WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
SEIU members and millions of other service and care workers across the country are on the front lines of this crisis every day, putting our health at risk to protect our families and our communities during this medical emergency. Many more working people are living in fear that emergency closures and cutbacks will leave them unable to pay their bills. Check out compiled information and resources for SEIU Members.
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SEIU Texas unites more than 6,000 health care workers and janitors in Corpus Christi, El Paso and Houston who have secured better wages, benefits and working conditions through their union. In June 2019, contracted municipal security officers joined together in SEIU Texas and won the first security officer union in Texas.
We are committed to expanding access to union jobs for all Texans— and we are actively organizing subcontracted passenger service workers at Houston airports into their union.
Our MissionTo build a united Texas by organizing and developing leaders to join in union to achieve economic and environmental justice and end all discrimination.
Our VisionWe believe in a just society where everyone is valued and all people are respected. Our goal is a better and equitable world for generations to come.
- Benefits: Employers pay for SEIU Texas members’ benefits because by being united in the union, workers have the power to insist that they do. The contract lists how much employers are required to pay for SEIU Texas members’ benefits. Member dues do not pay for benefits! It easy to find out what you have. Click here to find your contract and get all the details on your benefits.
- Seniority: A member’s seniority is of utmost importance. You should understand the various articles in your contract where seniority is relevant. These include, but are not limited to, vacations, layoff and recall, bumping rights and termination pay.
- Time off: Each contract has specific rules for granting members time off for vacations, holidays, sick days, leaves of absence, etc. Members should be familiar with the amount of time they are entitled to, the seniority provisions that apply and the specific days allowed.
- Time off provisions that are important to know are:
- Sick leave
- Personal days
- Leaves of absence
- New parent leave for pregnancy and adoption
- Bereavement leave when a close family member dies
- Family and medical leave
- Workers’ compensation and disability leave
- Union shop: The “union shop” provision in the contract requires that all employees pay dues to the union, or the appropriate “agency fee,” after their 30th day of work. This is a condition of employment under our contract. Workers who do not meet this requirement can be terminated.
- Wages: Wage rates for each job category covered by the contract are listed in the contract. Members need to be familiar with the proper wage rates for workers at their worksite, as well as the dates on which they are effective.
Dues pay for the programs and work that give SEIU Texas members the strength to win good contracts, to organize nonunion workers into our ranks and to have a greater say in public life.
- Contract negotiations. SEIU Texas puts the skills and resources of the entire union to work to negotiate the best contracts possible. This includes a bargaining team of union officers and member-leaders, with attorneys, researchers, union representatives, organizers and communications staff to back them up. Bargaining strong contracts also often requires staff who can mobilize members in workplaces, hold rallies and events to build community support and put pressure on employers so workers win strong contracts.
- Contract enforcement. We also need union representatives coming to worksites, researchers, attorneys and others to help members enforce their contract.
- Grievance and arbitration. All SEIU Texas contracts include a grievance and arbitration procedure that helps workers enforce the contract and protect members’ rights on the job.
- Training. For stewards and other member-leaders, elected union officers and staff makes sure everyone has the skills and information we need to keep building a strong union.
- Organizing. Bringing nonunion workers into the union improves jobs and maintains industry standards. Everyone needs a good job. SEIU Texas members have benefited from workers who organized their worksites in the past. We pass that forward – and we recognize that there is no such thing as good jobs for some. If some workers in our industry are vulnerable, we all are because eventually low-paying competition drives down standards for everyone. SEIU Texas members’ strength depends on our ability to keep growing by organizing new workers into our ranks.
- Political action. Elected officials pass laws that affect workers and our families. That’s why it is so important to get out the vote and to hold politicians accountable for the decisions they make.
- Legal expertise. Experienced labor attorneys help protect our rights on the job, at grievance hearings and during contract negotiations.
- Communications with members, leaders, officers, stewards and activists helps keep everyone informed.
- Public outreach helps SEIU Texas members to build outside support in tough bargaining or organizing situations.
- Membership in SEIU, our international union, and state and local labor federations. We’re all stronger when we work together on issues that affect all union members and when we support each other in organizing and bargaining campaigns.
Call the SEIU Texas Member Resources Center toll free at 1-866-478-0366 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST) with any and all questions about your benefits. There also is a lot of useful information – including an easy way to get a list of your benefits just by downloading your contract on our website.
Each contract spells out a series of steps to resolve problems with management and to protect members’ rights. A grievance procedure guards 32BJ members from unfair discipline or harassment on the job. Workers without a union are at the mercy of their employer and have no process by which to protect their rights.
A grievance is a form of a complaint. Grievances are defined in your contract. So while they are not exactly the same from agreement to agreement, they usually include violations of:
- Any of the rights spelled out in your contract
- Certain laws
- The employer’s own rules
- Past practice (This protects workers from employers suddenly changing the way they’ve been doing things for years.)
A union member files a grievance when there has been a violation on the job that the grievance procedure covers and the problem can’t be resolved without a formal process.
Every contract includes a grievance procedure.