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About

We are more than 30,000 nurses, healthcare workers, and behavioral health workers across Washington state united for quality patient and client care and good jobs.

We are a union ­— an independent organization created by employees to advocate for our common interests. We know that healthcare works best when we have a strong voice in decision making at our facilities. We stand together to make sure that our pay and benefits allow all of our families to thrive.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is our statewide union. Our union includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, pharmacists, technicians, professionals, therapists, mental health workers, certified nursing aides, housekeeping and dietary staff, and other healthcare workers. We believe we are the strongest to win for our patients, our clients, and our families when we unite across our job titles and advocate together. We are one care team.

We are also part of the 2 million member Service Employees International UnionSEIU is the largest union of healthcare workers in the nation. 

Interested who is in our leadership?

Curious how to join our union?

Our roots

District 1199NW was founded in 1983 when a group of nurses at Group Health-Puget Sound decided to form a union in our area. They organized a union with 1199-Hospital and Health Care Employees Union, a union originally founded by pharmacists and drug clerks that went on to lead historic campaigns to improve pay and benefits for hospital employees and nurses.
We later voted to form a nationwide union of health care employees by becoming part of SEIU. We’re proud of our connection to 1199’s history — a legacy of progressive, democratic action for social justice and civil rights for every American.

Learn more about our union leadership.

Learn more about joining our union.

How to form a union at your workplace

Hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers have decided that to make sure we are heard on the job, we need to speak with a united voice. To do that, we’ve formed a union — an independent organization created by employees to advocate for our common interests.

Questions about joining? Email or call our new organizing team, 425-336-5854.

Three Steps to Forming a Union:

1. We identify the changes we want to make and talk to our coworkers about forming our union.

2. After a strong majority of us sign a petition or card saying we'll vote yes for the union, we schedule a union election.  

3. We form our union and begin to negotiate to improve pay, benefits, and other work issues.

FAQs

Why should we join SEIU Healthcare 1199NW?

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is Washington state’s strongest healthcare union with more than 30,000 healthcare workers standing together for quality care and quality careers. Together we have the strength to improve our jobs and the care we give. Read more about the benefits of membership.

How do we form a union?

Forming a union starts with talking to your co-workers about it.  Contact our new organizing team, 425-336-5854, to get some help and tips, and find more information here.  

How do we negotiate a contract?

Negotiating a contract is a participatory, democratic process — all of us have a role to play.

We elect a team of co-workers from across the facility to represent us in negotiations with management. The team puts together a bargaining proposal based on input from surveys and meetings with employees across the hospital or clinic.

The bargaining team — with support from legal and negotiating experts from the union — meets with management over a period of time to reach an agreement on the issues.

We, the union members, then have the final say. Once we reach a tentative agreement with management, we have a chance to review it and ask questions. Then we hold a vote — no contract can be accepted unless a majority of our co-workers vote to approve.

What kinds of improvements have healthcare workers won by joining together in a union?

Having a real voice has allowed thousands of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW members to make our jobs better: improved wages, real job security, stable benefits, a voice for better staffing. Read more about the benefits of being a member.

Other than negotiating a contract, how else do SEIU Healthcare 1199NW workers gain a voice on the job?

Having a union allows healthcare workers to create new avenues of communication between us, the employees, and management, like:

Union-management committees. Most contracts create committees that allow employees to sit down with management to solve problems as they come up. Many contracts set up special committees that focus on a particular issue — such as staffing —  that we want to have an ongoing voice about.

A fair system for resolving differences. Our contracts also create a “grievance procedure” where an employee who has a disagreement with a management decision can turn to an appeal process. 

Who is SEIU?

SEIU is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in improving the lives of workers and our families and creating a more just and humane society. Find more information on SEIU’s website.

How much are dues? What do they pay for?

Dues pay the costs of building an effective organization including our education and training programs, negotiating expenses, newsletters, office expenses, and salaries for officers and a full-time staff who provide research, organizing, communications, and legal support for the union.

Dues are 1.8 percent of your gross monthly pay, with a cap of $90/month-- $18 for every $1,000 earned. 

Employees don’t pay dues until coworkers have negotiated and a majority of co-workers have voted to approve their first contract.

Dues cannot be increased unless a majority votes to approve a change.

Who makes the decisions in the union?

The members do. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is run by members through a strong democratic process. Members elect our own worksite leaders, a union-wide executive board, and our local union officers. We vote to approve our contracts, our dues structure, and all other major decisions in our organization.

What is the advantage of having many types of healthcare employees in one organization?

Most healthcare jobs are team-based and patient care quality improves when every part of the team is strong. Cutbacks and staffing shortages in one department or job classification can ripple across the facility and weaken care and services for patients in other units. It’s important that we all speak with a united voice about our problems and concerns.

Having a united organization for everyone allows employees to make sure that every part of the patient care team has a voice in making decisions about the future of their facility.

How will management react if we try to form a union?

Most employers are used to having the power to make decisions without employee input. It’s typical for employers to be hesitant about opening up decision-making to employee involvement.

But it’s important to remember that forming a union will improve patient care and employee-management relations in the long run. Every employee has the right to help form a union. Ultimately, the decision about forming a union is made by employees, not managers.

How can I give feedback about the care I received from an SEIU Healthcare 1199NW member?

As a healthcare workers' and nurses' union, we put patient care first.  Feedback about care you received is best directed to the hospital, clinic, facility, or institution where you received your care.

If you have complaints of a serious nature about care deficiencies we encourage you to file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Health.

Employment

Union Organizer

NEW Positions with a Progressive Union

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, a progressive healthcare union is part of the fastest growing union in the country.  We are a union of 30,000 healthcare workers strong and growing in Washington State.  We work toward economic and racial justice in our communities and building strong worker led unions that advocate for good jobs, safer staffing and a voice on the job for frontline staff in hospitals, clinics, behavior health and social service agencies.  

A Day in the Life of an 1199NW Organizer! 

Join a growing team that includes over 60 organizers doing bold worksite based organizing and bargaining throughout Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest by engaging in:

All Organizer Positions

  • Leadership Development: identify and foster existing and new union leaders & activists’ growth and leadership.
  • Racial Justice: engage workers in our fight to promote racial justice and combat white supremacy.
  • Engage majority participation in contract negotiations though fun and inclusive strategies.
  • Plan: actions to win improvements in the workplace that promote workplace democracy & justice.
  • Mobilize: members to participate in community, political and organizing opportunities in the larger union and community.
  • Listen: utilize your excellent active listening skills to determine workplace concerns by asking open ended questions and listening more than you talk J
  • Welcome & Educate: new members on what a union is and share opportunities for member involvement.
  • Build relationships: Work with people from diverse background and culture, Bilingual skills a plus

 External or “New” Organizing Positions

  • Work with non-union healthcare workers to successfully form their union
  • Engage worksite leaders and member organizers around a vision of union difference and leadership that WIN union elections and first contracts.
  • Articulate a plan to win resulting in the successful GOTV of worker votes in union elections or card check campaigns.

Our Culture & Position Information

Healthcare workers are a predominantly female workforce and SEIU Healthcare members are committed to building respect and equity for the critical work we do that has been at times unseen or undervalued.  

SEIU is the nations’ largest union of immigrant workers and SEIU Healthcare members have consistently supported and led in our communities social justice initiatives including; racial justice, immigration reform and affordable health care for all.

We value experience and also foster an environment where organizers have opportunity to grow through mentorship, development programs and on the ground training. 

Application

Women & People of color are highly encouraged to apply.

Position is covered by a Staff Union with a collective bargaining agreement that includes: Competitive salary ($54,281-$83,506), and additional $6000/year car allowance, a strong benefit package including 14% employer contribution to 401K/Pension, fully paid family healthcare, 13 paid holidays a year and generous time off accrual. 

Applicants must submit a current resume, with references and a cover letter expressing what their commitment and interest in the labor movement is in order to be considered for the position.  Resumes and cover letters should be sent to:

Penny Lowry
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
15 South Grady Way, #200
Renton, WA 98057

Email:  pennyl@seiu1199nw.org

 

New Media & Communications Specialist

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a progressive, social and racial justice-committed healthcare union in Washington State made up of more than 30,000 healthcare workers and behavioral health workers.   We unite together to improve the quality of patient care by raising standards in the workplace, advocating for workforce training funds for healthcare workers, and standing up for affordable healthcare for all.

This position reports to and will collaborate with the Communications Director of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW to develop and implement the union’s communications plan to support member development and organizing, bargaining, legislative and political engagement.

This position may involve long or irregular hours including nights and weekends, and may include some travel; a vehicle is required.

Summary of Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with Communications Director and field teams to develop and execute innovative, high impact digital organizing and outreach campaigns using social media platforms, online tools, and video to increase member engagement and build public support.
  • Develop, write, and edit strategic communications including direct mail and internal lit for organizing, bargaining, legislative, and electoral campaigns.
  • Plan and manage clear, compelling, and shareable content across digital channels including social media, online ads, web, email, video. Partner with graphic design team to produce content.
  • Closely track engagement and performance analytics to understand, assess, and make recommendations on digital and communications strategy.

Qualifications:

  • A commitment to the social justice mission, vision, and values of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. Previous work experience in the social justice and progressive community preferred.
  • At least three years of experience managing communications and/or digital work and online advocacy including a history of using data analytics to develop targeted communications strategies and messages.
  • Proficiency in writing, word processing, video editing, web design, HTML, and new media campaigns.
  • Technical knowledge of Word Press and social media platforms.

Compensation:

Competitive salary scales are set by the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW staff union collective bargaining agreement and range from $52,000-$81,000, salary steps depend on experience.

Benefits include fully paid employer healthcare, defined benefit pension and 401k, vacation and sick leave, and car allowance.

Submission:

Please submit your resume, cover letter, three references, and a sample of your work including an overview and assessment of a digital campaign you managed to Penny Lowry, PennyL@seiu1199nw.org

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is an equal opportunity employer committed to organizational equity and inclusion. People of Color, women, and LGBTQ individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

Communications Director

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is the largest healthcare union in Washington State, and our mission is to win quality healthcare, social justice and good jobs for all. We are looking for an experienced senior-level communications director to provide strategic communications development and direction for union, community and political campaigns and lead our communications department. If you want to work in a fast-paced, action-oriented organization fighting for a more just and compassionate world, this job is for you.

The applicant must have at least 5 years experience working in communications for a progressive organization, elected official or union, using both traditional and online platforms.

The applicant must be an excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, excellent writing, analytical and messaging skills, successful experience in both personnel and project management, and extensive experience in both internal and external communications.

JOB DESCRIPTION:

  • Leads the Communications Department, including strategic planning, budgeting, and project management, in coordination with the Officers and other senior staff;
  • Directs development and delivery of campaign communications, member communications, media outreach and capacity building;
  • Leads all aspects of the union’s communications including literature, advertising, social media, video, press relations and promotional items.
  • Develops messaging and communications for use in bargaining, organizing, political and community campaigns in consultation with other staff;
  • Coordinates with the Officers, Political, Legislative and other senior staff on political strategies, legislative priorities, polling, budgets, resource allocations, staffing, and other issues;
  • Recruits, develops, trains and supervises communications staff;
  • Supervises the work of communications staff and consultants;
  • Stewards the brand and reputation of the union;
  • Develops and directs outreach to national, statewide and local news media;
  • Directs development and implementation of ways to use new technology for campaign communications and media.
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Reports to President and other officers as assigned.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

  • 5 years experience working in communications for a progressive organization, elected official or labor union;
  • Deep commitment to workers’ rights, social justice and progressive values;
  • Demonstrated high level of judgment and ability to take initiative and work independently;
  • Extensive knowledge and successful experience in communications strategies in support of worker bargaining, organizing, community and/or grass roots leverage campaigns;
  • Extensive knowledge of legislative and political communications strategies preferred;
  • Experience in working with polling firms and translating polling results to effective messaging;
  • Excellent writing, verbal, visual and analytical skills;
  • Extensive experience using social media in campaigns;
  • A positive, solutions-oriented, can-do attitude and enthusiasm for leading teams;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of electronic and print media systems, advertising and messaging techniques, production of printed and audiovisual materials;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage effective relationships with union leaders and staff, members, news media, and allied organizations and maintain a high union profile;
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred.
  • Must be available for travel. Long and irregular hours are routine;

Compensation: Competitive salary and excellent benefits

Location:  This position is based in Renton, WA

To Apply: Send resume and cover letter to Penny Lowry, pennyl@seiu1199nw.org

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is an equal opportunity employer committed to organizational equity and inclusion. People of Color, women, and LGBTQ individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.