Union To Launch New Unit for Health Care Workers
The Service Employees International Union on Friday in Baltimore plans to launch a new health care union that will serve about one million members who work in the industry, such as nurses and service workers at hospitals and nursing homes, the Baltimore Sun reports. SEIU has about 1.8 million members.
SEIU Healthcare, which will have an annual budget of about $100 million, will combine financial and personnel resources, as well as political priorities and proposals, from the 38 local SEIU health care unions to improve health care practices and promote universal health insurance. However, the local SEIU health care unions will retain their leaders and authority in local and collective bargaining politics.
Dennis Rivera, who will serve as chair of SEIU Healthcare, said that the local SEIU health care unions lack cohesion and often have different names, slogans and identities. He added, "By coordinating our work and having a unity of mission and purpose and program, where we hold each other accountable and assist each other, we could reach the goals we've set for ourselves" (Cho, Baltimore Sun, 6/21).