What Is SEIU?

SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America, with 1.9 million members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Focused on uniting workers in four sectors–-hospital systems, long term care, property services, and public services–-SEIU is the largest health care union.

Mission Statement

We are the Service Employees International Union, an organization of more than 1.9 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.


What Is Hospital Systems?

The Hospital Systems Division is comprised of the more than 400,000 health care workers across the United States – including over 110,000 nurses – who are members of SEIU, the nation’s largest and fastest-growing health care union.

We’re working together in an effort to build a National Health Care Union that will lead the fight for higher health care standards such as:

Safe staffing and quality care.
Understaffing in our hospitals and other health facilities drives down the quality of care and drives health care workers away from the profession. We are working to improve staffing levels, protect quality care standards, and eliminate mandatory overtime that puts patients at risk.

Better pay and working conditions.
At a time when nurses and other health care staff are leaving their professions in droves because of abysmal working conditions, we’re bargaining for improvements in pay, benefits, working conditions, and patient care decisions. We want to keep passionate and skilled caregivers in our hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care institutions in order to provide the level of care Americans expect and deserve.

A voice in health care policies.
Rather than leaving all the decisions about staffing and patient care standards to hospital and nursing home administrators, we’re coming together to address key issues and concerns through negotiated contracts, legislative and regulatory solutions, and community outreach.


How Does a Union Improve Staffing and Patient Care?

As the healthcare industry continues to face cost-cutting pressures, it will take time and a combination of union contract bargaining, consumer action, and legislative measures to put patient care concerns back on the right track.

Unions really can improve staffing and workload situations and SEIU members have negotiated a variety of ways to address these issues. We work to:

  • Set minimum staffing standards limiting how many patients employees must care for in a particular area on a particular shift.
  • Create labor-management committees through which employees make joint decisions with administrators about staffing guidelines.
  • Restrict mandatory overtime to protect employees and ensure the highest quality patient care.
  • Create guidelines for floating and other practices to ensure that employees are able to provide the best possible care to their patients, and to do so under conditions for which they were properly trained.
  • Improve recruitment and retention programs that focus on benefits, salaries, patient care, and working conditions in order to attract and retain the best qualified staff.