News

Union Members Work Together at Summer Statewide Meeting

On May 1-3, SEIU Virginia 512 Members from across Virginia came together in Williamsburg to celebrate union victories, learn from each other and plan to win even more in 2015.

Together, we recognized union members’ hard work in protecting quality public services, winning fair compensation, advocating for workers rights and more.

We worked together in chapters to plan strategically for the rest of 2015, talked about important upcoming political elections, learned new skills and made plans for how we will continue to work together to win as a union.

You can check out photos from the event on Facebook: facebook.com/SEIUVirginia512

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SEIU Virginia 512 Members Rally for $15

IMG_9055 (1280x814)SEIU Virginia 512 members, alongside hundreds of community allies, rallied as part of the nationwide Fight for $15. Together, we spoke out for a living wage for all working people.

You can check out media coverage of the event at the links below. An update with more photos and a full report will be posted soon.

Fight for $15: Locals take part in national protest to raise minimum wage

Richmond workers rally for increased wages

Fight for $15: Demonstration outside Richmond McDonalds part of nationwide movement

 

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Fairfax: We Stood United for a Fair Budget

2015BHdannyOn April 8, almost 100 SEIU Virginia 512 members continued our fight for a fair county budget in Fairfax. We stood before the Board of Supervisors at the Public Budget Hearing and spoke out on three key issues.

First, the proposed budget fails to fully fund the Market Rate Adjustment. The union-won pay plan only works if the Board of Supervisors fully funds it each year. We asked the board to fund the entire MRA and continue working with members to make sure that the pay plan is always funded.

Second, the proposed budget cuts positions and funding from vital services across the county. We asked the Board to restore these cuts and ensure county employees can continue to provide quality public services to Fairfax County residents.

Third, the proposed budget makes significant cuts to the Office of Elections that will harm Fairfax County residents’ ability to cast their votes. It would cut early absentee voting hours in half and significantly reduce the number of training hours for poll workers. We asked the Board to restore thes cuts to ensure every resident can have a fair chance to vote.

After our presentation, Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said the board is looking closely at ways to fully fund the MRA. And Vice-Charman Penny Gross thanked union members, particularly President Joe Wilhelm, for the hard work it took to creating and implementing the general county employee’s new pay plan.

This is great news, but we still have to work together to make sure that the Board follows through. They will adopt the final budget on April 28. Between now and then, we have to make sure they make the right decisions.

Get involved now to make sure they do!

Ask fellow coworkers to join you as a member, set up meetings at your worksite and stay informed! Let’s show the Board we’re not finished yet.

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Make Sure to JOIN IN at Exciting Upcoming Events!


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SEIU Virginia 512 members are coming together across the state to work together to win for working families.

We have lots of exciting events all over Virginia in the upcoming months. Click here to learn more about them and sign up to attend!

We look forward to seeing you soon. If you have questions, you can call the office at 571.432.0209 or email info@seiuva.org

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We Made our Voices Heard at Lobby Day!

From across Virginia, more than 100 SEIU Virginia 512 members and allies united in Richmond for 2015’s Lobby Day and Dinner. The two-day gathering gave us an opportunity to meet and learn from each other, celebrate our union and lobby our elected officials to make our voices heard.

“We made a strong showing and excelled at putting a face on the issues,” Home Care member Sam Haskins said

On Monday, we attended training sessions where we learned how the General Assembly works, educated each other on SEIU Virginia 512’s legislative priorities and practiced telling our personal stories.

“I loved the way that we were briefed on what to expect [at the General Assembly]. Moving forward, I want to flood their offices with letters and phone calls, all year long,” Home Care member Joseph Chamberlain said. 

Monday evening, we gathered for a dinner to prepare as teams for successful lobby visits, and we took the opportunity to celebrate the re-election of SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder and Secretary-Treasurer Karen Conchar.

On Tuesday, we hit the halls of the General Assembly, educating legislators about our priorities and sharing our stories so these elected officials could put faces to the big decisions they make.

“We were very productive talking to the delegates and their staff. They listened to our concerns and were engaged.” Fairfax member Yvonne Wallace  said.

After our lobby visits, we were joined by Governor Terry McAuliffe at lunch to discuss how we can work together to win Medicaid Expansion in Virginia, as well as the need for quality jobs for all Virginians.

Check out photos of the event on SEIU Virginia 512’s Facebook page.

We’d also like to recognize the great work of our Lobby Day Planning Committee. The following members worked together to plan and prepare for the event:
Shana Boston Allen
Charles Carter
Lauralyn Clark
Lindsey Dawson
Cassandra Shaw
Thomasine Wilson
Tammie Wondong Ware

Want to know more about the General Assembly and how we’re working to win quality jobs and quality services?

Keep an eye out for the weekly “3 Things You Need to Know from the General Assembly” emails. They contain updates on what’s happening and how you can help. Email info@seiuva.org if you are not receiving emails.

Become a Lobbyist For a Day to see the General Assembly in action and help win SEIU Virginia 512’s legislative priorities. Email info@seiuva.org to schedule your visit.

Join the rapid response team to receive breaking news updates from the General Assembly, with info on how to take action. Email info@seiuva.org to join the team.

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We spoke up across the state to win for working families!

We made our voices heard across Virginia Wednesday, Jan. 7 at the state’s Budget Hearings. The hearings are an opportunity for the public to advocate for state funding for the year. Members from all over the state attended and spoke at these hearings to advocate for Quality Jobs and Quality Public Services for all working Virginians.
Members spoke out about quality services and quality jobs, asking General Assembly members to do six key things:

— Expand Medicaid so that every hard-working Virginian has access to healthcare and to ensure that providers have the resources we need to do our jobs
— Raise the minimum wage
— Ensure every Virginian has access to affordable higher education
— Ensure affordable housing to hard-working Virginians across the Commonwealth
— Build a Quality Home Care system for all Virginians by providing a living wage and paid sick days to Medicaid home care providers
— Protect and strengthen the retirements promised to our public employees who serve our communities

Here are reports from each hearing we attended:

Williamsburg
Home Care member Karen Wynn and Julia Newton spoke at the Williamsburg hearing.

The legislators overseeing the hearing were Delegates Johnny Joannau, Chris Jones, Mamie BaCote and Dawn Hester, as well as Senator Kenny Alexander.

Karen Wynn shared this about the day: “This is my second year doing this. I am not comfortable speaking in front of people, but I do it on behalf of my mother who has dementia and Nigel who has cerebral palsy. They are the reason I muster up the courage to speak to our Senators and Delegates to fight for their rights and the rights of all who live in the state of Virginia. And for all the Home Care workers who are underpaid and do not get sick days or vacations or health care. Also, I spoke on raising the minimum wage for all of Virginians just to be able to take care of their families and Medicaid Expansion. I will keep speaking knocking on doors and phone banking. I want to make a difference, and I will be the voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

Martinsville
Home Care member Queenie Jett and Home Care Chapter Board member Shana Boston-Allen spoke to the legislators at the Martinsville Budget Hearing.

The legislators overseeing the hearing were Senators Emmett Hanger and Steve Newman and Delegates T. Scott Garrett, Charles Poindexter and Steve Landes.

Shana shared: “It was great to have a voice and know that the legislators were listening. It was hard to say everything in three minutes, but I told them we will see them again in Richmond so we can continue to advocate for health care, stagnant pay and the American Dream!”

Richmond
Home Care Chair Lauralyn Clark and Home Care member Barbara Lee spoke at the Richmond hearing.

The legislators overseeing the hearing were Delegates James Massie, John O’Bannon III, Riley Ingram and Kirk Cox and Senators Walter Stosch, John Watkins, Frank Ruff and Ryan McDougle.

Home Care member Thomasine Wilson was in attendance and shared: “When you advocate, your issues are heard and given opportunity to be addressed and it paves the way for a better life for families, community and future generations.”

Manassas
SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder, Home Care member Kenny Ulmer and Loudoun Chapter Chair Patti Nelson spoke at the Manassas hearing.

The legislators overseeing the hearing were Senators Janet Howell, Chuck Colgan and Jill Vogel and Delegates Scott Lingamfelter, Ed Scott and Richard Anderson.

After speaking, Kenny shared: “I’ve never spoken at a budget hearing before, but it was great. We need to keep doing this until we win.”

 

These budget hearings were the first step in winning a state budget that supports SEIU Virginia 512 members and all working families in Virginia. But if we’re going to win, we need to do more. The next step is attending Lobby Day on Jan. 26-27 to meet one-on-one with legislators to share your personal story. These stories are what move legislators to make the right decisions on our priorities.

Will you join us at Lobby Day to win for working families? RSVP today here!

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Members Plan to Win in 2015!

On Dec. 6, SEIU Virginia 512 members from across the state gathered to win in 2015.

We worked in chapters to celebrate our 2014 victories and plan for a successful 2015. We discussed how we win in politics, about electing champions for working people and holding them accountable once they take office. And we spent quality time with one another, meeting new members and building cross-chapter relationships.

Want to join us for the next statewide event? RSVP today for SEIU Virginia 512’s Annual Lobby Day and Dinner, Jan. 26-27.

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SEIU Virginia 512 Members Endorse 2014 Candidates

SEIU Virginia 512 members from all chapters came together over the last few months to interview US Congress candidates. Together, these members voted to endorse the following candidates:

Second Congressional District: Suzanne Patrick
Seventh Congressional District: Jack Trammell
Eighth Congressional District: Don Beyer
Tenth Congressional District: John Foust

Union members believe all these candidates are proven champions for working families and will fight for our issues in the US House of Representatives. Each of the endorsed candidates support good jobs and raising the minimum wage, as well as Medicaid Expansion.

SEIU Virginia 512 members serving on the Political Committee ask you to support these candidates.

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Home Care members join the fight for $15!

Home care workers all across the country struggle to make basic ends meet while doing some of the most important work there is: caring for the most vulnerable members of our community. That’s why we’re fighting for a living wage of $15 an hour for home care workers. 

SEIU Virginia 512 has joined the fight here in Virginia to advocate for $15 for the Commonwealth’s home care providers


Do you agree that home care workers deserve a raise? Sign the petition here.

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Fairfax Chapter: Personnel and Reorganization Committee Approves Union’s Pay Plan

For years, general county employees have been working hard without a pay plan. We didn’t know how we would move through our scales or when our next raise was coming. We’ve lacked the economic security that teachers and public safety staff have enjoyed.

That’s why union members have lead the fight to win a fair pay plan, which offers raises and MRAs every year and recognizes employees’ careers with longevity raises. Last month, the Board of Supervisors’ employee compensation workgroup recommended the union’s pay plan move forward. And this month, the Personnel and Reorganization Committee, made up by the Board of Supervisors, unanimously recommended to adopt the union pay plan as an action item at the next BOS meeting on Oct 28.

These victories are a direct result of the phone calls and emails you sent, the petitions you signed and the meetings you held and attended.

The personnel and reorganization committee’s decision is a big win. But we’re not done yet. We need to make sure that the pay plan is officially adopted. And this spring, we need to make sure the board fully funds the pay plan in the budget.

Keep an eye on your email for more information about how we win the pay plan we deserve.

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