Resolution No. 23: Office, Technical, Professional, Education, Healthcare, Security, Public and Service Sector Employees
WHEREAS, our Union has recognized since its founding that all workers deserve a decent wage, a safe workplace and dignity on the job. Based on this principle, our Union organizes professional education, healthcare, public sector, and service sector workers to empower them through collective bargaining; and
WHEREAS, the over 130,000 members of our Union in the healthcare, education, office, technical, professional, public and service sectors in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean comprise a significant and growing portion of our membership and have sector-specific concerns and needs; and
WHEREAS, in recognition of these needs, our Union created a Health Care Workers Council and a Public Employees Council to provide additional support to the roughly 50,000 health care members and 25,000 public employee members in a wide variety of health care and public sector jobs and workplaces; and
WHEREAS, there are many facilities at which our Union represents production and maintenance employees, but where white-collar employees remain unorganized. A concerted effort must be made to organize non-represented office, technical and professional employees working in our core industries so that everyone has a seat at the bargaining table, particularly where we have negotiated neutrality clauses; and
WHEREAS, we have been successful in Canada in organizing in many service related sectors including higher education, security, airport screening, and hotels, where our Union now represents tens of thousands of service sector workers and has a strong established track record of representing service sector workers; and
WHEREAS, in Canada in particular the Union has organized 10,000 new members in higher education over the last 15 years; and
WHEREAS, although our Union has successfully organized thousands of public sector workers throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, public employees are still denied the right to organize and bargain collectively in far too many U.S. states; and
WHEREAS, successful organizing of healthcare, education, office, technical, professional, public sector and service sector employees requires a strategic approach, utilizing skills and techniques that have been refined, and continue to be refined, in scores of organizing campaigns throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that:
(1) Our Union pledges its continued commitment to organizing and servicing health care, education, office, technical, professional, security, public sector and service sector employees.
(2) We pledge to continue to explore innovative new policies and programs that will provide our staff and members with the tools and strategies needed for organizing and servicing in these rapidly growing sectors of our two countries.
(3) We call upon each Local Union, as well as upon our members in workplaces where office, technical and professional employees are unrepresented, to help organize these workers in their facilities.
(4) The USW will vigorously promote and fight to retain legislation granting public employees meaningful bargaining rights, and will seek means to assist public employees who are denied the right to organize and bargain collectively.
(5) We will promote legislation on the state, provincial and national level to achieve comprehensive safe staffing standards in both the United States and Canada. Such legislation will benefit all health care workers and help address, not only the quality of care our members strive to provide, but the quality of life issues so important to USW healthcare sector workers.
(6) We will continue to build power in the workplace for healthcare workers by organizing workers who provide care and support to patients, residents, and citizens in the broad facets of our sector and to provide strategic support to our members by bargaining the strongest possible contracts, advocating for legislation that empowers healthcare workers to provide their patients with the highest level of quality care, and by training health care workers to utilize their strength in numbers to become decision makers in all aspects of their work.
(7) The USW will continue to strengthen a structured, active, and member-driven USW Health Care Workers Council. To this end, District Directors will appoint District Member Coordinators to this Council who will participate in quarterly conference calls and an annual meeting. The USW further commits to holding a Health Care Sector Conference at least once every three years with a focus on education, bargaining trends, communication, and legislative issues.
(8) We will continue to build power in the higher education, security, hotel and airport screening sectors by providing strategic support to our members, by bargaining the strongest possible contracts and advocating for legislation that empowers workers to improve their working conditions and their quality of life.