Frequently Asked Questions
What Union do I belong to?
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest and fastest growing union in North America. Local 1991 represents 5,000 healthcare workers within the Jackson Health System. We are a union whose leadership reflects the diversity of its members. SEIU Local 1991 wins respect, better wages and benefits, and improved working conditions for its members.
What exactly is a Union?
A union is a group of individuals with a common vision, who join together to form an organization that represents members regarding work and employment issues. The Union is each and every one of us. There are many ways to have a voice in our Union, beyond voting for officers and voting on contracts (see “How to Participate”).
What does the Union do for me?
Local 1991 negotiates contracts, represents members in job grievances and during disciplinary proceedings, works on legislative and political actions to advocate for the issues that affect you and your family, provides opportunities for education, offers scholarships for members and their families, and much more. We stand together in support of quality healthcare standards for our patients, our professions and ourselves.
Why and when should I become a member?
When everyone is a member, it makes us strong and enables us to meet the employer on equal terms. If you and your co-workers were not united in representation, the Union wouldn’t have as much strength to represent you at the bargaining table and on the job. You choose to become a member of SEIU Local 1991 when you sign the membership authorization card. You should become a member the day you are hired. You do not have to wait until the end of your probationary period to join the union.
What is a contract?
A contract spells out all agreements between us and the employer including, but not limited to: wages, benefits, holidays/sick days, personal time, pension, any scheduling agreements, health and safety standards, staffing, floating and cross-training.
Why is a contract so important?
It is a legal agreement between us and the employer;
We have a voice in deciding our demands before contract negotiations even begin;
A contract protects workers–without one, we have no power in the workplace, and
It requires a “due process” system for resolving problems in the workplace.
Who decides to accept or reject a contract?
We do. All union members vote on whether or not to accept a contract offer. Members vote to ratify or reject a “tentative agreement” reached by our bargaining team.
Why do we need a Union?
Labor unions have been an important part of this country’s history. Many workers over the years have sacrificed, even died, for the rights we now enjoy. These early pioneers, maybe even one of our parents or grandparents, knew that only within the Union could they achieve on-the-job dignity and be assured of decent wages, health benefits, humane working conditions and job security– the foundations of union representation.
What are dues?
Dues in SEIU Local 1991 are 1.25% of base pay, excluding shift differential and overtime. Dues pay for the costs of negotiations, representation, organizing, research and legal fees-all the costs of having a strong, effective voice for quality standards on the job and in healthcare. Dues can be changed only by a vote of the members. Members can view financial reports of our union by making an appointment with the office.