies.
  • Legislative victories. Defeat of a bill to exempt classification changes from being grieved. Legislative study of WV OSHA approved.
  • Expansion of worker rights and protections. Prohibition of workplace meetings and literature distribution lifted at the state hospitals. Expansion of workers’ right to representation.