The recent SEIU convention in Detroit marked a milestone in the continued success of Local 1991, thanks in great measure to the hard work of our active members.
Local 1991 was well represented by board members Martha Baker, RN, Barbara Scollon, RN, Vicki Gonzalez, RN, Maggie Pena, BSW, Denise Glass, RN, Yolanda Tecson, RN, Carla Quigley, RN, pharmacist Sereda White, millennial member Dontrel Smith and staff.
President Baker was elected as an Executive Board member on SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry’s slate. The honor is a huge recognition of all the progress we have made together as a team.
In particular, MKH and the executive board were impressed with Local 1991’s success as the local with the highest percentage of membership in any right-to-work state in the country. They also noted the high level of participation of our members in political campaigns. We blew them away with our turnout for Hillary in the primary push. Finally, our local’s leadership role on the national Nurse Alliance was also lauded.
The member delegates who attended our 26th International Convention adopted a range of resolutions to guide SEIU in the coming years. (The following are capsule summaries; click through to the resolutions themselves for a fuller understanding of each. They are presented in the order of their resolution number.)
RESOLUTIONS FROM THE RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE
- Building a Wider Movement to Create a Just Society (Resolution 102A): We will build a wider movement for justice by—among other strategies—aligning resources and linking the fights for “economic, racial, immigrant and climate justice, women’s reproductive rights and equality for women, Native Americans and First Nations people, people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” while continuing the fight on each issue.
- Innovate to Strengthen and Transform Our Union to Win (Resolution 103A): We will develop strategies to innovate in our work, advance in our use of technology and establish an Innovation Center to support these efforts at all levels.
- Building a Better Future for Working Families: 2016 to 2018 Plan to Win (Resolution 104A): We will inject our agenda into the 2016 campaign, elect Hillary Clinton and champions for working families at all levels of government, grow SEIU-COPE and build infrastructure for accountability in 2017 and beyond.
- Leadership to Build New Power for Working People (Resolution 105A): SEIU locals will create leadership development plans for all levels of leaders (with goals to include organizational equity and inclusion), track data in conjunction with the International Union, and identify and develop leaders under 35.
- To Win Economic Justice for Working People, We Must Win Racial Justice: (Resolution 106A): SEIU will “establish an anchor and leadership oversight to prioritize, support, and drive the continued education and engagement process and implementation of ending anti‐Black and structural racism” and expand our work such that we engage not only on income inequality, but wealth inequality as well, and on criminal justice reform. We will develop partnerships to build power in Black communities.
- Environmental Justice for Working People (Resolution 108A): We will “join the fight to make clean air and water a human right, for environmental justice in all communities, and to combat climate change” while demanding a “just transition for all workers and communities whose lives and livelihoods will be impacted” by reduced dependence on fossil fuels. We will support infrastructure investment to prevent the next Flint.
- National Strategy to Win: Building Power in States and Provinces (Resolution 109A): We will focus on building power in the states and provinces which, when combined with our industry power, will enable SEIU to win on scale. Every state and province will operate from a comprehensive, long-term plan.
- Transforming Government for Working Families (Resolution 110A): We will move to shape the political debate and hold elected officials accountable, pushing back on the “assault on the proper role of government” and demanding for a well-funded, effective public sector.
- Transforming Capital to Win for Working People (Resolution 111A): We will challenge corporations and markets to “adopt democratic reforms, address structural racism and commit to long-term value creation,” expand our diverse group of member-leaders to lead our pension funds, and create a “council of economic advisors” who are equipped to evaluate and critique the current system and envision alternatives.
- Retirement Security for All Working People (Resolution 112A): We will work with allies to develop a national program to strengthen Social Security and the Canada Pension Plan. We will fight for the inclusion in Social Security of working people who have historically been excluded.
- Winning Economic and Social Justice for Puerto Rico (Resolution 114A): SEIU Puerto Rico will “create the necessary power needed to reclaim the economy,” calling on the U.S. government to “accept moral responsibility for restructuring Puerto Rico’s debt in a way that is fair to Puerto Ricans.” We call for the release from prison of Oscar Lopez Rivera.
- Healthcare is a Human Right (Resolution 205A): SEIU will support, defend and promote the Affordable Care Act while joining with allies to advocate for a national single-payer healthcare system in the United States that recognizes healthcare as a human right with comprehensive benefits and a single standard of care.
- Healthcare Justice for All (Resolution 224): We will fight to improve quality, access and affordability within the Affordable Care Act, engage healthcare members to be “active leaders on quality improvement,” fight for a more just long term care system, and develop unionwide health and safety member leaders in action.
RESOLUTIONS PROPOSED BY THE INTERNATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD
- Organizing to Build Power: Growing Our Membership and Creating New Forms of Organization (Resolution 101): We will start campaigns and organizations that build power; create a Fight for $15 Organizing Campaign Center; align global organizing with the unionwide organizing plan; and “align Unity Funds and Local Union 20 percent to the unionwide organizing plan.”
- Immigrant Justice (Resolution 107): In the fight for commonsense immigration reform, SEIU will build momentum for federal legislation, drive policy victories at the state and local level, mobilize the Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI), African and Caribbean electorate, and build public support for reform.
- National Retiree Program (Resolution 113): We will recommit ourselves to building a powerful SEIU Retiree program, providing an opportunity for retirees to remain active in the union “by developing a program that meets their needs and interests.” We will empower retirees to become a formidable electoral force.
- AFSCME and SEIU: Unstoppable Unions that Never Quit (Resolution 115): AFSCME and SEIU will establish the common goals of innovating within labor, including innovating in collective bargaining; exploring new forms of worker organization; expanding organizing; and leading in the wider movement for social and economic justice. We will “deepen our collaboration and work more closely together at every level” by establishing “unity partnerships” and creating a joint committee to foster collaboration.
- Equality For All Working People (Resolution 116): We will support efforts to ensure LGBTIQ individuals and families cannot be fired, denied governmental services or access to education, or be turned away from public accommodations in the United States or Canada, and we will develop a strategic plan to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- We Are Unstoppable: Our Program to Win for Working People (Resolution 117): SEIU will commit to three core strategies: creating the next forms of worker organization, building a wider movement around our common struggle for economic, racial, immigrant and environmental justice, and innovating in our union so we can use our collective strength to win for our families and communities. (This resolution summarizes the totality of activity at the Convention.)