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Constitutional Amendments

and Resolutions Adopted at

the 2008 SEIU Convention

Table of Contents
Resolution Number Resolution Name

101 Building Our Strength Through Lifelong Unionism and a Secure Retirement 4
102a Building Workers’ Strength with Comprehensive Immigration Reform 6
103b Iraq and the Economy 8
104 Jobs and the Environment 10
105b Justice for All: Reforming our National Healthcare System 12
106a Quality Public Education for All 16
107 Rebuilding the Middle Class 18
108b Secure Retirement for Workers in the 21st Century 20
109 Valuing All Families 22
110 Workers Rights in Burma 23
115a Solidarity w/Latin America and the Caribbean 24
116a Uniting All labor 25
117 Prevent Offshoring of Civil Service Jobs 26
118 Role of Nurses in Policy Making 27
119a Good Union Jobs for persons with Disabilities 29
120 Fighting Hunger and Promoting Health and Wellness for America’s Children 31
121 Puerto Rico’s Workers - Leading the Way to a Brighter Future 32
122 Campaign for the New American Dream Resolution 34
123 Unity Resolution 36
201 Building Our Political Strength to Change Workers’ Lives 37
202 Community Strength to Improve Workers’ Lives 40
203 Justice for All: Final Implementing Resolution 42
204a Member Action and Leadership to Win for Working People 44
205a Uniting Working People to Change our Lives 47
206a Unify All Long Term Care Workers in the Same 61
Local Union in Every State in the United States 64
300a SEIU Mission Statement 67
301 Article I: Name 68
302 Article Ii: Objects And Purposes 70
303 Article Iv, Section 7(B): Convention Representation 71
304 Article Iv, Sections 8 & 9: Convention Representation 72
305 Article Iv, Section 12: Convention Representation 73
306 Article V, Sections 3 & 4: Election Of Officers 74
307 Article Vi, Section 1: Officers 75
308 Article Viii, Section 1(F): International President - Duties And Powers 76
309 Article Viii, Section 1(G): International President - Duties And Powers 77
310 Article Xi, Section 1: Duties Of The International Executive Board 78
311 Article Xiii, Section 1(A): Revenue 79
312 Article Xiii, Section 1(C): Revenue 81
313 Article Xiii, Sections 3 And 5(B): Revenue 82
314a Article Xv, Sections 6(B) Through 6(F): Dues Provisions 84
315 Article Xv, Section 7(A): Dues Provisions 85
316 Article Xv, Section 16: Duties Of Local Unions 86
317 Article Xv, Section 18: Duties Of Local Unions 87
318 Article XVII, Section 1(7): Trials And Appeals 88
319 Article XX, Section 5(a): Pension Fund For Officers
And Employees Of Local Unions And Affiliated Bodies 90
320 Article XXV: Dissolution 91
330b Article XV, Section 17: Duties of Local Unions 92
330c Article XVII, Section 1(8): Trials and Appeals 94

Resolution # 101 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Building Our Strength Through Lifelong

Unionism and a Secure Retirement

Members of our union today stand on the shoulders of our retired members who fought for the rights and living
standards we enjoy. Now, it is crucial that we encourage lifelong unionism and make sure that retiring from
the job does not mean retiring from the union. Retirees have vital experience and talent to contribute and can
play an important role in supporting our campaigns to build workers’ strength in our key industries and sectors.
They help make the difference in winning legislative and political campaigns, in voter registration and get-
out-the-vote drives, and in raising political action funds. They also are important in reaching out to community
allies and building the strength and resources of our local unions.

Retirees also can be great assets in building national strength by helping workers organize to join us in the
South and Southwest, where many union retirees have relocated.

In addition, retirees play a special part in defending and improving retirement security for all of us through
Social Security, Medicare, and other programs.

Retirees are going to play an even more important role in the U.S. in years to come.
Every 7 1/2 seconds, a “baby boomer” turns 50, and it is projected that by 2023, one in five Americans will be
over age 65 -- the same as the current percentage of seniors in Florida. There are roughly over 700,000 SEIU
members that are projected to retire within the next 15 years.

SEIU recognizes that when individuals retire they no longer have the work place to operate as the dominant
community in their lives. Creating the opportunity for retirees to stay active with fellow union members, both
socially and through political and union activism is important not only to the union but to our retired members.
These activities provide an opportunity to tie their social life into increased engagement in the union and the
political work the union does to benefit its members.

While some local unions have formed and maintained retiree chapters and programs, existing retiree programs
for the most part have not found the ideal balance between social activities and political and membership
organizing opportunities. Other local unions have not yet established programs to encourage lifelong unionism
and seek guidance from experienced locals.

Be it further resolved that…

This convention affirms SEIU’s commitment to lifelong unionism and charges the Retiree Advisory Council
with establishing and implementing recommendations for building and strengthening our SEIU retiree chapters.
Local Unions, State Council’s and SEIU International shall work together to implement these recommendations
and commit to the following:

Local Unions and State Councils shall commit resources for organizing and maintaining their retiree chapters or
creating chapters where none exist;

SEIU International will provide assistance to local unions committed to active participation in SEIU

International’s Retiree Advisory Council.

Locals shall maintain an electronic database of members who are retired from active employment and work to
obtain rights from employers and retirement systems to collect contact information of members who will soon
retire. Local Union’s shall submit their retiree membership lists to the international on a monthly basis along
with their standard membership lists – thereby committing to the development of a national retiree database.

Local Unions acknowledge that frequently upon retirement their members relocate to other regions and states.
Thus Local Unions commit to working with each other to facilitate and provide opportunities for relocated
retired members to be active in the Locals in their new community.

Resolution # 102a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Building Workers’ Strength with Comprehensive Immigration Reform

SEIU members have many reasons to stand united for comprehensive immigration reform.

All working people face lower pay and benefits when some hard-working, taxpaying workers are driven into an
underground economy because they are denied legal status.
The political strength of working people is seriously undermined when millions of workers are denied the right
to vote because they have no real path to citizenship.
Our primary mission – to unite all working people for a better future – cannot be achieved as long as many
workers face exploitation and discrimination.
Our communities are weakened when politicians eager to exploit divisions pass laws that result in workers
being denied access to drivers’ licenses and insurance or qualified high school graduates being denied a college

As a result of the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform last year, we have seen an
alarming increase in local laws that target immigrant workers and their families, along with costly deportation
raids that make headlines but do not realistically fix a broken system. Deportation threats without reform have
pushed undocumented immigrants further into the underground economy, dividing the workforce and driving
down wages and benefits for all working people.

As working people’s leading voice for immigration reform, SEIU members must take a stand.

SEIU Locals, working with community-based and national immigration rights groups, were fundamental in
pushing for the comprehensive immigration reforms debated in the Senate last spring. Today, we continue
our immigration advocacy work, tracking anti-immigrant federal, state and local legislation, and looking for
opportunities to support positive, comprehensive and practical immigration reforms.

When the Bush administration announced a federal attack on undocumented immigrant workers, including a
new policy on “no match” Social Security cases, SEIU developed a tool kit and held legal trainings to educate
employers and workers on their rights in the event of a worksite raid and/or “no match” letter.

We have also continued our work to win contract protections to prevent racial discrimination and other unfair
treatment of immigrant property service workers.

Despite our efforts, however, we still face many challenges.

Currently, Congress is looking to extend its guestworker program, which provides employers with a revolving
door of cheap, temporary labor without living wages and benefits or a clear path to permanent residency and
citizenship. Social Security “no match” and other federal employment verification provisions threaten massive
worksite disruptions for all workers, government sponsored discrimination, and a collapse of the Social Security
Administration’s infrastructure.

We also continue to face more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in worksites and
communities throughout the country. These attacks—some of which have already impacted SEIU members—
involve discrimination, civil rights violations and cruel misuse of power by amateur ICE agents.

As the federal crackdowns increase, so do state and local laws that target immigrant workers and fuel fear, hate,
and division in communities across the country. Legislation in states such as Arizona, Oklahoma, and Virginia

that deputizes local law enforcement and empower them to persecute undocumented immigrants will cost
billions in taxpayer dollars, but solve nothing.

If this “misery strategy” is left unchecked, a year from now we will have a deeply marginalized low-wage
workforce, a battered immigrant population, and a resurgence of the kind of racial hate and resentment this
country should have left behind years ago.

Therefore be it resolved that:

SEIU will continue to work for practical immigration reforms that will provide a clear path to citizenship for
hard-working, taxpaying immigrants, build the strength and unity of working people, keep families together;
and guarantee civil rights and basic fairness for all workers, no matter where they come from. We will oppose
initiatives including guest worker programs if they do not provide future immigrant workers with a safe,
orderly, and legal process that includes full protection of U.S. laws and a pathway to citizenship.

SEIU members will continue to help immigrant workers organize to unite their strength with us.

Local unions, state councils, and the International Union will work together to develop our legal, political,
and communications capacities to respond to attacks on immigrant workers and their families and legislation
at the local, state, and national levels. We will work with our community and labor allies—through legal and
advocacy channels—to pressure Congress and the Bush administration to condemn and put an end to the
escalated worksite and community raids and employment verification programs that threaten the civil rights of
all workers.

We will also work together to discuss the immigration issue with our diverse membership and promote a
common understanding of how our broken-immigration system divides workers and benefits unscrupulous
employers and how we can build a united movement to overhaul our immigration system so that it benefits all
working people.

In all its work, SEIU will strengthen its alliances with coalition partners who share our social and economic
justice goals and build a broad movement for immigration reform that is practical, fair, and lasting.

Resolution # 103b Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Iraq and the Economy

There is no more shameful failure on the part of politicians than to send our young people to die bravely trying
to carry out a counterproductive and unachievable mission.

With that in mind, SEIU President Andy Stern sent a letter to President Bush in January, 2003, with the approval
of the elected local union leaders who make up the SEIU International Executive Board.

The letter questioned President Bush’s plans to invade Iraq because they were not consistent with four
principles that should guide U.S. policy:

War involves enormous risks to our families and our communities and must be a last option, not the first.
The goal of our foreign policy must be to promote a safer and more just world – promoting peaceful,
multilateral solutions for disputes.
U.S. foreign policy must give high priority to improving the lives of people around the world.
The rights and freedoms our government says it is fighting for abroad must be protected at home.

More than five years later, the invasion of Iraq has proven to be the worst policy disaster of our time. Even by
the Pentagon’s own official figures, 30,000 Americans have been wounded and more than 4,000 killed. Iraqi
deaths and casualties are hard to document but number in the hundreds of thousands.

This war that has lined the pockets of major corporate campaign contributors has drained the U.S. economy and
local communities of resources urgently needed for health care, education, housing, and other needs. The annual
cost of the war is estimated at twice what it would take to ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare for
everyone in America.

Meanwhile, the war has made us less safe, not more. It has turned public opinion around the world against the
United States, squandering the opportunity to unite people of goodwill after the September 11th attacks.
As far back as November 5, 2003, Senator McCain urged President Bush to send at least 15,000 more U.S.
troops to Iraq, calling it “irresponsible” to suggest “it is up to Iraqis to win this war.” He said at that time that “it
will require a commitment to do what is necessary militarily, to deploy as many American forces for as long as
it takes.” (USA Today, 11/6/2003)
On November 19, 2006, just days after the American people voted for major changes in Congress, in large
part to signal to officials in Washington that it was time to bring the troops home, McCain renewed his call for
President Bush to send an “overwhelming” number of troops. (Associated Press, 11/19/06)

Two months later, President Bush implemented the escalation McCain had long called for. The Bush-McCain
escalation has cost thousands more casualties and billions more dollars, but, predictably, has failed to achieve
the objective of establishing peace and security in that country.

Senator McCain said at a videotaped town hall meeting with voters in New Hampshire early this year that he
could foresee U.S. troops continuing to occupy Iraq for “a hundred” years, a sign that working families could be
suffering from the effects of this failed policy for many more years to come if a dramatic change in direction is
not made. (YouTube, 1/3/08)

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU should continue to support our troops by leading and supporting coalitions of union members, veterans,
and others (such as USLAW) who share our goals of…

Bringing the troops home.

Ensuring that they have the healthcare and other services they need.

Shifting the billions now being spent on the war to strengthen our economy and meet the urgent needs of
communities here at home.

Establishing a new foreign policy that promotes justice and basic rights for working people at home and abroad
and that sees global alliances and problem solving, not unilateral military action, as the preferred option.

Resolution # 104 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Jobs and the Environment

Our planet is at an environmental crossroad. If we take immediate and decisive action, the worst impacts of
global climate change can be avoided. If we heed the warnings and advice of a unified scientific community, we
can take action that will benefit all generations to come.

Working people already suffer disproportionate effects from bad environmental conditions—from high asthma
rates among our children, to contaminated air, land and water in our neighborhoods, to the increasingly
high prices that we pay to heat our homes and fuel our cars. We must reduce the emissions that poison our
communities and contribute to climate change. Continued inaction will add to deepening economic crisis and to
the degradation of the environment and food supplies, and will intensify conflict for resources around the world.

As by far the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States has a special responsibility to lead
the way on emission controls and new investment in green technologies that can be adopted worldwide. With
prompt, effective action, we can create hundreds of thousands of quality green jobs, shift reliance to sustainable
energy sources, and maintain and improve air and water quality. Public policy must ensure that polluters pay
to emit carbon, thereby creating an incentive to pollute less. The money paid for emission permits must create
a “climate dividend” that is spent to create quality green jobs, offset energy costs for low-income people, and
invest in the development of green technologies.

As healthcare, public service, and property service workers, SEIU members have an opportunity to make a
direct contribution to promoting quality green jobs by working with management to make changes that address
climate change and environmental health.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU members recognize that we cannot build a more just and humane society without prompt and effective
action on the environment. We stand ready to do our part to address the global climate crisis, including
supporting emission reduction targets based on sound science.

SEIU and its local unions will involve members in developing and achieving new goals for contract negotiations
and union-management partnerships that will improve jobs and address climate change. These goals will require
public transportation benefits, adoption of more energy efficient equipment, reduced use and improved disposal
of hazardous substances, schedule changes (such as day cleaning that will reduce energy use), and more.

SEIU will strongly support and press for policies that promote major new investment in quality “green jobs,”
putting hundreds of thousands to work producing more energy efficient buildings, appliances, vehicles, and
other technology, and making far more use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. These
jobs should be quality, union jobs that pay enough to support families.

As health care providers, we will advocate for the elimination of toxins in our workplaces and the appropriate
disposal of hazardous medical wastes. We will also advocate for cleaner energy production to reduce the
incidence of asthma and other health problems in our communities.

As property service workers, we will support increased development of and training for green building
maintenance practices. We will also advocate for job development that will ensure that these practices are

As childcare providers and homecare workers whose workplaces are homes, we will redouble our efforts to
make our homes more energy efficient. SEIU will pilot programs to reduce the energy bills and the carbon
footprint, or amount of greenhouse gases given off, for member homes that are also workplaces.

We will work for training and transition programs and other protections for workers whose jobs are affected or
eliminated by efforts to stem climate change.

We will work closely with unions, environmental groups, community organizations, elected officials, and other
allies around the world to address this crisis in a way that improves the quality of life for working people and
provides protections for workers and their communities.

Resolution # 105b Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Justice for All: Reforming Our National Healthcare System

This Moment Calls for Our Leadership

Our nation’s healthcare crisis has touched every kitchen table, every worker, every boardroom, and every
patient and continues to grow worse each day.

48 million people in the United States have no health insurance and hundreds of millions more are under-
insured, making it difficult or impossible for them to access quality health care;

20-30% of every dollar spent on health care in the U.S. goes to insurance companies for profits and
administrative fees rather than to health care providers and institutions that provide health care;

Our current system forces many seniors and people with disabilities, who could thrive in their homes and
communities, to move into institutions. Many states have significant levels of unmet need amongst their elderly
and physically disabled because of a lack of well-funded, accessible home and community based care. Up to
30% of seniors have unmet needs.

The time for healthcare reform is now: In this landmark 2008 presidential election cycle, healthcare reform is
a leading issue in every debate, and among the most pressing concerns of voters throughout the country. If we
are to recognize our shared dream of a national healthcare system that works for everyone, we must own this
moment as a Union, and work to make national healthcare reform a reality within the first six months of the new
administration in 2009.

As a result of our work for more than the last decade, SEIU members are uniquely positioned to lead the
fight for real and lasting healthcare reform. No one can speak with more authority or conviction about the
current failures of our healthcare system, or the tremendous financial, emotional and social costs born by our
patients, our families and our communities. We supported Congressman Conyer’s bill for universal healthcare
early on. We were on the front lines when Congress first created the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan in
1997, and we took the lead on this issue again last fall in the fight to expand SCHIP to more children. We know
that the national healthcare reform fight before us is a fight America cannot afford to lose and we will take on
any enemy – especially drug and insurance companies that put profits before patients.

Our voices continue to shape the presidential election: This election cycle, SEIU insisted that every
presidential candidate interested in our support must offer a comprehensive healthcare plan to ensure that
everyone has access to quality health care they can afford. All of them did. We asked that they “walk a day in
our shoes” to learn what it was like to work inside a system so utterly broken and care for our patients. When
SEIU members speak, candidates listen; we must continue to raise our voices to agitate for change and mobilize
our members as well as voters throughout America.

We’ve taken it to the streets and state houses alike: In the streets of Houston and other communities SEIU
members fought and won healthcare coverage in their contracts. At the state house in Massachusetts, SEIU
helped lead the fight for real reform for everyone. And in the snowstorms of Iowa and New Hampshire, our
national healthcare initiative, Americans for Health Care, helped make healthcare issue number one.

SEIU has also worked to build effective and committed coalitions with strange bedfellows like Fortune
500 companies, the Business Roundtable, our employers and allies to identify common ground and create
the urgency for real change. We have earned the right and responsibility to lead.

As a result of our collective work, SEIU members bring a special understanding of the urgency and
necessity of healthcare reform and recognize that:

Nurses and healthcare workers, both union and non-union, must play a leading role in this national effort, using
their practical and moral authority to represent the interests of their patients, and of their fellow caregivers.

SEIU members will raise our collective voices to share with all of America the real challenges and heartbreak of
working families when it comes to our national healthcare system.

SEIU will bring its full resources to this fight in the form of national membership mobilization, political action,
and local resources to amplify our voice on this issue and be prepared for the real healthcare reform work that
begins on November 5, 2008 with a newly elected President and Congress.

Therefore be it resolved:

In 2008, SEIU will help elect a President and Congress with a mandate to pass healthcare reform and prepare
to launch an unprecedented campaign on November 5th to win this historic reform in 2009. Our vision for
healthcare reform is based upon these principles:
1. It is time for our nation to guarantee affordable healthcare coverage for all Americans and it is time for SEIU
members to lead the way forward to realize this dream. Piecemeal, state-by-state reform is not a solution.

2. Nurses and healthcare workers have a unique and respected voice as frontline caregivers for our patients and
residents. Our voices should be respected, and incorporated into a national vision for healthcare reform.

3. While we continue to defend employer-based plans that provide quality healthcare for our members, the
current employer-based health care system is not a realistic foundation for 21st century health care reform,
particularly given the competitive challenges of a global economy.

4. A universal healthcare system must ensure a choice of doctors and health care plans without gaps in coverage
or access, and the delivery system must meet the needs of at-risk populations.

5. A universal health care system must include a core health care benefit similar to one that is available to
federal employees.

6. Preventive care must be a part of any basic benefit plan to promote health, control costs, and eliminate
economic and racial disparities. Our public health and hospitals systems are key elements in providing care
within this new universal access network.

7. Any plan for health care reform must control costs by providing care that is cost efficient and medically

8. Secure electronic medical records that consumers control are necessary to increase quality and reduce costs.

9. All consumers should have access to individual hospital and physician quality, performance, and outcomes.

10. We will actively support federal and state initiatives to re-balance our nation’s long-term care system to

reallocate resources toward home and community based services, particularly consumer-directed care and
establish the structures of employment, workforce development programs, and stable and adequate financing
necessary for workers to achieve decent wages, benefits and working conditions. Successful state rebalancing
efforts will be good for union growth, good for consumers’ quality care, and good for the health of state
Medicaid programs.

11. A universal healthcare system must integrate long term care services, reduce out-of-pocket costs, and
maximize opportunities for individuals to receive assistance in home- and community-based settings, rather
than in hospitals and nursing homes

12. SEIU shall continue to support HR 676 (single payer/Medicare for All) as one of many ideas that would
bring change to the US health care system and will urge the support of similar legislation in the states.

13. Employers, individuals, and government alike must share responsibility for financing the system.

Further be it resolved:
To win national healthcare reform SEIU members pledge to:

Act as a catalyst for national healthcare reform by unleashing the power of their collective voice on behalf of
both union and non-union workers – within our communities, in the workplace, and in Washington, DC.

Participate in a nationwide bus tour –The Road to American Health Care -- and National Days of Action to
increase the drumbeat for reform.

Help to build and grow Healthcare United, an organization of both union and non-union nurses and healthcare
workers, and support the work of Americans for Health Care -- to speak out with healthcare consumers to
help lead the fight.

Build an active army of at least one million people with contact information so we can quickly mobilize action
in support of affordable healthcare for all.

Secure pledges and commitments from key members of Congress in support of our healthcare reform

Take on the Enemies of Health Care, including John McCain.

Help to identify 1,000 healthcare reform leaders among our member political organizers, leaders and

Bring together the full force of our healthcare coalitions and strategic alliances with allies for the second
phase of our campaign – the push to victory that begins on November 5, 2008.

Finally be it resolved:
Starting on November 5, 2008, SEIU members will make national healthcare reform and the Employee Free
Choice Act the first priorities of our newly elected President and Congress by:

Making 10 million phone calls to members of Congress to urge passage of Health Care Reform and the
Employee Free Choice Act.

Raising $10 million for our 2009 post-election political accountability work.
Committing 50% of growth budgets and 50% of non-growth staff during the first 100 days of the 111th
Congress towards the passage of National Healthcare reform and the Employee Free Choice Act.

Resolution # 106a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Quality Public Education for All

A high quality, universal public education system is crucial to ensuring equal opportunity for our children. But
our nation’s children do not have equal access to a quality public education. The opportunities provided by
public schools have been selective and have excluded too many of our children. Millions of children of working
families, particularly in lower income communities, do not have access to schools in which all students can

Tens of thousands of SEIU members are the parents of children in large, struggling, urban school systems. On
a daily basis, children confront violence on their way to and in school, children fail courses and subjects we
know they could master, and children drop out from schools that should have been their pathway to success.
Our members also send their children to suburban and rural school districts that are struggling with changing
demographics, declining enrollment, and the accompanying funding cuts that limit our children’s educational

More than 150,000 SEIU members work in our nation’s schools. We are teacher’s aides and librarians, clerical
and security staff, custodians, bus drivers and food service workers. Every day, in those roles, we help shape our
children’s learning environments. We know our children’s potential not just as parents and grandparents, but as
employees of public schools.

One growing trend to address the needs of primarily inner-city children is through new public charter schools
that operate independently of many school district regulations. While some of these charter schools improve
educational quality for the children of working families, too often they do so while creating substandard jobs
in a non-union environment for the people who work in the schools. The education reform our children require
should not be built on a foundation of bad jobs. Nor should any public institution ever deny workers the right
to a collective voice—a voice that can be used not just for quality jobs, but for quality schools. Independent,
quality schools can operate with modern-day union contracts that emphasize education first and allow for
innovative labor-management cooperation

SEIU members believe that each generation should create new opportunities for the children who follow behind
us. Nothing should stand in the way of our children doing better and achieving more than we have. Educational
inequality, however, can and does stand in the way of achieving that most fundamental American dream.

Therefore be it resolved:

This convention affirms SEIU’s commitment to a quality public education for all of our children.

Our support for education reform will be guided by fundamental principles that include high expectations for all
students; smaller schools that meet the needs of the community; smaller class sizes; the resources and training
needed to produce an effective learning environment; and the allocation of resources where there is greatest

SEIU will support and promote efforts by members as parents and as school workers to ensure all children have
access to a quality public education including higher education.

SEIU will seek ways in which our members who work in schools can more actively contribute to the
educational environment, and unite our members to create and share best practices for providing the highest
quality public service.

SEIU supports the funding of public education at a level that will effectively ensure equality of educational
opportunity for all of our nations’ children.

We will stand for reform that provides all staff with what they need to contribute to quality education, including
respect as professionals, training, a paycheck that supports a family, affordable health care, retirement with
dignity, and union representation.

To achieve access to quality public education for all, we will work with everyone who shares our goals
and principles, including elected public officials, teacher unions, charter schools, superintendents, parents,
community organizations, religious leaders and foundations.

Resolution # 107 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention
Rebuilding the Middle Class

Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet in today’s economy. Despite working harder with longer
hours and second jobs, the American Dream is not becoming a reality for many working people. In fact, while
big corporations and the rich enjoy the greatest wealth in the history of the world, the middle class is shrinking.

America’s middle class -- once the embodiment of the American Dream and the backbone of our economy - was
built by working people who came together with their coworkers and transformed low-wage industrial jobs into
good jobs that could support a family.  Restoring the middle class depends on the ability of working people in
today’s economy to unite with their coworkers to gain improvements in pay, health care, retirement security, and
the resources and training they need to provide quality services to the communities they serve.

National polls show that about 50 percent of workers in the U.S. would choose to have a union where they work
if they had the opportunity. Yet, employer intimidation and interference stands in their way.

Studies show that 91% of employers facing union organizing by their employees require them to attend anti-
union meetings; 80% train supervisors who control workers’ schedules, workloads, and chances of promotion to
intimidate the very people they supervise; 50% threaten to shut down entirely if employees unionize; and 31%
fire some union supporters in order to frighten others into dropping their desire to have a union.

The Employee Free Choice Act will protect the freedom of all working people to choose to have a union and
achieve the American Dream. It provides for...
• The right of workers to form a union simply by getting a majority to sign that they want one, instead of
being forced to go through months or years of intimidation during the current process overseen by the
National Labor Relations Board.
• Stiffer penalties for employers who don’t respect workers’ rights.
• Mediation and arbitration if an employer refuses to negotiate a first contract with employees who have
chosen to form a union.

Therefore be it resolved:

SEIU will make the passing of the Employee Free Choice Act a top priority, using our collective strength and
resources to pass the legislation in 2009.  To ensure workers have greater opportunity to improve their lives:
• SEIU will help elect a U.S. president who is committed to leading the movement for worker’s freedom
to form unions and who will make it a priority to get the Employee Free Choice Act passed by Congress.  
• SEIU will commit to expanding the existing majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate in
support of the Employee Free Choice Act by:
o Asking candidates for Congress, regardless of party, to sign a
pledge to vote for Employee Free Choice and holding them accountable to
their pledge.
o  Championing and protecting incumbents and challengers in the
2008 elections who have demonstrated their commitment to workers’
freedom to choose a union.
o  Working with other unions to demonstrate the support of more
than a million workers in support of the Employee Free Choice Act 
o Gathering 400,000 signatures of SEIU workers across America who
support Employee Free Choice by Labor Day 2008.
o Working with allied organizations to secure their support for
the Employee Free Choice Act.  SEIU locals will meet with local allies

to educate them about the legislation and to ask them to sign a pledge
in support of Employee Free Choice.

Once a worker friendly majority and U.S. President have been elected, SEIU and its locals will:

• Make 10 million phone calls to members of Congress to urge passage of the Employee Free Choice Act
and healthcare reform.
• Raise $10 million to hold elected representatives accountable for the promises they made during their
• Commit 50% of the growth budgets and 50% of non-growth staff during the first 100 days of the 111th
Congress toward the passage of Employee Free Choice and healthcare reform.

Resolution # 108b Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Secure Retirement for Workers in the 21st Century

One of the landmark accomplishments of the union movement during the last century was making access to a
secure retirement possible for ordinary working men and women.

The union movement fought to establish a “three-legged” stool of retirement income: Social Security, union-
negotiated pension benefits, and savings set aside by individual workers.

In our new century, this system is seriously endangered. More than half of American workers have no retirement
income or savings to look forward to other than Social Security.

Employers have aggressively pushed to eliminate secure, defined benefit pensions that guarantee long-term
employees with one employer a life-time income they can count on once they stop working.

Younger workers who expect to change jobs several times over their careers are looking for greater portability
of their benefits. Yet, too many of them are forced to rely solely on their own savings or on flawed 401(k)
style defined contribution plans. These plans provide no real security. Employer contributions are too low.
Workers’ assets can be reduced by excessive fees or inadequate investment planning. A slowdown or reversal in
investment markets can wipe out a worker’s retirement savings altogether.

While President Bush failed in his attempt to privatize Social Security in 2005, further attacks on national
income insurance for disabled and retired Americans are likely.

As the union movement has been weakened, corporate special interests have attempted to convince most
Americans that it is acceptable to leave workers to fend for themselves after a lifetime of work and service.

SEIU members reject this view. We believe that it is time for working people to protect secure retirement
benefits and also build a new model for those without retirement security. Together we can renew respect for
retired workers and restore the hope that every working person can expect a decent, secure life after he or she
has completed their career.

Therefore be it resolved:

SEIU members are committed to protecting and maintaining secure defined benefit pensions that previous
and current generations of SEIU members have won and that help recruit and retain workers who are willing
to dedicate their working lives to providing quality services. SEIU and its locals will work through politics,
bargaining and organizing to extend the protection of defined benefit pensions to greater numbers of workers.
SEIU and its locals will work to defend defined benefit pensions against attacks from employers. A defined
benefit pension should be the essential element of a secure retirement for all workers.

As a fallback for workers for whom a defined benefit pension is not an immediate possibility, SEIU will
also work to create new tools that expand access to retirement for more workers and allow them to prepare
for a secure retirement in this century. This system should be designed to include:

Guaranteed and predictable employer contributions. Employers should be required to contribute to their
employees’ retirement coverage and the contribution rate must be predictable and stable.

Portable accounts. An individual worker’s retirement account should be portable across all employers during

his/her work life. Individuals should vest on the first day of work and be able to know the value of their
retirement account on a regular basis.

Pooled investment risk. Any new system should pool and professionally manage the assets in order to control
investment risk across a large number participants and employers.

Cost effectiveness. Administrative costs and investment management expenses should be minimized.

Accountable governance. Those who make investment and management decisions should be held accountable
to the participants in the system. Participants, or their representatives, should have the right to appoint or elect
the fiduciaries who make administrative and investment decisions.

Resolution # 109 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Valuing All Families

Members of SEIU work hard every day to provide for their families and build for them a better future. Our
members’ love of and commitment to their families reflect true family values.

Members of SEIU live in a broad array of family structures. Many of us care for and live with family members
– including aging parents, grandchildren, adult siblings, and more – who are not recognized by our employers or
our government as “family” because they are not related to us by marriage, blood or adoption.

Laws and policies that narrowly define “family” as limited to two legally-married adults of the opposite sex
raising their biological children are often used against immigrants, people of color and the working poor who
are more likely to live in family structures that differ from this model.

Narrow definitions of family exclude many relationships that our members call family, including relationships
with individuals for whom we have primary care-taking responsibility and relationships with individuals with
whom we share economic and emotional interdependence.

Government and employer-provided benefits should support individuals with day-to-day responsibilities to
care for and financially support minor children and dependent adults in all family forms, and should protect
interdependent adult relationships.

Therefore be it resolved:

This convention affirms SEIU’s commitment to valuing all families, and to protecting the widest possible range
of family structures.

SEIU will make it a collective bargaining and legislative goal to ensure that all of our members’ families are
respected, protected, and enjoy equal rights and benefits.

SEIU will support and advocate for legislative efforts, at all levels of government, that allow workers to define
for themselves who will be considered their family.

SEIU will oppose efforts to penalize working people who live in family structures different from the nuclear
family model, such as “overcrowding” regulations that seek to restrict who is permitted to live together in one
household and have been used to target immigrant communities and communities of color.

Resolution # 110 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Workers’ Rights in Burma

The illegitimate regime in Burma has for decades employed forced labor and child soldiers, while killing,
torturing, imprisoning, and exiling the government elected by the people of that country.

Working people around the world have repeatedly condemned these actions and have taken unprecedented
measures against this illegitimate regime through the International Labor Organization.

The Federation of Trade Unions – Burma (FTUB) and its elected General Secretary, Maung Maung, have
played a key leadership role on behalf of the working people of Burma.

Maung Maung was a leader and founder of one of the workers’ organizations that supported and participated in
the 1988 democracy demonstrations in Burma. After the military junta that controls Burma violently suppressed
those demonstrations, Maung Maung was forced to flee the country and established a base of operations outside
Burma. Since then, at great personal risk, he has devoted his life to opposing the Burma military regime and
supporting workers’ rights in his country.

In 1991, Maung Maung co-founded FTUB. FTUB is an independent trade union organization that represents
workers throughout Burma. The FTUB consists of various affiliated unions, including, among others, the All
Burma Mining Union, the Seafarers Union of Burma (also affiliated with the ITF), the Textile Workers Union,
and the Health, Education and Social Workers Union. The FTUB strongly supports the restoration of democracy
in Burma and Aung Song Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, whose party won the 1990 elections in
Burma and which has been denied the right to form a parliamentary government by the ruling military junta.

Dozens of FTUB organizers have been arrested, tortured, or sentenced to lengthy prisons terms, and some have
been killed, simply because they have been identified as members of the FTUB which the regime has deemed
to be an illegal organization. In many cases, the family members of arrested organizers -- including children --
have also been arrested and tortured as a means of coercing the organizers to identify other organizers, activists
and members.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU stands with Maung Maung and the members and organizers of the FTUB who are putting their lives at
risk to protect and advance the rights of workers in Burma.

SEIU and all of its local unions shall urge our elected members of Congress and candidates for federal office,
including President of the United States, to ensure that the U.S. government takes the following action:

Continue to increase and enforce sanctions and diplomatic pressure against this illegitimate regime and its
supporters and support reinstatement of Burma’s rightful, elected government.

Support Burmese workers by supporting a request by the ILO to the International Court of Justice for an
advisory opinion on the legal consequences of this illegitimate regime’s violations of the Convention Against
Forced Labor.

Support the democratic representatives of the people of Burma as they seek to restore democracy and end the
humanitarian crisis caused by the brutal Burmese military dictatorship.

Resolution # 115a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean

Today, progressive, democratically elected movements continue to grow in strength across Latin America
and the Caribbean. Currently Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and
Venezuela are increasingly committed to fighting against poverty and illiteracy and for a more just society.

Through the following resolution, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (UHE) calls on our brothers and
sisters throughout SEIU to express our support for and solidarity with progressive labor unions, popular mass
movements and democratically elected governments in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Latin America’s labor unions and popular mass movements are increasingly growing in strength and power and
democratically electing progressive leaders; and

are fighting poverty and investing in education, literacy and healthcare, unapologetically reaching for equality;
and are leading the fight against privatization, vowing to close the open veins of Latin America”; and

are creating regional alternatives that serve as models for pro-worker policy, such as the Bolivarian Alternative
for the Americas (ALBA) and PetroCaribe as alternatives to US Free Trade Agreements, Banco del Sur (Bank
of the South) as an alternative to US financial institutions; and

Trade unionists often risk their lives and face repression and violation of their rights. For example in Colombia
over 2, 800 trade unionists have been assassinated since 1991.

the United States has a long history of intervention and support for dictatorships and oppressive regimes in
Latin America and the Caribbean; and at times even the US labor movement has not been supportive of the
struggles of our sisters and brothers in the region;

SEIU supports progressive, popular, democratically elected movements and governments in Latin America and
the Caribbean.

SEIU commits to building long-term relationships and networks to support progressive trade unions throughout
Latin America and the Caribbean and to build our strength globally, linking the struggles of workers in the
region with our own here in the United States, and Canada.

SEIU commits to support efforts and campaigns across the hemisphere that seek to protect the rights and
lives of trade unionists including opposition to trade agreements with governments that fail to provide such

Resolution # 116A Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Unity Among Union Organizations

Experience has proven that working people are strongest when we unite all those who do the same kind of work
and when all union organizations coordinate efforts.

At a time when only a small fraction of workers have a union, labor organizations should concentrate resources
on organizing in their core jurisdictions, not on “reorganizing the organized” by raiding each other.

The delegates to the 2004 SEIU Convention decided that our union should work to either change the AFL-CIO
or build something stronger. The result was the formation of Change to Win which focuses the strength of seven
key unions representing six million workers on uniting 50 million jobs in the growing service economy.

Change to Win has helped speed the pace of change in its affiliated unions and was recently cited by
publications such as the New York Times as having played the key role in the union movement achieving
modest membership growth for the first time in many years.

Since helping to form Change to Win, SEIU has also worked hard to coordinate efforts with other interested
unions, including affiliates of the AFL-CIO and the National Education Association, at the national, state, and
local levels. We have made agreements wherever possible to coordinate organizing, and we have joined with
other unions to support passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and other priority legislation.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU should continue to work through Change to Win to support strategies to unite 50 million workers in the
growing service economy.

We should also continue to coordinate and seek alliances with other unions on organizing, politics, and on
passage of the Employee Free Choice Act and other priority legislation.

Given recent events in the healthcare industry, SEIU should work with other unions that are committed to the
principle of no raiding to discuss a coordinated strategy for organizing and uniting healthcare workers on key
issues of health care reform, quality of patient care and worker voice, including convening a summit meeting of
these unions if such strategy would be productive for achieving these goals.

Resolution # 117 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Resolution to Prevent Offshoring of Civil Service Jobs

Whereas, state and municipal governments have been reducing the size of their workforce; and

Whereas, governmental entities contract out for services performed by civil servants; and

Whereas governments directly or indirectly through private contractors are offshoring services performed by
civil servants; and

Whereas, in the United States civil servants are required to prove their competence through rigorous testing
procedures monitored by civil service law; and

Whereas, these services are going to workers in countries that do not have the protection of laws on human
rights and protection against child labor, and will not allow unions;

Whereas the United States lost 800,000 service sector jobs in 2006; and

Whereas, the United States is expected to lose another 3.3 million white collar jobs by 2015 if nothing is done
to stop offshoring; and

Whereas, offshoring is a major threat to well paid middle-class jobs which are a necessary part of the United
States economy;

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Service Employees International Union encourage and assist each public
sector local of SEIU to draft legislation that will prevent offshoring of civil service jobs.

Resolution # 118 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

The Role of Nurses in Policy Making


Every day in this country the governance of nursing practice is in the hands of someone other than a nurse. It is
the State Legislators, Governors, Congress and the President that govern the practice of nursing.

There is a lack of understanding among legislators regarding the role nurses can perform on government
advisory committees. That lack of understanding hampers our ability to participate and does not validate our
skill sets, education, our life’s practice and experience

Our practice is also in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and
Human Services, the State Departments of Health and State Departments of Education. They decide the scope
of practice of nursing and then state boards of nursing define and apply that law to our practice. Nurses in many
cases are not consulted prior to creation of these laws. Nurses are forced to live out the imperfect laws that
someone other than a nurse created.

There is not a forum for listening to nurses in this country. Policies are made regarding care of patients, care
delivery systems, standards of practice, and emergency support functions for nurses where nurses are not

The healthcare industry has been heading down a road where the bottom line means more than quality patient

We believe that it is time for nurses to be an integral part of the decisions that affect our practice and our
patients. Policy makers need to consult nurses for every discipline of nursing in this country from nursing home
care and acute care, department of corrections and mental health nursing, public health nursing and disaster

Patients in this country deserve to have the expertise of the nurses caring for them be a part of the process
that develop the laws. It is time for Nurses to take our rightful place in government, to be among the policy
makers creating the laws that guide our practice. It is time to secure our autonomy as a profession and the only
way to accomplish this goal is through the action of nurses in the political process and with the support SEIU

Whereas the nurses of SEIU Healthcare witnessed the lack of government preparedness related to the rescue
and treatment of the victims of Hurricane Katrina in their most desperate hours, including those in hospitals and
nursing homes;

Whereas the nurses of the workplace quality, health and safety and public sector committees of the Nurse
Alliance of SEIU Healthcare have witnessed the failure of the government to implement a competent national
plan to care for influenza that is practical, safe, and a requirement as a standard of care for every health care

Whereas department of corrections nurses and mental health nurses have witnessed the lack of response of
government and attention to the issues of workplace violence in caring for the incarcerated and for people with
mental illness;

Whereas the government has continued to close mental health facilities across this country, without regard for
the safety of people with mental illness and developmental disabilities, and that of the public, and in too many
cases without effective treatment plans in place to care for this population of patients;

Whereas the government has concentrated its efforts and financial resources on bringing new nurses into the
healthcare workforce without addressing the mass exodus of nurses due to the every day challenges nurses face
in their work environment caring for patients with little or no respect, no autonomy, dwindling resources and no
hope of positive change for most nurses in this country;

Whereas the definition of quality is based on the whim of legislators, lobbyists, drug companies, insurance
companies and investors, while bedside nurses and nurse researchers and an ever growing body of scholarship
on the subject of quality through evidenced based practice are kept mute or dismissed;

Whereas it is long overdue to have a national ban on mandatory overtime and national standards of safe nurse
to patient ratios, and the absence of these protections has affected the lives of too many patients and the practice
of too many nurses;

Whereas nurses as a body of qualified educated professionals are not consulted in any way that validates our
skill of critical thinking and our vast knowledge base, and our ability to work with the public (and guide them);

Whereas the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare is the largest union of nurses in this country;

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU recognizes the important and integral role of the National Nurse Alliance and its function and structure
within SEIU Healthcare.

The nurses of SEIU Healthcare will support the creation of nurse policy committees at the state and Federal
levels to be made up of nurses elected from every sector of nursing so that the legislators and policy makers
have a recognized group to consult before any action on bills or policies or laws that affect nurses are

 The nurses of SEIU Healthcare will insist upon increasing the funding of nursing research on practice issues
that affect patients and nurses.

The nurses of SEIU Healthcare will work vigilantly and pool our financial resources to support legislators who
commit to ban MOT and pass legislation to set safe nurse to patient ratios and will work just as diligently to
eradicate from office those elected officials who are not willing to protect our patients.

The nurses of SEIU Healthcare will work to evaluate and review all the areas of government which lack the
voice and presence of nurses and will call upon legislators and political candidates to correct this problem.

The nurses of SEIU Healthcare shall educate and collaborate with our endorsed presidential candidate regarding
the key role of nurses in policymaking.

Resolution # 119a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Resolution in Support of Good Union Jobs for Persons with Disabilities

Whereas Service Employees International Union recognizes that the ability of individuals to contribute to their
communities through productive work for which they are paid a living wage is a basic human right and this
basic human right should never be denied based on gender, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or physical
or mental disability; and

Whereas as part of its organizing goal SEIU has been working with members of the disability community to
bring members of this community into our union; and
Whereas according to 2000 U.S. census data only 55.8% of adults with disabilities in the U.S. are currently
afforded the dignity of employment; and

Whereas, persons with disabilities who are employed are often placed in segregated work settings, paid less
than the minimum wage, and denied access to promotion; and

Whereas persons with disabilities often place their public health benefits at risk when accepting employment (1);

Whereas the loss of health benefits when losing employment can lead to increased hardship and more severe
disabling conditions due to lack of access to medical services; and

Whereas access to employment for persons with disabilities is often limited by misguided assumptions and
lowered expectations of the value and productivity that persons with disabilities bring to the workplace, in spite
of repeated, recent studies showing that workers with disabilities are just as productive and valued by their
employers as their non-disabled co-workers.(2) ; and

Whereas numerous artificial barriers to employment of persons with disabilities persist as the result of public
policy and labor management agreements that end up excluding disabled workers from the marketplace.
These barriers include public and private health care benefits policy at the state and federal level, civil service
testing and hiring procedures, job classification requirements, federal Social Security Disability Insurance and
Supplemental Security Income benefits policy and work incentive rules that don’t work (3) and few understand;

Whereas the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are laws that
were enacted to give equal access to the workplace to people with disabilities but employers often fail to meet
existing requirements under the ADA and FMLA, and many union rank and file members and stewards are
unaware of how to inform and protect members’ rights under the ADA and FMLA; therefore be it resolved

SEIU will take an ongoing leadership role to contribute to policy change that removes artificial barriers to the
employment of persons with disabilities and emphasizes the abilities and innovations of people with disabilities
who engage in any paid work.

SEIU will work in partnership with other groups to develop initiatives and policies that support employment of
persons with disabilities in good union jobs with access to benefits.

SEIU will support health care policies such that no individuals lose insurance when they lose a job, change jobs,
or lose existing insurance when they get a job.

SEIU staff and members will be given the information they need to work with employers with respect to health
benefits, COBRA health continuation protections, HIPPA, and pre-existing condition exclusionary policies and

SEIU will develop and provide training and training materials for staff, stewards, and members on:
Federal laws on inclusive employment and relevant state initiatives
Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations
Family Medical Leave Act
Information on protecting and retaining access to benefits for persons with disabilities who are employed and/or

SEIU, through its publications, websites, and other communications with staff, members, employers, and policy
partners, will address cultural barriers and misinformation that limit the acceptance of persons with disabilities
in the workforce. These will include highlighting:
• The positive contributions made by disabled workers who are SEIU members
• Innovative initiatives and best practices that support the employment of persons with disabilities in good
union jobs with access to benefits.

SEIU will work with employers to create more flexible job descriptions and work rules that facilitate the
employment of persons with disabilities. SEIU will create and share contract language that facilitates the
employment of persons with disabilities

SEIU locals will reject contract language that would create unnecessary barriers and de facto systemic
exclusions that limit the employment of persons with disabilities.

SEIU will support the establishment and operation of worker with disabilities caucuses or committees at the
levels of chapters, locals, the International and Change To Win.

(1) For example, a 2001 Urban Institute study found that 20.1% of non-working adults with disabilities cited
“fear of losing health insurance or Medicaid” as a reason for not looking for work.

(2) De Paul University, Exploring the Bottom Line: A Study of the Costs and Benefits of Workers with Disabili-
ties, 2008

(3) For example, the Social Security Administration reports that in 2003 and 2004 just 0.5% of SSDI beneficia-
ries had a change in cash benefit because of employment.

Resolution # 120 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Fighting Hunger and Promoting Health and Wellness for America’s Children

SEIU members strongly support the federal government’s commitment to provide America’s school children
with nutritious and healthy school meals through the Child Nutrition and School Lunch Programs.

More than 30 million students participate in the National School Lunch Program, and over half of those young
people receive free or reduced price meals. In addition, close to 10 million students participate in the School
Breakfast Program on an average day, with slightly over 8 million coming from low-income families.

Quality school meals are critical to student academic achievement; improved attendance and attentiveness;
reduction of childhood hunger and obesity; and the overall health and wellness of children nationwide.

Today, the availability of healthy and nutritious school breakfasts and lunches for the nation’s children is more
important than ever. Millions of American families are struggling just to make ends meet. Due to the high cost
of energy, housing, health care and food, many working families find themselves barely able to put food on the
table. Meals served in schools often end up being the primary source of daily food and nutrition for millions of
America’s children.

SEIU service workers in schools across the country work proudly day in and day out to prepare and serve
nutritious breakfasts and lunches for the nation’s school children, and keep their schools clean and safe.

Support for effective and adequately funded federal nutrition programs is essential to SEIU members, our
families, and to millions of the nation’s children. We must strengthen the effectiveness of the programs, work
to increase student participation, support nutritional and workplace standards, and ensure accountability and
transparency in operations.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU will work with other unions, community, school and nutrition/health organizations to promote initiatives
for health and wellness of our children.

We will build support at the local, state and national level to insure that all those eligible for free and reduced
meals have access to them and to promote the establishment of standards and funding for training for school
food service workers on nutrition, health, and wellness.

SEIU will call for an increase in the federal reimbursement rates for school meals to keep pace with the cost of
preparing and serving healthy and nutritious meals for America’s children.

Resolution #121 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Justice for All

Puerto Rico’s Workers:

Leading the Way to a Brighter Future

SEIU is an international labor union composed of three nations – Canada, Puerto Rico and the United
States. On every continent, in every country, the story is the same: globalization is working for multinational
corporations, while incomes for workers are shrinking and social safety nets are growing thin. Workers voices
are being diminished at a time when they must grow stronger to make sure that work, and not just wealth, is

But there’s hope for a brighter future on the horizon: Over 40,000 workers throughout Puerto Rico in the
healthcare, security, and public sectors have joined with SEIU. Throughout Puerto Rico, we are forging a
new path toward better jobs, higher standards, improved access to community services, and quality, affordable
healthcare for all.

Today, Puerto Rico’s workers are poised to unite with SEIU throughout new areas of work, including
education, home care, and healthcare.

At this moment, there are:

45,000 teachers throughout Puerto Rico who want to be able to join a union that is responsive to their needs and
that shares their vision for an educational system built on fairness and excellence.

8,000 home care workers who are currently paid just minimum wage who want to be able to join their voices
for better care for their consumers and better jobs.

Thousands of nurses and healthcare workers who do not have a voice at work because they are not part of a

Tens of thousands of municipal workers and court employees who want to win the right to bargain with their

By joining together with over 100,000 not- yet-union workers we can create a stronger voice to improve the
quality of work for both union and non-union workers, and improve the quality of life for everyone within their
communities. And by standing up for all working people, we can seize this moment to create a future where:

Every community has access to dependable, quality public services.

Everyone, including corporations and the wealthy, contributes their fair share toward providing quality services
in our communities.

Every child has access to the highest quality education.

Every education worker has a voice in shaping the future of Puerto Rico’s educational system.

Every healthcare worker is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and their work is rewarded.
Every man, woman, and child has access to affordable, quality health care.

Therefore, Be it Resolved:
At this critical moment, when workers have real hopes of uniting with SEIU and creating a better future for
themselves, their families, and their communities, we will dedicate ourselves and the resources necessary
toward achieving this dream.

We will help to create a strong, unified voice for both union and non- union workers throughout Puerto Rico.

We will raise our voices to advocate that teachers throughout Puerto Rico have the right to a timely election so
that that they can have a voice at work.

We will create better communications systems and use new technologies to build stronger connections among
union and not-yet-union workers that will help us all mobilize and advocate for change.

We will work to build a two-year campaign (2008–2009) to pass universal

healthcare reform and the Employee Free Choice Act into law in 2009.

We will be leaders for improving access to high quality public services in Puerto Rico, so that everyone, not just
the wealthy, has access to essential services to build safe, healthy communities.

In addition, we are committed to expand our work to reach more non-union workers in our core jurisdictions in
growing sectors of the economy. SEIU will continue to invest resources normally contributed to SEIU by our
members in Puerto Rico to uniting with more workers in Puerto Rico and launching global strategies especially
in Latin America.

Resolution # 122 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Resolution on the Campaign for the New American Dream

WHEREAS SEIU’s Mission Statement provides that SEIU, a union of over 1.9 million members, is “united by
the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives
of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society;”

WHEREAS over the past seven years, SEIU members along with other workers and their families across the
United States have suffered enormous set-backs and now risk further erosion in their living standards due to
legislation enacted or proposed by the current US Congress and actions directed by the Executive Branch of our
federal government;

WHEREAS this attack on working families and the welfare of our local union membership has resulted in
the loss of good jobs, growing numbers of people who lack any health care coverage at all, loss of immigrant
workers’ rights, tax cuts for the wealthy instead of reliable public services, and an assault on key workplace
safeguards such as overtime pay and workers’ right to organize;

WHEREAS Article II of the SEIU Constitution specifies that the object and purpose of the Union is to improve
the conditions of our members through all lawful means, including but not limited to:

engaging in civic, political and educational activities on the local and national level, and

cooperating with and assisting, by moral, monetary, or other means, other groups or organizations “having
objectives which are in any way related or similar to those of the Union, or which are of a nature beneficial to
this International Union or to its members, directly or indirectly;”

WHEREAS it is clear that to improve the lives of workers and their families and to create a more just and
humane society, we must change the fundamental policy direction of the Executive and Legislative branches of
the federal government as well as those of key state governments;

WHEREAS the mandate to Local Unions under Article XV, Section 18 of the SEIU Constitution is to
contribute to an overall SEIU political education and action program that includes, but is not limited to,
widespread voter registration, broad encouragement of civil participation and issue advocacy on key matters of
vital concern to working families;

WHEREAS in February 2008, the International Executive Board endorsed Barrack Obama to become the next
President of the United States, and since that time SEIU members and leaders from around the country have
worked tirelessly in primaries and caucuses from Oregon to Pennsylvania, from Texas to Wisconsin, in Puerto
Rico, Indiana, Ohio and other states. We have also built upon our successes in the 2006 Congressional General
Elections in 2008 to preserve a democratic seat in Massachusetts, elect a progressive democratic in Maryland
and make unprecedented gains in difficult congressional districts against anti-worker candidates.

WHEREAS the upcoming 2008 election cycle provides a crucial opportunity to advance these overall goals by:

Voter registration of as many union members and working families as possible, so their voices are heard in the
political process;

Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts among members and working families so their right to vote can be fully

Educational programs on the issues, to assist our members and working families in making informed
decisions in the political process, whether on legislative initiatives or political candidates;

Political action to elect federal and state candidates who support key issues of importance to our members
and working families;

Recruitment and deployment of member political organizers; and

Monetary and in-kind support for outside organizations that share one or more compatible goals in this
critical undertaking;

WHEREAS the members of the IEB agreed to pledge to SEIU and to one another, that their locals will commit
to raise an amount equal to $20 per member for the 2008 American Dream Fund; and

WHEREAS our Union plans to expend approximately $80 million on this critical effort – approximately 50%
of which will be from voluntary contributions from our members.

NOW THEREFORE be it resolved by the Delegates to the 2008 SEIU International Convention, that the
Campaign for the New American Dream is hereby approved and that the International Executive Board is
authorized to make the planned expenditures contained herein and any additional expenditures necessary to
carry out a successful Campaign for the New American Dream for working families.

Resolution # 123 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention


This week we have discussed and debated the plans that will determine our work together as a union for the
next four years.

After months of discussion inside and outside our union leading up to the convention, nearly fifty hours of
passionate debate and open discussion at the Convention, and vote after vote by the delegates, one thing has
become abundantly clear:
We are unified.
Decision after decision at this Convention and in our Division Leadership Assemblies has been made with
overwhelming, if not near-unanimous, support from delegates. These democratic decisions made together
empower SEIU members and local unions everywhere to work to improve the lives of our members, change the
lives of millions of workers, and win quality healthcare for all – goals we all share.

Now it is time for us to get to work.  

To successfully win Justice For All, we commit to coordinate our efforts and hold each other accountable to the
decisions we have made.  Reflecting the voice of the clear majority, we commit to act together, coordinate our
work in organizing and bargaining, pool our resources, participate in democratic decision-making, and speak
with one voice to politicians and our employers.
THEREFORE, all delegates commit to:
Honor, respect, and implement the decisions made by this Convention
Hold each other accountable for these decisions
Have respect for all the voices that have made us stronger and pledge to engage in constructive debate going

We have never been stronger than we are today. The time has come to make history together and seize our once-
in-a-lifetime opportunity to win Justice for All.

Resolution # 201 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Building Our Political Strength to Change Workers’ Lives

After decades in which corporate special interests have dominated the political process, we have an historic
opportunity to turn the tide and achieve goals we have dreamed about all our lives.

Millions of U.S. voters are fed up with policies that benefit only a few at the top and not hard-working,
taxpaying families and retirees.

With a new U.S. president and new Congress, we will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win affordable,
quality healthcare; rebuild the American Dream and the middle class by passing the Employee Free Choice Act
to restore the freedom to form a union; enact comprehensive immigration reform; and ensure quality public
services with fair, reliable funding.

Seizing this opportunity requires building a permanent pro-worker political majority in the United States. As
the leading advocacy organization for working people in North America, SEIU has both the opportunity and the
responsibility to play a leadership role in building that majority coalition based on issues important to working
people rather than the interests of particular political parties or candidates.

Building the political strength that working people need at the local, state, and federal level to change our lives,
our communities, and our countries will take unity, resources, and increased participation by SEIU members,
retirees, and families.

It also requires putting even more emphasis on holding public officials accountable after they are elected and
not just hoping that they will stand for working people.

Therefore be it resolved:
This Convention directs SEIU Local Unions, State Councils, and the International Union to carry out the
following program:

Federal Priorities
• Build a two-year campaign (2008-2009) to pass universal health care reform and the Employee Free
Choice Act into law in 2009.
• Continue our work to pass comprehensive immigration reform, comprehensive pension reform, fair and
reliable funding to support quality services in our communities, and a commitment to a specific Iraq War
exit strategy in 2008 or 2009 that brings our troops home and allows redirecting war spending to vital
needs at home.

Electing Pro-Worker Public Officials

• Elect a pro-worker U.S. President and get to 60 or more votes in the U.S. Senate as a result of SEIU’s
election campaign work in 2008.
• Elect 2-3 new pro-worker Governors in 2008-2009 and 3-5 additional (over and above the current
number of) pro-worker Governors in 2010.
• Develop and implement a strategic union-wide plan for redistricting with a focus on key state
legislatures, governors, and other relevant elected office holders to ensure that working people and all
communities are fairly represented.
• Coordinate a monthly strategy call of Local Union Political Directors and State Council Directors
involved in state ballot initiative work and develop a plan for proactive and counter initiatives.

Local Union Resources
All Local Unions (LUs) will continue to dedicate at least 10% of their LU resources to political work in
2008-2010, at least 11% in 2011, and at least 12% in 2012. SEIU Divisions may choose to set these standards

State Councils
Speaking with one voice is essential to winning for workers. State Councils should function as coordinating
and convening bodies that allow Local Unions to communicate and collaborate with each other. They should
assist in capacity building and facilitate common interests to move the state and Locals forward and help build a
progressive infrastructure.

Local Unions are responsible for political activity and capacity building, but the State Council provides the
vehicle that strives to ensure that everyone around the decision making table is on the same page. The State
Council shall establish and coordinate a candidate endorsement process for all of the Locals within the state.

Locals and Divisions will work collaboratively to ensure that:
• By December of 2009, 20% of every Local Unions’ members should be giving at an average of at least
$7 per month to COPE.
• Once a Local has achieved this 20% goal, the Local should increase the number of members giving at an
average of $7 or more per month by at least 10% each year until a majority of members are giving at this
• In order to ensure Locals achieve this goal, Locals are strongly encouraged to set the COPE giving
levels at $5, $10, and $15 per month with a minimum level of at least $5 per month.  

Member Volunteers
Member Volunteers—3% of Local Union (LU) membership in 2008 and 2009, 6% of LU membership in 2010
and 2011, and 10% of LU membership in 2012.

Member Political Organizers (MPOs)—0.5% of Local Union (LU) membership in 2008 and 2009, 1% of LU
membership in 2010 and 2011, and 2% of LU membership in 2012.

Civic Participation
Local unions, state councils, and the International Union will work together to promote civic participation
of communities of color and immigrant members and families, including encouraging citizenship and voter
registration, challenging the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS’s) fee increases and processing
backlogs, and insisting that the Federal Government and Congress expedite the process.

Locals, State Councils, and the International Union should expand capacity to hold citizenship and voter
registration drives and educational voter forums in 2008 and beyond.

SEIU will help expand the work of nonprofit entities such as Mi Familia Vota, Strengthen Our Lives (S.O.L.),
and The American Dream Fund so that all working people, including immigrants, will be active and united.

Member Voter Registration

Local Unions will register to vote at least 70% of their eligible membership in 2008, at least 75% of eligible
membership in 2009, at least 80% of eligible membership in 2010, at least 85% of eligible membership in 2011,
and at least 90% of eligible membership in 2012.

Local Unions that are already above their annual goal should increase their voter registration percentage by 5%
per year until they are at 95% or higher.

Building a Progressive, Pro-Worker Majority

Continue to expand the electorate by providing leadership in America Votes’ state based and national tables and
the equivalent state/local coalitions.

Help build a significant network of donors to finance the progressive infrastructure and media/messaging
expertise needed to win big for workers.

Continue to support technology and information based organizations that assist in the development of new
technologies, strategies and techniques to strengthen the progressive movement.

Political Accountability
Commit at least $10 million to 2008-2009 post-election political accountability work.

Build a multi-level grassroots rapid response system that includes emails, text messages, phone trees, and
worksite communication to hold Members of Congress and local elected officials accountable.

Invest additional resources in issue based and electoral accountability campaigns that SEIU leads and/or
works in coalition with, including They Work for Us and Working for Us PAC and other state based political
accountability coalitions.

Increase by 10 Congressional Districts and/or states in 2008 (above the current 15) and 5 Congressional
Districts and/or states annually in 2009-2012 the number of SEIU members participating in the Grassroots
Lobbying Accountability Program.

Programmatic Development
Political Communications—Continue to build a multi-channel communication system that includes an email
rapid response system for political campaign work and incorporates the identification and training of SEIU
member leaders as spokespeople for SEIU’s campaigns.

Political Technology—Deploy the Voter Activation Network (VAN) systems with SEIU in 36 states in 2008
and the use of additional volunteer tracking software, and continue to make improvements to these voter
information and tracking systems and SEIU’s access to these systems after 2008.

SEIU GOP Advisory Committee—Increase by 25% per year in 2009-2012 the number of Locals that are
developing GOP member programs and increase GOP member involvement within active Locals by 10% per
year in 2009-2012.

SEIU Retiree Advisory Council—Increase retiree membership within Retiree Advisory Council (RAC) Locals
by an average of 5% per year in 2009-2012 and identify and recruit three new Locals each year into RAC in

SEIU Members Running for Office Program—Identify, recruit and train at least 20 new SEIU members to run
for elected office in 2008, 30 new members in 2009-2010, and 40 new members in 2011-2012.

Therefore be it further resolved that the Convention delegates adopt the Resolution on Building Our
Political Strength to Change Workers’ Lives, including the recommendations herein.

Resolution #202 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Community Strength to Improve Workers’ Lives

SEIU members need allies to help achieve the far-reaching goals that are within our reach in the coming years
to improve the lives of working people and build a more just and humane society.

Community strength is a key to persuading many employers to respect workers’ freedom to unite with us and
form a union.

It is also crucial for winning on major issues such as affordable, quality health care, an economy that rewards
work, quality public services, and comprehensive immigration reform.

Many SEIU members already are involved with other community organizations in a wide variety of ways.
In addition, SEIU’s relationships with community groups have grown stronger in recent years as a result of
working together.

In the course of organizing campaigns, we have partnered with a number of organizations to help workers win a
voice on the job.

A variety of legislative and issue fights such as comprehensive immigration reform, health care for children
(SCHIP), and living wage initiatives have strengthened ties between local unions and organizations that share
our values and goals.

Building on those experiences, we must increase our community strength in several ways:

1. SEIU and its local unions must train and encourage members to assume new leadership roles in community
organizations and to draw more effectively on their existing involvement.

2, To be a credible voice and a strong partner, SEIU must demonstrate its commitment to key non-workplace
issues that affect all workers and to improving the quality of life in local communities.

3. We must intensify our efforts to reach out to community organizations on core issues facing working people,
including the freedom to form a union without management interference.

4. We must build long-term relationships with organizations that already have strength and, where necessary,
help build new organizations needed to win on working people’s issues.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU and its local unions shall increase workers’ community strength by developing a program in which…

• Members’ existing community relationships are systematically identified.

• Members are provided training and encouragement to deepen and expand their leadership role in the
• Local unions, state councils, divisions, and key geographic areas within the union develop annual
community strength plans with clear goals, staffing, and budgets that unite and coordinate our
relationships with key partners and allies.
• By 2012, local unions designate community strength leads to coordinate work within and across locals
who are provided with training and mentoring to build effective programs.
• We follow written criteria for funding or participating in long-term community partnerships.

• Key elements of the community strength program, such as member action and leadership, staff training
and development, and organizing and issue work, are integrated with the overall union programs in those

Resolution # 203 Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Justice for All (Final Implementing Resolution)

Working people are facing a once-in-a-lifetime, historic opportunity.

After decades of what is clearly now a failed economic theory of deregulation, worship of the free market, and
tax breaks for the richest 1% and the largest corporations, the tide is turning and working people are ready for

There is a broad public consensus that our society is out of balance between people that work and people with
wealth, and it is now realistic that we could win…

A society that rewards hard work; ensures healthcare for every man, woman, and child; provides a secure
retirement; and allows our children to live better than their parents.

Reliable funding toward which everyone, including the wealthy and the corporations, pays their fair share.

Restoring the middle class by reestablishing the freedom of all working people to form a union without
interference from their employer.

Comprehensive immigration reform, including a clear path to citizenship for all hard-working, taxpaying

For the past 12 years, SEIU members and leaders have made strategic choices that have put us in a position to
take advantage of this historic opportunity and to help build the pro-worker political majority it will take to turn
these dreams into reality.

Together, we have…

Built the most effective advocacy and political organization for working people in North America.

United a million more workers with us, building our strength to nearly 2 million.

United and won economic gains for hundreds of thousands of workers and the communities they serve in new
sectors such as homecare, childcare, and private security.

Developed far-reaching alliances in our communities and the political arena.

Become the leading voice for affordable, quality healthcare for all.

Maintained and improved standards for SEIU members in our industries for pay, healthcare, retirement, and
working conditions.

Made members’ voices far stronger force in our cities, states, and country on all the issues that make a
difference in our daily lives – healthcare, education, housing, transportation, public safety, immigration reform,
retirement security, and much more.

Given working people more of a voice in the South and Southwest and other parts of the country that are
growing fastest.

Now, with our new strength and our expanded voice, coupled with a country ready for change and the chance to
elect a new U.S. President and Congress and many new governors and local public officials, we are at a historic
turning point where we can imagine making progress we have only dreamed of all our lives.

We have the opportunity – and the responsibility -- to make new, bold choices that will let us continue to make

We believe that we can achieve such goals only if we stand for “justice for all” and not for “just us.”

It is part of our core mission to unite and win a better life for all working people and to pass on a better world to
our children and grandchildren.

In addition, we have seen that today’s union members cannot expect to maintain and improve our living
standards and working conditions if the percentage of union workers in our industries and our society continues
to decline.

We also believe that our key goals to improve workers’ lives depend on the active voice and participation of
current union members, retirees, and millions more workers we must help to join our movement.

With these core principles in mind, hundreds of SEIU members and elected local union leaders have met over
the past few years to analyze strategies and structures that have worked and not worked, industry trends, and
experiences of other unions.

Based on their research, town hall meetings with local unions in every region, and input from other SEIU
members, the SEIU Local Strength Committee, Political Strength Committee, Organizing Review Committee,
Community Strength Committee, Executive Committee, and Employer Relations Subcommittee have prepared
a series of interrelated recommendations. These recommendations also take into account the recommendations
adopted by the Convention delegates in SEIU Healthcare and the SEIU Property Services and Public Services

Therefore be it resolved:

The recommendations presented in the Justice for All report have been adopted by the SEIU delegates to the
24th International Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The International Union Officers, International Executive Committee and Executive Board, Local Unions, and
affiliated bodies are directed to take all necessary and appropriate steps to implement the recommendations of
the Justice for All Report as adopted.

Resolution # 204a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Member Action and Leadership to Win for Working People

To take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change workers’ lives, SEIU members and leaders
are committed to an all-out effort to unite all workers in our industries, build a permanent pro-worker political
majority, and win affordable, quality healthcare for all; an economy that rewards work, including the freedom
to form a union without employer interference; comprehensive immigration reform; and quality services in our
communities with fair, reliable funding.

Achieving goals as important and large-scale as those requires an unprecedented level of involvement and
action by SEIU members, families, and retirees. We can all be proud of the thousands of members who have
been actively involved as member organizers, contract action team members, political activists and COPE
contributors, work site leaders and stewards. But we must build on that record to involve 200,000 members
(10% of SEIU members) in leadership roles and 1 million members (a majority of SEIU members) in member
action if we are going to truly achieve a society with justice for all.

Member action and participation on a whole new scale also will further expand democracy in our union. Real
worker democracy includes majority participation in the actual activities of the union that aim to improve
workers’ lives.

At the same time, every union member deserves an effective and responsive union that provides high quality
representation, prompt answers to our questions, and support in our own language every day of the year--24/7.

SEIU local unions’ ability to both unleash members’ skills and talents and provide quality and responsive
representation has been limited by antiquated systems of representation and administration that, according to a
survey of locals, are too often manual, unreliable, and inexpertly managed.

Moreover, when SEIU local unions have restructured to better serve our members, some have faced practical
challenges with an array of administrative issues. In these circumstances, the restructured locals would benefit
from administrative support.

Therefore be it resolved:
SEIU members and leaders commit to the following steps to get a majority of members involved in member
action, ensure that members play a leadership role, support stewards and other member leaders, and provide
responsive, quality representation to every member:

Increase opportunities for members to lead the way. Members must be able to use their skills, talents and
passions to engage in the building of our working family movement. By 2012 at least 10 percent of SEIU
members should play a leadership role in the union, and a majority of members should be involved in working
to achieve our core goals.

Increase responsiveness and member satisfaction by establishing Member Resource Centers. Local unions
that have already established Member Resource Centers are now providing members prompt access to trained
organizing staff that provide members information in their own language, help solve job-related problems using
21st century technology 24/7, and engage members in the core activities of our union. All members should have
the opportunity to access member resource centers, and local unions must insure that members receive quality
and responsive representation for their worksite issues and are provided opportunities to participate in the life of
the union.

Retrain and redirect local union field organizing staff. Local union members, leaders, and staff should
develop ways to focus on giving members far greater opportunities and training to win at work, unite workers
in our industries, forge community alliances that work for reliable, quality services for all, and build a working
family movement.

Free individual local unions from administrative tasks by pooling administrative functions. Using 21st
century technologies to provide locals with high quality operations can free up resources to expand our focus on
member action, uniting workers in our industries, community alliances, bargaining, and other vital work. With
today’s technology, it is more efficient and cost effective for local unions to share secure common platforms and
systems for tasks such as list management, accounting, dues processing, and information technology.

Devote International Union resources to support newly merged or reorganized local unions, including
access to the Institute for Change.

To make these vital changes to increase member strength and unity, we will work together to achieve the
following goals:

During 2008 and 2009, we will work together to evaluate, test and pilot member resource centers (MRCs). We
will determine the most effective and efficient manner in which to implement MRCs and to provide high quality
member representation. Using what we learn from the pilot, we shall implement member resource centers across
the union. By 2012, a majority of members will have 24/7 access to quality information and services from
member resource centers. These member resource centers will be organized at the highest, most effective and
efficient level. Member resource centers will meet union-wide standards for cost, quality and outcomes such as
quality of service to members, ease of access, multiple language capability, support available to member leaders
and staff, and quality of data to support SEIU programs and strategies.

During 2008 and 2009 we will also conduct comprehensive administrative services pilots. As part of these
pilots, we will use a secure and independent shared service organization for administrative services such as dues
processing, accounting and financial reporting, communications, and data storage and list management. Local
unions that participate in pilots will share information on current systems and future needs, and in some cases
test software and systems developed during the pilot.

By 2009, based on the findings of the pilot, the union shall establish a shared service organization to provide
state-of-the-art administrative services. These administrative services shall be cost-effective and of high
quality and shall be provided under conditions consistent with SEIU’s values. By 2012, a majority of SEIU
members shall receive administrative services provided by this shared service provider.

As members access Member Resource Centers and their locals access shared service center resources, resources
freed up by the conversion to 21st century technology and systems will be measured, tracked and redirected to
member action programs.

Between now and 2012, local unions will meet new standards for member action and leadership. By 2012, but
preferably beginning as soon as MRCs are implemented, local unions shall have:
a) a yearly written plan with numerical goals for member action and leadership;

b) a full-time staff person (who may already be in place) who is responsible for coordinating member action and

c) a mechanism for members to help design and develop strategies to increase member action and leadership;

d) staff roles focused on supporting and increasing members’ ability to lead, participate, and decide;

e) systems in place to measure local union levels of member leadership and action; and

f) resources redirected to member action and leadership, made possible in part by implementation of member
resource centers and pooled administrative services. By 2012, at least 5% of post-per capita resources should be
freed up to directly support efforts to increase member action and leadership.

Beginning in late 2008, SEIU shall establish a Member Action and Leadership Committee of local leaders,
members, and key staff. This Committee shall advise the union’s member action and leadership program. The
International shall also establish a new Member Action and Leadership Center. This Center will help local
unions work together and learn from each other and will develop and monitor year-to-year plans, serve as a
resource for locals as they establish pilots, and provide technical and developmental expertise. Tapping into the
creativity of SEIU members, leaders, and staff, we will sponsor experiments and pilots; develop and recommend
standards and measures; share best practices; support local union programs to engage members and implement
member resource centers; and track and report results.

By 2012, ten percent of SEIU members will play an active leadership role in the union and a majority of
members will be involved in helping to achieve our core goals.

Therefore be it further resolved that the Convention delegates adopt the Resolution on “Member Action and
Leadership to Win for Working People,” including the recommendations herein.

Resolution # 205a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Uniting Working People to Change Our Lives

Today and every day, in cities and towns all across America…

Parents who didn’t use to be able to take their children to the doctor when they got sick can now do so.
Hard-working people who had to work two or three jobs and still were barely scraping by now have more time
to spend with their families.

Women and men who provide vital services to their communities now have more say to make sure they have
what they need to do the job right – and the strength they need to be treated with respect and dignity.

These are some of the more than a million people in America whose lives have improved by uniting with SEIU
since 1996 in the most successful organizing effort by any union in American history.

By joining their strength with the million workers who already belonged to our union, the million new members
of the SEIU family have….

Helped all of us maintain and improve standards in our industries for pay, health care, retirement, and working
conditions. They have also

Helped make our union a far stronger force in our cities, states, and country on all the issues that make a
difference in our daily lives – health care, education, housing, transportation, public safety, immigration reform,
retirement security, and much more.

Started to give working people more of a voice in the South, Southwest, and other parts of the country that are
growing fastest.

Uniting Our Strength The Result of Past Convention Choices to Work More Closely Together

The doubling of our membership strength in 12 years to improve pay and benefit standards for all of us is a
remarkable, historic achievement that no other modern union has ever matched. From 1997 to 2007, we added
the strength of nearly 100,000 workers per year, more than triple the rate in the previous period from 1988 to

This success has been made possible by a series of bold and difficult choices at SEIU’s 1996, 2000, and 2004
Conventions about strategy, priorities, and structure:

Increased focus and resources. In 1996, the International Union raised spending on organizing for greater
strength from 20% to 50%. The local union10-15-20% program began so that by 1999 many locals had
increased organizing spending from an average of less than 5% to at least 20%. We focused our efforts on
uniting workers who do the same type of work in health care, property services, and public sector and publicly
funded services.

In 2000, the local union delegates to the SEIU convention adopted the New Strength Unity Plan, part of which
dramatically increased resources from members for their local unions and created the Unity Fund for major
breakthrough strategies.

Increased unity and accountability. For the past ten years, elected local union leaders increasingly have

been serving not just as heads of their local affiliates but as the collective leadership responsible for a national
strategy to unite and improve the lives of workers in their industry and ensure quality services for our

At the 2004 SEIU convention, the delegates increased accountability and coordination within the SEIU
divisions that are made up of local unions in each industry.

By moving, step by step, toward pooling our strength – bargaining, political, membership, and financial
capital – we have been able to develop new models of organizing that unite workers on a far greater scale for
everyone’s benefit.

Homecare. Our members’ combined political strength in California and the combination of local, state, and
national resources made it possible to help 74,000 home care workers in Los Angeles establish their legal
right to a union, which in turn led to a coordinated effort to help 345,000 of their counterparts in the rest of
California, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio, and parts of Wisconsin to do the
same. With each contract, homecare workers are “invisible no more,” gaining more pay, health coverage, and
other improvements.

Childcare. Building on that experience, we pooled our financial and political strength to help 49,000 child care
providers in Illinois to win their right to a union, and then began spreading that model to Oregon, Washington,
Maryland, Maine, and Pennsylvania. To date, we have united more than 75,000 family child care providers to
win pay and benefit increases, and have active campaigns in Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and Rhode
Island to unite an additional 120,000 providers.

Security. We pooled our strength, including global relationships with unions in other countries, to win an
agreement with the largest security company in the world – based in Sweden – and then worked to organize
other companies as well to help thousands of mostly African American security officers to raise wages and gain
health care.

Janitors. We used our existing strength in dealing with national building owners and cleaning contractors to
help janitors in nonunion markets such as Houston and Miami to win improvements and lay the groundwork for
more victories in the South, while winning the best contracts ever in the industry in the last four years.

Nursing homes. By coordinating strategy, we won agreements with national nursing home chains that led
to respect for workers’ rights and common efforts to win badly needed funding. Workers at Extendicare,
Longwood, Gem, and other chains across the country have a new opportunity to join SEIU through a fair
process, and we won funding increases in nine states for nursing home care that total more than $1 billion.

Hospitals. By pooling resources and strategy across the union, we were able to reduce employer interference
with workers’ freedom to form a union at hospitals in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois,
Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Washington, and
Wisconsin, as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. In all, we helped more than 33,000 nurses and other hospital
workers to unite with us so they could negotiate improvements for themselves and their patients.

Multi-service. SEIU local unions, together with another union, UNITE HERE, helped unite workers in the
multi-service industry that is dominated by three huge global corporations that contract to provide a wide
range of support services to governments, businesses, hospitals, local school systems, universities, and other
institutions. Together, we have won agreements with two of the three largest multi-service firms to respect
workers’ freedom to form a union through majority sign-up. We have already helped 14,000 workers gain a
union so they can begin the climb to more economic justice with improved pay and benefits.

South-Southwest. We decided at the 2004 Convention to jointly commit serious resources and effort to unite
workers in our industries in the South and Southwest, with the result that we now represent more than 100,000.

Puerto Rico. The support of SEIU members throughout North America has helped members in Puerto Rico win
public sector collective bargaining and gain new public sector contracts.

Canada. In just the past three years, increased unity and strategic focus has helped 13,000 more workers join
us and led to a major affiliation of a new local union. These gains have built workers’ strength in healthcare and
property services and made us the fastest growing union in Canada.

Global strength. As a result of coordinated campaigns with global labor federations and about 20 unions
around the world, 18,000 more U.S. workers have SEIU representation and improved working standards and
about 60,000 workers in multinational corporations in SEIU industries in other countries now have a voice at

In all, of the 1 million more workers who have united with us since 1996, more than two-thirds did so as a
result of campaigns that involved not just their local union but support from the rest of SEIU in terms of
financial resources, staff and members, political strength, capital strategies support, and/or member bargaining

If we had not acted more and more like one organization – and not just a collection of loosely federated locals –
most of the newly organized 1 million would probably not be members today.

Future Challenges Require More Unity, Larger Scale

We have a great opportunity today as polls show that about 50% of U.S. workers would choose to have a union
if they didn’t face employer opposition. That’s at least 40 million who don’t have one now.

But taking advantage of this opportunity to strengthen all working people requires overcoming some stark

The organizing process established by the National Labor Relations Act can no longer be counted on to
protect workers’ freedom to form a union..
Most employers refuse to respect workers’ freedom to form a union without management intimidation.
In many cases, we have had to conduct a corporate social responsibility campaign that holds the employer
accountable for the full range of ways that its policies and practices affect the larger community. That takes
money, political strength, and the ability to campaign effectively throughout the nation or even around the

Our industries and employers increasingly operate on a regional, national, or global basis. Their increased
size allows them to bring to bear far more political pressure than a purely local employer can.

Capital is now blurring the lines across industries and between the public and private sectors. Already,
more than 5 million people work for companies controlled by corporate buyout firms that have no industry
focus but only an interest in moving and manipulating money to maximize profits for a limited group of
executives. In the past few years, corporate buyout firms have taken ownership of the nation’s largest office
building landlord, Equity Office Properties; the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA; the nation’s
largest nursing home chains, including HCR Manor Care, Beverly Living Centers, and Mariner Health Group;
and the largest U.S.-based provider of cleaning and food services, Aramark. Earlier this year, a buyout takeover
of one of the largest national child-care providers, Bright Horizons, was announced. The buyout firms’ latest

target is public infrastructure (roads, bridges, and lotteries) that has involved work performed by public
employees that could be outsourced to companies the buyout firms control.

The percentage of unionization in the private sector has dropped below 8%, and two-thirds of public
employees have no union either. In the health care and property services industries, 90% of workers have no

Virtually all population growth in the U.S. in the next 20 years will be in southern and western states
where unionization is lowest. Those states increasingly will have an economic impact on pay and benefit
standards for the nation, so if we don’t help workers there unite to win improvements, pressure will be greater to
reduce standards in the rest of the country.

Industries that are growing fastest generally are those with the least unionization.
It takes huge amounts of resources to persuade some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the
world to respect workers’ rights, and yet…

While we have doubled spending on organizing in four years, we have not doubled results.
Our spending to help each new worker join us has increased greatly, which jeopardizes our ability to unite more
workers faster.

Spending per member on representation and other non-organizing activity increased significantly since 1999 but
without clear increases in member satisfaction.

While many SEIU local unions are spending at least 20% of their budget on organizing, on average only 45%
of the total 20% is being spent for that purpose. That is at least $37 million that is badly needed to help pay for
larger scale strategies.

The experiences of some of the major industrial, construction, and transportation unions are a stark
reminder that SEIU cannot expect to win or maintain high union standards for just us, as an island in an
increasingly nonunion economic sea. While not long ago SEIU was only 8% of America’s union movement,
by 2012 we will be 20% if current trends continue and other unions continue to decline. We have to work with
our partners in Change to Win to unite the 50 million service workers in the U.S. whose jobs are difficult to
move overseas – in transportation, retail, food production and distribution, construction, hospitality and tourism,
as well as health care and property services.

A United National Plan to Unite Our Strength

The Justice for All Report contains recommendations developed by the SEIU Organizing Review Committee of
local union and International Union leaders and staff, including the following:

A. Involve all local unions to jointly develop one national strategy for uniting more workers with us to
win gains for working people on a much larger scale.

SEIU will have one strategy for uniting more workers and raising standards for all workers in our
industries that is based on the integrated plans of each division, their locals, and the South-Southwest,
and also includes opportunities and challenges that cross industries and regions. Local unions will continue
to have organizing programs as part of an overall division plan. The overall SEIU strategy will include a number
goal for the whole union, each division, the South-Southwest, cross division opportunities, and each local union
and will be approved by the International Executive Board.

On Division Day—May 31, 2008—each Division of the International Union (Healthcare, Public and Property
Services) adopted a Strategic Unity Plan to unite more workers in our industries. These goals have been
formally reported to the convention delegates and are incorporated into our union’s strategy.

By 2012, SEIU will have united more than 500,000 additional workers, the largest four-year increase in strength
by any union in modern history. That will make SEIU the largest and strongest union that includes private sector
workers that North America has ever seen, with more than 2.5 million members. It is also expected that if we
are able to enact the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) with a new U.S. Congress and President we will unite a
total of at least a million more workers by 2012.

Local union leaders will collaborate as national leaders for their industry to make a united national
strategy for their division based on a long-term vision and an initial 4-year action program. Through the
divisions, local unions will collectively decide – instead of deciding individually -- where to prioritize efforts
for the best chance of large-scale gains for workers. Each division strategy will spell out how the International
Union and local unions will blend their efforts, resources, and political, bargaining, and membership strength
to win gains for more workers than any local union can win alone. Decisions will be made by consensus when
possible, and by majority rule when necessary.

Every local union will set aside 20% of its post per capita budget to organizing in a separate fund. These
local union resources will be blended with the Division’s dedicated Unity Fund of at least $12 million as the
primary resources to carry out a Division’s plan. That plan will include each local in order to maximize focus on
where it will make the most difference in uniting more workers and changing workers’ lives.

The International Union’s resources will be used to implement the one national strategy approved by the
International Executive Board rather than being automatically allocated in rigid percentages.

All levels of the union will be accountable for their contribution to the strategy. Once decisions are reached
through the collaborative process, everyone will work together to carry them out.

There will be a regular union-wide review and evaluation of progress, leading to adjustments in resources as
well in strategy.

B. Involve Current Members in Helping More Workers to Unite with Us for Everyone’s Benefit

Involve far more members and other activists in our campaigns.

MOR (Member Organizing Reserves). SEIU members have been very effective at reaching out to not-yet-
union counterparts who do similar work and are organizing to unite with us. MOR will be a new program
to expand member involvement in organizing campaigns and will work with the divisions to help staff large
campaigns primarily with member organizers.

SEIU Organizing Corps. This will be a new group of temporary organizers modeled after the Peace Corps or
Teach for America. It will be aimed at people interested in doing social justice work for a portion of their life,
but who are unsure of what work they want to do long term.

Give high priority to providing members the opportunity to go to nonunion locations or meet with not-yet-
union workers.

Use our bargaining and political strength to unite more workers with us for everyone’s benefit.
Mechanisms for involving current members to use their strength to help more workers at national employers
to unite with us should be developed nationally through the divisions. Divisions may designate key strategic

global/national/regional employers or sectors/subsectors where a comprehensive union-wide strategy offers
the potential for breakthroughs in uniting more workers and raising standards. In those cases, democratic
procedures for negotiating those agreements are spelled out in Appendix B.

C. Help Build a Stronger Union Movement, as We are All Stronger Together

Help other unions in Change to Win to unite more workers in their industries.

Increase our capacity to conduct campaigns involving multinational corporations in other countries on
behalf of members in SEIU and Change to Win industries.

Work with union allies in other countries to increase the capacity to unite workers to improve living
standards and working conditions in common industries and multinational corporations.

Deepen the involvement of SEIU local union activists in SEIU’s global work.

Track employer globalization trends in all SEIU divisions.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Convention delegates adopt the Resolution on “Uniting Working
People to Change our Lives,” and its recommendations herein.


Appendix A
Division Decision-Making

SEIU members and local unions in the same industry unite their strength and strategy through their industry
division. The following spells out a decision-making procedure that ensures that all points of view are heard and
that decisions made by a democratic majority are carried out by all.

Division Leadership Board

Each industry division, as defined by the International Executive Board, shall have a division leadership board.
(Currently the industry divisions are healthcare, public services, and property services.) The division leadership
board will be the highest decision-making body for an industry division, and among other matters, will decide
those issues assigned an industry division under the SEIU Constitution.

Composition of Division Leadership Board

Each division leadership board shall be comprised first of representatives elected to the International Executive
Board at the SEIU Convention, and those subsequently filling a vacancy as an executive vice president, a vice-
president or International Executive Board member. Each International Executive Board member will be asked
to serve as a representative of one industry division leadership board subject to policies and procedures adopted
by the International Executive Board.

Following their election at the International Convention, the members of each division leadership board shall
meet to determine if the division leadership board should be expanded. It will take into consideration locals
not represented, size of locals, industry sectors, occupations, geography, diversity, employer relations, and
strategic areas for uniting more workers with us. The division leadership board will make recommendations
for expansion to the International president for approval by the International Executive Board. Absent an
approved alternative recommendation, the division leadership board will consist of representatives elected at the
International Convention and the Chair appointed by the International president, and will function in accordance
with these procedures.

Executive, Sectoral, Occupational or Other Committees

The division leadership board can recommend to the president that subcommittees be established to assist
the division leadership board in its responsibilities. The number of committees, their purpose, role, and
responsibilities will be determined by the division leadership board, and then recommended to the president and
subject to the approval of the International Executive Board.

Chair of the Division Leadership Board

The chair of the division leadership board will be appointed by the president and can be a full-time officer of
SEIU. The chair will only vote in cases where it makes a difference.

A majority of the members of the division leadership board shall constitute a quorum, and decisions of the
division leadership board shall be decided by majority vote of those present and voting once a quorum is

Alternative Structure and Voting Mechanisms

Divisions can recommend to the president alternative voting mechanisms or structures subject to the approval of
the International Executive Board.

Appendix B
Strength through Unity in Employer Relations

Core Values

SEIU members and leaders approach strategy questions regarding agreements with employers based on the
following core values:

1. Strength through unity. What working people achieve has always depended on building a broad movement
and speaking with one voice. That is all the more important today when unions represent only 1 out 10
healthcare and property services workers and only one-third of public service employees, and when our
employers increasingly are regional, national, or global.

2. Justice for all. Our mission is to unite and win for all working people in our industries and in our society. In
the long run, that’s the only way to improve and maintain gains for current members as well.

3. Quality service and strong communities. We seek a wide range of improvements that ensure that we can
provide the public with accessible services that we can be proud of and that meet the needs of all working

4. Democratic decision-making and accountability. SEIU members and leaders make decisions by
democratic majority rule and hold each other accountable for carrying them out.

Strength through Unity in the 21st Century

SEIU members value and respect our rights and responsibilities within our own locals to determine our
own bargaining culture, structures, and processes for developing contract proposals, establishing bargaining
committees, and conducting strike and ratification votes. As a basic guideline, bargaining is primarily the
responsibility of local unions and conducted through members’ democratically determined processes at the local

Our review of local union bargaining practices demonstrates that locals have well-established, and in many
cases long-standing, policies that have served their members well. Some local union constitutions include
provisions on bargaining that give wide latitude in size and organization of bargaining teams.

The International Union constitution requires member approval of all collective bargaining contracts, and
appropriately leaves to local union members the decision on what policies, structures, and practices best serve
the local’s members.

In 2000, the elected delegates to the SEIU Convention adopted the New Strength Unity Plan, which established
the principle that local union leaders through their divisions could strategically decide in certain circumstances
that the interests of members were better served when we united members’ strength to speak with one voice
with an employer where more than one local union had members or was engaged in helping workers at that
employer to organize. These circumstances most frequently arise with key strategic global/national/regional
employers, where a comprehensive unionwide strategy offers potential for uniting more workers with us and
improving standards.

In 2004, the elected SEIU Convention delegates called for the union to further expand its efforts to coordinate
and engage in national bargaining, again generally working through the industry divisions.

As our industry employers consolidate and grow in size and resources, and buyout firms gain ownership of
companies in multiple SEIU industries, we know our union must develop employer relations strategies that
best enable workers to gain the strength to organize and bargain to improve their working lives in this new
environment across local unions.

Over the past four years, SEIU has experimented with a range of employer relations strategies in an effort to
gain more strength by uniting more workers in our industries, improve members’ pay and benefit standards,
and work for quality of services with strategic employers within our industry divisions. Our Subcommittee
on National Bargaining/Employer Relations has examined the benefits and challenges of these different

To create clarity and unity we recommend the following principles and process to guide future employer
relations with “strategic employers” within our industry divisions. The following applies only to those limited
situations involving a designated “strategic employer” within an industry division. It does not affect the regular
day-to-day practice of collective bargaining that local unions will continue to conduct with most employers.

The committee had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other national unions that had a history of
national bargaining. We learned from them creative ways to build bargaining structures that enabled democratic
decision-making at a national level and member action and leadership at the local level. We also took to heart
the shortcomings that allowed the false hope of maintaining standards for a diminishing membership to stifle the
need to organize and raise and maintain standards for all workers in an industry.

Strength and Democracy Begin with Member Action and Leadership

The foundation of our strength through unity and our democratic decision-making and accountability is the
involvement of SEIU members. SEIU local unions have a rich tradition of member action and leadership that is
expressed in our Member Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, including:

• the right to have opinions heard and respected;

• the right to be informed of union activity;
• the right to be educated in union values and union skills;
• the right to participate in the union’s bargaining efforts and approve union contracts;
• the responsibility to help build a strong and more effective labor movement; and
• the responsibility to support the organizing of unorganized workers.

Uniting More Workers to Build Strength for All

Global/national/ regional employer relations with strategic industry employers are now key to achieving long-
term gains for all workers. In this ever changing global economy, we cannot let employers divide us –we must
meet the challenge and create our own organizational structures so we are more unified than the employers we

The issue of standards has two dimensions. The first is raising standards for “some of us” or raising standards
“for all of us” regionally, nationally, and globally.

The second issue on standards is that labor history has taught us that unions that tried to maintain standards in one
geography or one company have seen those workers’ standards eroded over time.

Uniting more workers with us is essential to achieve and maintain increased standards for pay, healthcare, retirement
security, working conditions, and quality service for all workers in our industries, including current members.

Building strength in numbers and achieving higher standards are not competing goals. Each is essential to the
other. Without uniting more workers with us, we cannot raise and maintain standards in today’s world. Without
raising standards, we cannot expect to maintain and increase our strength in numbers. Winning these standards
requires building real power for workers through organizing the unorganized as well as developing a collective
bargaining program that will win these standards at the bargaining table.

Our relations with strategic industry employers should focus on division-identified organizing agreements, labor
relations accords, and contracts that provide:

• Uniting more workers with us. A primary goal in agreements with employers is that they provide for the
right and ability of more workers to unite with us within identified markets and individual employers or sectors.
One fundamental test of any agreement should be that it speeds the day when all workers in healthcare, public
sector, and property services industries can be united in our union.

• Raising standards. Agreements must open the way to improve economic standards for our members,
including wages that reward work, healthcare benefits, retirement security, and dignity on the job, and have a
clear path for achieving industry standards and full bargaining rights as their collective strength grows.

• Political strength for workers and communities. Agreements should recognize that in those industries
that depend on public funds or public contracts, vehicles for effective political partnerships are essential for
improving workers’ lives and the services we deliver.

• Consumer support. Improving the quality of the work we do is important to broadening the support for
workers in our industries and the communities they serve.

• Workers’ voice. Members must have the right to approve collective bargaining agreements which directly
impact their current wages, benefits, and working conditions. It is important that members’ voices are heard
on issues involving the quality of the services they provide as well as their working conditions, and we should
utilize a range of avenues for accomplishing this.

Unity and Speaking With One Voice at All Levels of the Union

We build the most collective strength for members and all workers in our industries when members are engaged
and, after consultation and debate, we adopt and implement unified goals and strategies. It will take the highest
level of commitment, coordination and unity possible to implement our strategy in the global/ national/regional
employer relations arena. Our ability to change workers’ lives is determined by our unity of purpose and action.

Based on our common understanding that uniting more workers with us and raising standards must go together,
our employer relations must be aligned with a clearly defined, articulated, and communicated organizational
plan and strategy to minimize competing agendas and maximize our ability to improve workers’ lives.

Our strategy, priorities, field campaign, and communications must be united. Global, national, and/or regional
bargaining of contract terms covering bargaining unit members and future members must be accompanied by a
comprehensive and unified campaign of member action and leadership at all levels of our union.

Recommended Processes for Strength through Unity

In order to achieve our twin goals of uniting more workers and raising standards with maximum unity, we need
processes that are open and clear. Consolidation of industrywide, multiemployer or single employer multistate

bargaining and organizing not only gives rise to greater worker bargaining power, but also serves as a vehicle to
drive industry standards designed to improve the lives of workers.

We believe our employer relations strategy should be accomplished through our industry divisions and pursued
as an integral part of their “Strategic Unity Plans.”

Therefore we recommend the International Executive Board adopt the following processes for members and
their local unions to unite their strength.

A. Division Delegates Day at the SEIU Convention

The highest representative body of the division membership, the division convention delegates at division
day of the SEIU Convention, after input, consultation and debate, adopts their overall “Strategic Unity Plan”
for uniting more workers and raising standards for the division. Recognizing that bargaining is primarily the
responsibility of local unions and conducted through their democratically determined processes, the division
convention delegates may identify in their plan those key strategic global/national/ regional employers or
sectors/subsectors where a comprehensive unionwide strategy offers potential for breakthroughs in uniting more
workers and raising standards.

B. On-going Evaluation by the Industry Division Leadership Board

The industry division leadership board (to be defined) has the responsibility to implement their “Strategic Unity
Plan” adopted by the division convention delegates. The ongoing responsibilities of the division leadership
board shall include continued assessment and recommendation to the International president of strategic
industry employers for global/national/regional employer relations. The division leadership board may pursue
an individual employer or sector-wide/market approach.

C. Designation of Strategic Employer Relations Category

The division leadership board will designate the type of employer relations/bargaining that applies to each
situation; that is, which category best describes the strategic employer(s) from the division’s perspective:
virtually no union/organizing agreements; low density; or high density employer relations.

Each category requires a different balance of the need to act decisively to take advantage of breakthrough
opportunities with the need for meaningful engagement at multiple levels of union leaders and members.

D. National Bargaining Process

In carrying out this work, the division will use three vehicles to insure effective bargaining and meaningful
participation from affected local union leaders and members. They are:

• National Bargaining Teams;

• National Bargaining Councils; and
• Local Bargaining Councils;

1. National Bargaining Teams

Upon the recommendation of the division leadership board, the International president acts and utilizes his/
her authority under the SEIU Constitution to authorize national bargaining and appoint a national bargaining
chair and team for the strategic employer(s).The chair is responsible for implementing the strategic plan of the

division and is the chief spokesperson. The makeup of the other team members will depend on the category of
strategic employer relations designated by the division leadership board.

a. For situations involving virtually no union or a pure organizing agreement, the process is streamlined.

After input from the division leadership board, the International president appoints the National Bargaining
Chair and additional bargaining team members whom he/she determines is best situated to accomplish the
strategic plan of the division.

Organizing agreements, including model contract guidelines impacting potential members, shall be submitted
by the National Bargaining Team to the division leadership board for approval before final recommendation for
execution by the International president and should be shared with the cross divisional committee.

b. For situations involving low density or high density employers that will address both organizing and
the negotiation of contract terms affecting current members, the process shall be expanded to assure that
the voice of members is heard.

• Low density setting: The International President acts upon the recommendation of the division leadership
board and appoints the national bargaining team chair and after input from the division leadership board
appoints division representatives. The positions on the National Bargaining Team for representation from the
locals with bargaining unit(s) of the employer(s) covered by collective bargaining agreements and serving on
the National Bargaining Council shall be elected from among the local union representatives who serve on the
National Bargaining Council. (As set forth below, each local union already has selected/elected one leader and
one member to the National Bargaining Council from their own Local Bargaining Council.)

• High union density setting: The International president appoints the chair, division representatives and local
union representative from each local with members covered by the collective bargaining agreement (elected/
by the local and serving on the national bargaining council). The number of division representatives plus the
chair shall not be greater than the number of team members appointed from the local unions.

c. National bargaining teams operate by consensus where possible, under the guidance of the chair. When
consensus is not achieved:

• In the virtually no-union or low density union setting, differences on a bargaining team are resolved by one
vote per bargaining team member. The chair may use his/her discretion to refer a significant dispute within the
bargaining team to the division leadership board or the International president.

• In the high union setting, differences on a bargaining team are resolved by the bargaining team using the
same decision-making formula as used by the division leadership board.

2. National Bargaining Councils

Once the division leadership board decides on whether to proceed on an individual employer or sectorwide/
market approach for its strategic employers, it will establish national bargaining councils for all national
bargaining that has a shared goal of uniting more workers and negotiating standards for existing members.

National bargaining councils (by employer or sector) shall consist of two representatives from every local
(selected/elected by the local) with members or potential members from the employers/ sector within that
national bargaining council’s jurisdiction.

The national bargaining council has the responsibility of adopting bargaining goals for uniting more workers
and raising standards consistent with the overall division plan at the start of pattern contract bargaining and shall
approve tentative collective bargaining agreements. The division leadership board shall approve agreements
before they are submitted for ratification by the affected membership.

3. Local Bargaining Councils

Once national bargaining councils are established, the division leadership board will develop a plan for local
bargaining councils to be integrated with the national bargaining councils’ work at the local membership level.

Specifically, for all locals with members covered by a collective bargaining agreement that is designated part of
national bargaining, a local bargaining council shall serve as a vehicle for members/ workers to have a voice,
exercise leadership and take action around the organizing and contract campaign as part of a unified national
employer relations strategy.

Local unions determine the structure of their own local bargaining councils. Each local bargaining council,
operating in unity with the other local bargaining council(s) and the applicable national bargaining team, is
responsible for member action including surveys, ongoing education, mobilization and ratification as part of the
unified national strategy.

Note: Representation on the national and local bargaining councils.

Members at the local level select/elect delegates to their local bargaining councils. Those local delegates elect/
select one leader/one member to the relevant national bargaining council(s).

E. Cross-Division National Employer Relations Committee

A cross-division national employer relations committee shall be established as a standing committee of two
representatives from each division plus additional representatives appointed by the International president
from the International executive committee. This committee is responsible for blending the national employer
relations strategies of the divisions and resolving any tensions or problems arising from our ambitious plans.
The committee will continue to monitor, evaluate and make recommendations for improved processes and is
responsible for reviewing and approving recommendations for process modification from the division leadership
boards. [The International president may also initiate modifications as he/she deems appropriate and necessary.]
When requested by the International president, the cross-division committee shall help resolve significant
disputes with the national bargaining team or aid other decision-making. The cross-division committee will
oversee policy issues that may arise in labor relations accords.

F. Members approve their collective bargaining agreement, as required by the SEIU Membership Bill of Rights.

Resolution # 206a Adopted at the 2008 SEIU Convention

Resolution to Unify All Long Term Care Workers in the Same Local Union in Every State in the United

Whereas, there are over 3 million long term care workers in this country who provide essential care for the frail
elderly, and physically disabled.

Whereas, realigning public resources so that consumers can truly have choice (rebalancing) is the cornerstone of
our four year long term care growth plan, as adopted by the Long Term Care Steering Committee

Whereas, Medicaid is the dominant funding source for both homecare and nursing homes. As Medicaid funding
is squeezed, the various long term care sectors can be pitted against each other for shrinking funds. Protecting
against this will be difficult unless all long term care workers are in the same organization in every state.

Whereas, there is increasing overlap among and competition between “post acute” or long term care sectors.
Many are competing for overlapping pools of clients. Assisted living facilities are competing with nursing
homes for private pay clients. Consumers who once might have received care in nursing homes are increasingly
receiving it at home. It makes sense for us to have a single integrated approach in a market where sectors are
increasingly overlapping and competing against each other.

Whereas, we work with many of the same allies across the long term care spectrum. Our ability to create strong
coalitions and maintain good partnerships with consumer allies will be vital to the success of our rebalancing
initiatives, as well as to our other work on behalf of long term care workers. Having a consistent message with
our allies is important to maintain the credibility and trust necessary for these coalitions to be effective.

Whereas, while locals across the country have made progress in uniting long term care workers and raising their
wages and benefits, much more work needs to be done to increase long term care worker power, ensure quality
of care for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, and improve the lives of some of the nation’s most important
front line workers.

Whereas, there is a need for a strong united voice not only for long term care workers, but also a united voice
for the frail elderly and the physically disabled, to ensure quality, well-funded, and accessible care for all those
who need assistance whether in their homes and communities, in nursing homes, or assisted living.

Whereas, the American population continues to age, creating a growing pool of frail individuals who will need
care, and necessitating strong advocacy from the frail elderly and the physically disabled and from the group of
workers who care for them.

Whereas, despite significant progress in organizing independent home care workers much more work needs to
be done to increase home care worker power, to organize agency home care, nursing home and assisted living
workers, and to ensure quality of care for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and improve the lives of some of
the nation’s most important front line workers.

Whereas, long term care workers’ ability to work together and negotiate better wages and benefits is diluted by
separating long term care workers into separate local unions in the same state.

Therefore, let it be resolved that all long term care workers in each state be united in the same local union to
unite long term care workers’ voices and increase power for themselves, the people they care for, their families,
and their communities.

Adopted at the
2008 SEIU