2016 Year in ReviewDecember 16, 2016
This year was one of historic victories and, for many of us, heartbreaking. 1199ers helped scores of working-family friendly candidates win elections. The working people’s movement for a living wage made historic gains with the Fight For $15. 1199SEIU organized more than 2,000 workers and continued to live up to the Union’s commitment to a fairer, more just and livable society for all.
Getting Out The Vote
Thousands of members volunteered in every region of the Union as Weekend Warriors in an effort to help elect Hillary Clinton and scores of candidates in local elections. Though Clinton lost her bid for the presidency, many of the local candidates we supported won.
Ballot Initiative Win in Massachusetts
Members in MA helped defeat Question 2 a ballot initiative that would have provided more funding for the state’s charter schools. Raising the cap on charter school funding would have destabilized Massachusetts’ public school system. Consequences would have been most dire for low- income and minority neighborhoods.
New Contract Victories!
1199SEIU organized more than 2,212 workers in 41 elections. Workers in every classification of healthcare voted to join the Union. Many came in residual elections at previously organized institutions; there were also several hard fought drives, such as Chase Brexton in Baltimore, where workers overcame bitter management intimidation.
Fight for $15 Victories!
Minimum wage fight victories swept the nation as working people in every sector across the country took up with the Fight For $15. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in April he would sign the measure will be instituted on a scheduled basis statewide. Washington, D.C workers won their $15 minimum in June. The Fight continues in MA, NJ and FL.
Clinton’s bid for the
their races. In NJ, Josh Gottheimer unseated Rep. Scott Jeffries. Jeffries, who rejected extending healthcare support for 9/11 responders. 1199ers also helped elect Sen. Chris Van Hollen in MD, Maggie Hassan in NH and number of working- family friendly officials in FL.
Celebrating Women's Strength
New Jersey members held their annual International Women’s Month celebration, a day for working women share ideas about the power of politics.
In Our Communities
Rochester, NY members organized the annual anti-gun violence vigil. Florida members stood with the city of Orlando and all of the LGBTQ community after June’s Pulse Nightclub massacre. Syracuse, NY members participated in a neighborhood cleanup.
Standing in Solidarity
Members raised money and collected donations to assist victims of the Flint Water Crisis in Michigan and raised funds through the Union’s We Care for Haiti organization after Hurricane Matthew devastated the country.
Major contract victories include a victory by Consulate nursing home in FL, St. Mary’s Hospital in Queens, NY and Aristacare Health Service in NJ.
Protecting Our Planet
Members continued the fight against the contamination of Upstate NY’s Seneca Lake and raised their voices against the Dakota Pipeline. Sec. Treas. Maria Castaneda joined the board of NY clean- water advocacy organization Riverkeeper.
1199 was the largest contingent at May’s SEIU Convention. The quadrennial gathering was held this year in Detroit, MI; the Union’s own Gerry Hudson was elected as the International’s Secretary Treasurer. In union wide elections, a slate headed by Pres. George Gresham and Sec. Treasurer Maria Castaneda won a third term leading the Union.