Some folks may not yet be familiar with the leadership structure of their union. To help facilitate that We’ve prepared a chart and brief summary of the positions.
We the Union- The most powerful and most numerous body within the union are its members. Members of SEIU 105 have the ultimate say on major issues such as ratifying new contracts, electing the other positions of leadership, and volunteering as leaders themselves.
Officers- Officers function as the executive branch of your union. The president has the power to hire, fire, promote, or demote the union staff. The treasurer has the power of the purse to allocate funds, with the vote of the Eboard, to certain expenditures. The vice president of healthcare directs half of the union. The Vice president of property services directs the other half. The officers work in conjunction with the executive board to direct the course of SEIU 105.
Executive Board- The executive board, or Eboard, functions much like the legislative body in the US government. They determine the percentages of dues and fees for members and non-members respectively. The Eboard has the power of oversight for stewards, CATs, and committee members. The eboard votes on most major decisions recommended by the officers.
Bargaining Team- The bargaining team takes your feedback from bargaining surveys, meetings, and statistics then negotiates with management to fulfill what you want to see in terms of pay benefits, and contract protections. Their power at the table is dependent on two factors, the percentage of membership and attendance at actions such as pickets, petitions, and other solidarity actions.
Stewards- Stewards are coworkers who advocate with you in discipline matters and any contract violations made by management. They protect your rights and ensure that management follows the contract they and the bargaining team agreed to. They have the power to make small agreements outside the bargaining session with management when changes occur at the workplace.
CATs- Communication and Action team members act as relays for information coming from union leaders to all members. When there is an event, or an issue, or new information they will reach out to you, ask you to join your coworkers in unity, ask for your opinion on an issue, or relay questions you have to the organizer/steward/bargaining team.
Committee Members- Various committees exist among the union members at the various companies represented by SEIU 105. At MHCD there exists the safety committee, the collaborative partnership committee, and the steward/HR committee. More committees can and likely will come into being soon. These committees work with management to collaboratively solve problems.
COPE Committee- The committee on political education has the power to endorse political candidates and ballot initiatives that support workers at SEIU and in general. Union members can choose to contribute funds aside from their dues to the COPE committee which can then be donated to campaigns to win changes throughout the country.
Supervisors, Organizers, & Other Staff- The people that work for SEIU 105 are not the union. Most of the staff are members of two other unions, the Denver Newspaper Guild Local 37074 and CWA Quad 7. It is not your organizer’s job to make any decisions for you. Their job is to offer advice, to facilitate the democratic process, and to encourage everyone to take an active role in shaping their union and therefore their workplace.
Let us know if you would like to get more involved in your union or if you have any questions about the powers and responsibilities of your leaders.