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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

Healthcare Organizer

Internal Healthcare Organizers: Work with existing union members to develop new leaders and activists within union chapters to bargain and enforce strong contracts, take on and win workplace improvements and activate union members in building a union voice in their worksite and their larger community.  

  • Your job would focus on identifying and activating leaders, utilizing strong active listening skills to determine workplace concerns and work collaboratively with co-workers and union leaders to develop and implement solutions and actions that affect change.

External Healthcare Organizers: 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.

  • Your job would focus on identifying and activating leaders, utilizing strong active listening skills to determine workplace concerns and articulate a plan to win resulting in the successful GOTV of worker votes in union elections or card check campaigns.

Additional Organizational and Position Background

  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW union members are healthcare workers: from nurses who provide life-saving direct patient care to critical support staff that ensure patients are in clean rooms with good meals.
  • Healthcare workers are compassionate, caring people who are fun and rewarding to engage and work with.
  • Through workplace organizing and advocacy union members build respect and equity for the important, and sometimes hidden or undervalued, work done by a majority female workforce in our States’ hospitals, clinics and mental health facilities.
  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW uses a leadership model that develops the voice and skills of our diverse membership.
  • SEIU Healthcare members have consistently supported and led in our larger communities social justice initiatives including; racial justice, immigration reform and affordable health care for all.

Women & candidates of color are encouraged to apply. Labor or community organizing experience preferred but not required, all positions at 1199NW offer orientation, training and development. Competitive salary and highly generous benefit package available commiserate experience.

Application Process:

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.

Graphic Designer

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is looking for an in-house graphic designer to use their Adobe Creative Suite skills to create designs, layout and visual images used in print and online media. This position may require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and 2-5 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Works with internal clients and under general supervision; reporting to a supervisor or manager.

Responsibilities:

  • Creates designs, layout and visual images used in print and online media
  • Stays current with trends in design applications and print techniques
  • Interprets internal client’s needs and quickly turns their ideas into visual design solutions
  • Prints finished jobs on internal printers
  • Communicates with offsite print and paper vendors
  • Maintains organization’s design and communications standards on documents produced
  • Updates and uploads content to our websites (WordPress knowledge a plus) and social media platforms

 Qualifications:

  • Two – five years of experience, BA or AA a plus
  • Expert proficiency with current version of Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator) on MS Windows platform
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite
  • Print technology and pre-press process knowledge a plus
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills with the ability to articulate design solutions
  • Proven ability to work on multiple projects and concepts simultaneously
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment with tight deadlines
  • Ability to communicate creative concepts verbally
  • Strong project management skills as they relate to creative design from concept to completion
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Detail oriented
  • Ability to copyedit content to adhere to internal styles
  • Familiarity with WordPress and social media platforms a plus

Compensation:

Competitive salary scales are set by the SEIU Healthcare 1199NW staff union collective bargaining agreement and range from $50,900 to $68,900 annually, starting rate dependent on experience.

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

Application:

A complete application includes:

  • Cover letter which describes your interest in this position and how you meet the desired skill/experience and educational requirements
  • Current resume which includes dates of all employment
  • Link to online portfolio or provide samples of your design work
  • List of at least 3 references from previous employer/s

Send cover letter, resume and references 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.