1199SEIU Delegates in NJ Take Oath of Office, Look Ahead to November Election

September 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 important occasions—the swearing-in of the delegates who will serve as the rank-and-file leadership of 1199SEIU for the next three years.

Being the front-line leaders of 1199SEIU, delegates play a critical role in building the union and solving workplace issues by organizing members to take collective action. “As delegates, we encourage our co-workers to stand up for what’s fair,” explained Tamika Woody, a CNA at Aristacare at Alameda Center in Perth Amboy, NJ. “The bottom line is that it’s important to have someone in your corner—to solve both the big problems and the small problems that come up.”

Among the speakers who addressed the gathering was Paulette Johnson, a CNA at Regency Heritage Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Somerset, NJ. “We are here, ladies and gentlemen, because we are committed to a cause. We, as union members, need to be leaders in order to make things happen at work and in our communities. We are a voice not just for ourselves but for all caregivers and working people!”

The atmosphere in the room was both celebratory and determined as Paulette introduced Milly Silva, 1199SEIU’s Executive Vice President for New Jersey who is running to become the Lt. Governor, alongside gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono.

“Time and time again, we as 1199SEIU have been the ones who’ve stood up and said the things that need to be said—whether it is about fighting for civil rights, whether it is about fighting for economic justice, whether it’s fighting to make sure that healthcare workers have the respect and dignity that we deserve,” said Silva.

“The reason why I think tonight is so incredible is that what we face in the days ahead is going to be a test of who we are as a union,” Silva continued, referring to the work that needs to be done to get out the vote for the November 5th election. “It is going to be a challenge for each and every one of us to be at our best—to lead at the moment when we are most needed and to make sure that we are seen and we are heard.”

Elected leaders from across the state attended the event to show their gratitude for the contributions that 1199SEIU members bring to New Jersey, both as caregivers and as committed social activists. Present were Senator Barbara Buono, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, Assemblyman Tom Giblin, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, and Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump.

As the keynote speaker, Speaker Oliver gave a rousing call-to-action for electing candidates who will be responsive to the needs of working families. “Every generation is supposed to do better than the next, but that’s not what is going on in New Jersey today,” she said. “We are doing worse than our parents and grandparents before us. There is a war going on, and that war is directed at us—working-class people. The way we start to change this thing around is by working hard—and I mean hard—to elect Barbara Buono and Milly Silva!”

Drawing parallels between the governor’s race in New Jersey and the unexpected victory of Bill de Blasio in the Democratic mayoral primary in New York City, Oliver cautioned not to let “the pundits, the newspapers, the talking heads on television tell you that this is a done deal. It’s not a done deal. If we have learned anything in the past month, it is that it doesn’t matter which newspapers or TV channels endorse you. What is most important is for the people of New Jersey to endorse you.” 1199SEIU members and delegates agreed, and erupted in roaring applause.

- See more at:


  • Luis Santiago walked into a strike on the day he started as an HIV/AIDS counsellor at Jamaica Hospital in New York City. Service workers wal Read More
  • Since its inception in 1965, The Anne Shore Camp program has been sending eligible 1199ers’ children who are between the ages of nine and Read More
  • In the American labor lexicon, apprentices are generally more associated with hammer and nails than blood sugar checks. Read More
  • When Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. island of Puerto Rico, it took the lives of three people and left 70 percent of the residents without power Read More
  • On Thursday November 2, 2017, the 1199 family welcomed more than 100 new members from three Hudson River Healthcare (HRH) community health c Read More
  • Healthcare workers in Watertown have chosen to assert their collective strength by organizing and voting to become members of 1199SEIU. Wat Read More
  • A statement from Ken Spurgeon, R.N. at Auburn Community Hospital and 1199SEIU Vice Chair: Read More
  • 1199SEIU denounces the actions of Jack Martins, candidate for Nassau County Executive, who is standing by a divisive and hateful campaign st Read More
  • GOOD NEWS! After over a year of negotiations and numerous set-backs, Rite Aid workers have accomplished what sometimes felt unachievable: th Read More
  • One would think President Donald Trump would tire of trying to enact a travel ban against visitors from six predominantly Muslim countries. Read More
  • Over 170 healthcare workers represented by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, currently involved in contract negotiations at Fort Hud Read More
  • Boston, MA (October 17, 2017) – Tyrék D. Lee, Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, issued the follow Read More
  • 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest, fastest-growing, most progressive healthcare union in the country, and we are lookin Read More
  • Background: The workers at Baptist Nursing Home dedicate their lives to the care and comfort of the nursing home’s ill, injured, frail and Read More
  • The 300 solar-powered lamps in these boxes are bound for Puerto Rico as part of the on-going 1199SEIU relief effort for the island in the wa Read More
  • 1199 healthcare workers are taking action in response to the crisis in Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Ma Read More
  • 1199 healthcare workers are taking action in response to the crisis in Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Ma Read More
  • With the Afya Foundation, 1199SEIU Secretary-Treasurer, Maria Castaneda arrived in Puerto Rico last week to help deliver medical supplies p Read More
  • Background: More than seven hundred 1199SEIU members are employed at 5 upstate New York nursing homes owned by The Grand Healthcare System; Read More
  • More than 100 are expected at the rally, including neighborhood and community activists, elected officials, clergy, members of several labor Read More