Celebrating Strength, Building PowerSeptember 5, 2022
Newly-elected Union officers are sworn in alongside thousands of 1199SEIU delegates.
Some 2,000 new Union delegates took their oath of office on June 14th alongside the newly elected 1199SEIU leadership team, being sworn in at a ceremony in midtown Manhattan.
1199SEIU President George Gresham officially began his sixth three-year term, as Secretary Treasurer Milly Silva took her new office for the first time, becoming the highest-ranking Latina in the Union’s history.
President Gresham saluted the assembled delegates for bringing us through the pandemic: “You worked through the most frightening of times, you came to work fighting this invisible enemy and we thank you for the sacrifices that you made. Not everyone can be a healthcare worker, now more than ever I give honor to you.”
Secretary Treasurer Silva added: “It’s the honor of my lifetime to be a part of [1199’s] leadership team. I learned very quickly that it’s members first, members first, members first. I’m truly humbled to stand here and I’ll do this work to the best of my ability for the next three years. Our delegates are the heart of this Union because without you nothing can get done.”
Delegates from every 1199 region took part in the ceremony.
“I’ve been a neonatal care nurse for 23 years and my patients and families are my motivation,” said Juliette Negron, an RN from New York City. “Every day, when I see their courage and strength it inspires me to work harder for them and for all our members.”
Janice Guzman, a Personal Care Attendant from Massachusetts added: “I became a union delegate because I know I can be a voice for the 58,000 members in MA. I’ve heard stories of Home Care and low wage workers who are struggling every day to put food on the table.
We have the power of the union, and we need to continue to step up.”
Longtime Delegate Margaret Boyce who works as a CNA in New Jersey said: “1199 to me is like a family. Together we have won the best [health]care anyone can imagine, and we will continue to fight for the best benefits for everyone. We know that we can count on each other and have each other’s back.”
Special guest speakers at the event included Bishop William Barber, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, NYS Attorney General Tish James, 1199SEIU President Dennis Rivera (1989-2007), SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, and SEIU Secretary- Treasurer Gerry Hudson.
Steadfast ally of 1199 working people, NYS Attorney General Leticia James told the gathering: “Thank you for all of your incredible sacrifices especially through the last two years, when others were at home, you showed up, you were there, you kept New York going. If anyone comes after 1199, they have to come after me!”