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The Latest

Welcome to the SEIU Local 925 blog.

Supreme Court sides with working families!

The Supreme Court on March 29 rejected an attempt to stop us from joining together in unions to improve our lives and our communities by ruling against the wealthy special interests behind the Friedrichs v California Teachers Association case.

This is a huge victory for working families!

But the threat is not going away just yet. A handful of billionaires are still funding ballot measures, litigation and legislation – all aimed at stopping us from sticking together.

These wealthy special interests – and groups like the Freedom Foundation here in Washington – don’t want us to unite to make a real difference in our communities.

Why? Because they know when we join together, we win. And they don’t want anyone to stand in the way of their extreme agenda to drive down wages and game the tax system, leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab for fully funding education.

But we will not let them succeed. Join thousands of SEIU 925 members and take the pledge to stand united in our union for good jobs, fully funding education and ensuring that Washington works for ALL of us.


“As a Patient Services Specialist at the University of Washington, I’ve witnessed the power of our collective voice to improve our work environment. Together, we bargained strong contracts and on March 19 we held a great action to keep our U-PASS affordable. It’s because we have a strong union that we can make positive changes.

I am prepared to stand with my brothers and sisters in our union and with working families all over the country. We have to push back and fight. This was a close call, but we have many more to come. We need to show strength in numbers and solidarity to beat back attacks and win at the bargaining table. The only way is for us to be unified.”

Jen Papest, PSS
Radiation Oncology
University of Washington


“As an HVAC Technician at Vancouver School District, I’ve seen the power of K-12 classified staff having a collective voice in our union. Together, we’ve bargained strong contracts, won benefits for our families and made improvements at our jobs.

These corporations and billionaires are trying to destroy unions so they can get more wealth for themselves. If they succeed, our wages will decrease and our benefits, like medical and sick leave, will slowly go away.

We will not let them succeed. This is a battle. But this battle is everybody’s battle, not just a union battle.”

Phil Akerill
HVAC Technician
Vancouver School District


“Groups like the Freedom Foundation are still trying to destroy our union by deceiving us into dropping our membership.

We won’t let that happen. As a Family Child Care Provider, I’ve seen the power we have when we stick together. We’ve been able to win higher subsidy rates and training funds and improve access for children and parents.

Join me in standing strong with our Family Child Care union – SEIU Local 925. We are stronger together.”

Marie Keller
SEIU Local 925
Family Child Care Chapter President

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Members energized at Leadership Assembly

Leadership Assembly 3-19-16

SEIU 925 members were energized into action at our annual Leadership Assembly at the University of Washington on March 19.

See more photos here

Member leaders represented the broad spectrum of our union, including early learning educators, K-12 classified staff, UW workers, and other government and non-profit employees.

The one-day event kicked off with a spirited rally at the opening of the UW light rail station, where members of various unions and community partners called on UW to make the U-PASS affordable for faculty, staff and students.

During the Leadership Assembly, members recapped recent localwide victories, reviewed some of the current threats against working families and discussed plans to continue building our worker movement.

“It was awesome to see all the purple together. It reinforces how we reengage with our members and our community. We’re fighting for everybody, not just union members. I feel like it lit a spark in me.”
Deanna Clark
Program Coordinator, Harborview Medical Center

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With the completion of the latest light rail expansion the University of Washington has gained a new connection to our regions public transportation system. As the celebration kicked off for the opening of the Husky Stadium Station revelers were greeted by a rally of 200 union members demanding that UW do the right thing-KeepIMG_1270 the U-PASS affordable.

The University of Washington had proposed increasing U-PASS rates for employees by up to 43 percent. After pressure from union members the UW backed off its original proposal.

The proposed increase to the U-PASS is a result of $2 million in parking taxes owed to the City of Seattle. “But here’s the problem. We’ve already paid our portion, over $1 million in fact, through the reserve fund,” stated SEIU 925 member Laura Harrington addressing the crowd. Harrington also serves on the UW Transportation Committee.

“Other employers both in our neighborhood and other universities in the city offer a lower [transportation package] rate for their employees,” said Gina Neff, UW Faculty Forward member and Associate Professor in the Department of Communications, speaking to KOMO News at the event.

The University of Washington shouldn’t continue to pass the buck on to its employees.UW U-PASS action 3-19-16 (142)

An affordable U-PASS will make it possible for more UW staff, faculty and students to use public transportation. “It’s great that we have a new light rail station, but it’s not enough to have a new station if people can’t afford a ticket to ride,” said Harrington.

That message was made loud and clear.
The United Union Rally was sponsored by: SEIU 925, UAW 4121, AFSCME/WFSE Council 28 Local 1488, SEIU 1199, WSNA, and UW Faculty Forward.

More photos from the rally can be found on our flickr here.

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Upcoming EPIC Contract Vote

EPIC Bargaining 3-14-15 Final-1.fw

EPIC Bargaining 3-14-15 Final-2

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925 embRACE Celebrates Black History Month


Over a hundred SEIU 925 members and their families gathered at the Northwest African American Museum on February 29 to celebrate Black History Month. At the celebration, sponsored by the embRACE committee, participants were treated to free museum tours, and live performances. Erin Jones the Director of Equity and Achievement for Federal Way Public School was the guest speaker. The Keynote speech was presented by Marcia Tate Arunga author of The Stolen Ones and How They Were Missed. Please enjoy this slideshow of highlights from the celebration.   2016 Black History Month Event by embRACE

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Hundreds stand up for education at Lobby Day

More than 200 SEIU 925 members attended our annual lobby day in Olympia Feb. 15 and urged legislators to stand up for education.

See the photo slideshow

Education from early learning to college is dangerously underfunded in our state because Washington corporations do not pay their fair share. Members took action at the capital and spoke directly to elected leaders, including Governor Jay Inslee, and asked them to:

  • Hold corporations accountable to paying their fair share for fully funding education.
  • Fund our Family Child Care Providers contract and ensure that Early Achievers has the resources and flexibility it needs for providers to be successful.
  • Support increasing state investment in UW, so that we can lessen dependence on corporations that are currently governing the school
  • Ensure that fully funding education includes investing in our K-12 classified staff.


“We came to knock on doors,” said 925 Family Child Care Provider Elena Avalos to the crowd of hundreds of 925 members before they walked off to speak with legislators. “We came to make our presence known. We are SEIU! We need a budget that is fair and that stands up for education. We can see that there isn’t a bright sun outside. But let me tell you something. We are sun that will shine brightly!”

Did you miss the action? You can still pledge to stand in solidarity with our union for good jobs, fully funding education and ensuring that Washington works for ALL of us. Take the Unity Pledge here.

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Meet Our New Executive Board

Main Picture- E-Board

SEIU 925 Officers

Karen Hart

Executive Vice President
Tricia Schroeder

Secretary Treasurer
Cindy Elizalde

First Vice President
Carol Harris-Davis

Second Vice President
Kathy Yasi

Southwest Washington Vice President
Rhonda Nofsinger

SEIU 925 Executive Board Members

Local Government/Non-Profit Division
Ramona Brandes
Duane Evans

Early Learning Division
Northwest Region: Marie Keller
Eastern Region: Maria Marin
Central Region: Maria Sosa and Maria Avalos
Southwest Region: Liliya Aukhimovich and Holly Lindsey
King County Region: Patricia Bailey and Laura Chandler
FFN/Exempt at large: Beverly Tyler

Higher Education
Umberto Lenzi
Jose F. Mayorga
Helen Valentine
Tony Colinares
Tom Small
Anne Lawson
Deanna Clark
Heather Ruiter
Chris Lakey
Jen Papest
Jon Geraghty
Noel Bain
Brendan Impson
Ashley Flanny Russell
K-12 Division
South King County: Tom Layer
Olympic Peninsula: Michael Laxson
East King County: Jackie Wheeler & Torry Gower
North King/South Snohomish County: None
Bremerton: Jeanette Penrose
Southwest Washington: Vicki White and Judy Amituanai
Snohomish County: Terri House
Skagit/Whatcom County: Keith Allex
K-12: None
Higher Education: Ramel Fuentes
Early Learning: Karla Weeks
Local Government/Non-Profit: Allen Alston
Bremerton: None


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Remembering Dr. King

Standing Strong

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday was January 15.

At this time of year it is important to pause and take a moment to remember the racial, social and economic injustices that Dr. King fought. This is a time to remember his fight for the freedom, equality and dignity of all races and peoples. A time to remember his inspiring message of change through nonviolence during the Civil Rights Movement.

While almost everyone knows about Dr. King’s Civil Rights efforts, do you know about his support for the labor movement?


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We stood STRONG in 2015!

Standing Strong

A message from our President, Karen Hart:

As we say good-bye to 2015 and usher in a new year, I want to wish you and your family happy holidays.

This has been such a tremendous year for us and it’s because we chose to join together and stand strong as a union.

Together we have accomplished so much toward fully funding education from birth to graduation:


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We re-elected our 925 President!

SEIU 925 members re-elected Karen Hart as President of our union. Our member election committee officially tallied the mail-in votes on Dec. 5 with the grand majority of votes in support of Karen Hart.

KLH_2015_10_27_006untitled (2)“I’m humbled and honored that I have been entrusted to lead our union into 2016,” Karen said. “We have many challenges ahead of us that we will take on together. We must build a stronger, more powerful union, beat back the attacks on working families and make Washington work for all of us, not just the wealthy few. By sticking together as one strong union and speaking with one strong voice we can ensure that all our families and communities have a fair chance to succeed. SEIU 925 is one of the best unions in the country and it’s because of all of our members, our vision and our commitment to one another.”

Election Committee members Marky Erhardt and Pema Richeson help to validate and count the votes on Dec. 5.

Election Committee members Marky Erhardt and Pema Richeson help to validate and count the votes on Dec. 5.

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