1199SEIU delegates are the elected rank-and-file leadership of our union. Like “stewards” in other unions, our delegates are workers on the job who are democratically chosen by their co-workers to represent the voice of the union in their institutions. Delegate elections are generally conducted by department and/or shift. Delegates meet in their chapters and also at in regional, divisional and union-wide assemblies. Our 1199SEIU Executive Council, the highest elected body of the union, includes dozens of delegates who represent various job classifications and all the geographical settings in which the 1199SEIU organizes.

Throughout 1199’s history, our delegates have been the backbone of our union; their leadership is vital to our collective bargaining, organizing and political campaigns. Delegates are absolutely crucial in mobilizing our members. Without our delegates, 1199SEIU could not have grown into the strong, influential union it has become.

A union delegate is an employee just like you. They have a job to do every day, and they answer to the same management that you do. The key difference, though, is that a union delegate has the training, the tools and the protections to help you and other employees solve problems at work!

If you have a problem at work, your delegate can help you. Delegates have been trained by the union and have special legal protections that enable them to stand up for employees when management is not being reasonable.

The job of a union delegate involves:


When you think you are in trouble. If you have a meeting with management that you believe is an investigatory interview with the possible purpose of taking disciplinary action against you, you have the right to have your union delegate at the meeting. This is also known as exercising your Weingarten Rights. …When you have a problem that needs solving. A term you may be familiar with is "filing a grievance." A grievance is an allegation that management has violated the terms of your union contract. Not every problem is a contract violation and not every problem requires a grievance. Regardless of whether your issue is a formal grievance or another problem, your delegate is a resource and may have other ways, both formal and informal, for solving problems.


Your delegate will make sure to inform members about what is going on in the union by dsitributing informational leaftlets, putting information on the union bulletin board and by simply talking to people. Your delegate also plays the role of feeding your ideas and issues back into the other parts of the union, such as the staff, vice presidents and executive officers.


Your delegate will work to make sure workers understand their rights, the contract, and any important issues the union is working on.

Organizing and Mobilizing Members

This is considered the union delegates' #1 job. The strength of our union at any point in time is the total energy and support of the members who can be mobilized. When more members get involved, we accomplish more — at our workplaces as well as statewide. All the other work delegates do — representation, communication and education — is done with an eye to strengthening and increasing member involvement in the union.

Check out the latest stories from our 1199SEIU Delegates!

Sep 29, 2016
Hospital workers at United Medical Center in Washington, DC marched into the Chief Financial Officer’s office in City Hall on September 28 to demand action on a collective bargaining agreement, including retroactive pay and raises going back five years.
Jun 10, 2016
The most important title among the many in 1199SEIU is Delegate. It is the delegates alone who comes into daily direct contact with work...
Aug 12, 2015
Throughout the histories of the labor and progressive movements, 1199SEIU is lauded as a highly disciplined army of activists for justice and equality. Its officers are praised for their leadership and vision.
Aug 20, 2014
Check out 1199SEIU delegate Kim Lyons and member Kelvin Juniaus in New York State AFL-CIO's latest video!<br /><br /> At the 3 minute ma...
May 14, 2014
In the several weeks leading up to Election Day on May 13, 1199SEIU member volunteers knocked on countless doors, made countless phone c...
Apr 1, 2014
When Laura Goodwin began working in 2005 as a processing clerk at Manhattan?s New York University Medical Center she felt that something...
Mar 18, 2014
By Paulette Johnson, 1199SEIU delegate and CNA at Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Editor?s note: On Saturday, March 8...
Mar 8, 2014
1199SEIU, representing 16,000 healthcare families in New Jersey, announced its endorsement of Councilman Ras Baraka for Mayor of Newark ...
Feb 27, 2014
Millicent Faulknor, a veteran CNA at Sarah Neuman nursing home in Mamaroneck, loves her job and is proud of the care that she provides. ...
Feb 10, 2014
Pam Febo has been a recreation aide at Green Knoll Center in Bridgewater, NJ, since 2004. In addition to being a union delegate, she has...
Nov 30, 2013
What?s your name and where do you work?I?m Rashida Teombe, and I?m a laundry aide at Communicare ? Fayette.What?s your motto?Treat peopl...
Nov 22, 2013
Graduates of the fall 1199SEIU Occupational Safety and Health Class praised the program and its coordinator, Jean Turner-Kelly, at the N...
Oct 31, 2013
On November 4, when Maryland State Delegate Veronica Turner announced she's running for State Senate, 1199 members came out in force wit...
Sep 30, 2013
The problems and challenges of U.S. workers are tied to those of workers everywhere. This point was made clear by Guy Ryder, director ge...
Sep 20, 2013
1199SEIU members from across New Jersey filled a banquet hall in Newark, NJ, on September 18th to take part in one of the union?s most i...
Jun 14, 2013
On June 12 at a midtown Manhattan hotel, with a ceremony that ranged in tone from solemn reverence to emboldened jubilation, over 2,000 ...
Jun 6, 2013
Members and staff at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY participated on May 28 in a day of wellness and education with career an...
Jan 31, 2013
At a packed union assembly Wednesday night, 1199SEIU Delegates voted unanimously to endorse Democratic State Senator Barbara Buono for G...
Jan 9, 2013
This coming April 2013, the members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East will again be electing our Union?s officers, Executive Co...
Nov 1, 2012
More than 25 members of the growing number of 1199SEIU's Chinese-speaking membership gathered at for a political action training the Uni...
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