As I wrote earlier this year when I took office as our new SEIU 925 President, I continue to be excited and inspired by our union members’ drive to build a better world for all workers. In just eight months since I was sworn in, so much as happened that has built worker power in our state.
Our biggest strength –and what I love most about our local– is that we represent so many different folks doing important work across the public sector. So this Labor Day, I’m particularly proud that SEIU 925 is at the forefront of a 21st-century labor movement. I hope you are, too! See below for some of the great stuff happening in Washington State and beyond!
President, SEIU 925
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Because SEIU 925 members worked hard to elect worker champions to our state legislature, K-12 school district classified staff won a 5.5% COLA increase! After hard fights at the bargaining table, King County workers won a one-time, up-to-$4000 bonus and retroactive raises going back to 2019!
Online ratification voting is currently underway for Family Child Care providers, whose Tentative Agreement with the State includes cost-of-care enhancement funds, more grant opportunities, higher subsidy rates (and base rates for Family, Friends, and Neighbor providers), and NO TAKEAWAYS!
In our higher education division, University of Washington classified staff are currently in bargaining, and as usual UW is dragging its feet. Despite being ranked and perceived as a world-class research institution, UW has chronic short staffing and underpays employees relative to their competitors.
UW Libraries are currently bargaining their first contract, as are Antioch University faculty to join their colleagues at the Seattle campus.
Earlier this summer, hundreds of SEIU 925 members stood up for increased funding for child care and a more progressive tax code for all of us. Initiative 1929, which would have defunded child care and K-12 education, did not quality for the ballot because so many people signed petitions, talked with family and coworkers, and declined to sign the initiative.
Nationally, we know that unions are experiencing a resurgence of organizing activity – with Starbucks, Amazon, REI, and other workers standing up and demanding better pay and workplace protections. Here in Washington, there’s a lot of union activity too!
- Eight early learning educators at MightyKidz child care center in Seattle were illegally fired for asking for raises and showing interest in forming a union. They’re now actively organizing to join SEIU 925!
- Attorneys and support staff at Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel have joined SEIU 925 and are in the process of electing a bargaining committee for the first contract! Fellow SEIU 925 members at the King County Department of Public Defense provided advice and support along the way.
- Teachers at the Washington Connections Academy lost their union election to join with us earlier this year due to illegal employer intimidation. We filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and we are awaiting the results of a hearing – we believe we will prevail and we will get this tainted election set aside.
- Social workers at UWMC won their union and joined our classified members at uw! They are now bargaining their first contract, with UW classified chapter President Rhonda Johnson helping!