State Chapter

SEIU Arizona Election Notice

Nominations for Local and Chapter OfficesSEIU AZ

Nominations for all Local and Chapter officers are open as of October 12, 2015 until October, 30 2015. As provided in SEIU Arizona 48 Constitution & Bylaws, to be eligible for office, a member must be in good standing since November, 20 2013. Under the Local Constitution the term of office is for three years. Nominating petitions are available on the Local website,, at the Union Hall, 877 S. Alvernon Way, Suite 100, Tucson, AZ 85711 and from any Chapter officer or steward.


Leave a comment

SEIU AZ Members Elect Local 48 & Chapter Officers!

On September 27, SEIU AZ completed our successful first election as Local 48, achieving another milestone in our quest to build a union that is entirely of, by and for our members.

Together, we elected excellent leaders who are devoted to creating a better future for all working families in Arizona and strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve.  We congratulate our new officers!

Congratulations to our new officers!

Local 48

 President:  Maya Castillo
Maya has been an active member of the Pima County Chapter for several years, and has served as Chapter Chair  since 2010.  Among her most recent honors, The Tucson Daily Star  named her one of Tucson’s “40 Under 40” – an award presented to the city’s most influential young leaders.

Vice President:  Molly McGovern
Molly has served as  Political Director for SEIU AZ for six years, working with  State, County, City and Town officials, achieving victories in protecting the rights of public employees.

Treasurer:  Lorraine Dorame, Pima County Chapter member

Secretary:  Edwina Vogan, Arizona State Chapter member

Pima County Chapter

Chapter Chair:  John Becerra

Vice Chair – Administrative/Technical/Clerical:  Sofia Blue

Vice Chair – Labor and Trades:  Rafael Santa Cruz

Executive Board:  Patrick McGinnis and Carlos Ochoa

Chandler Chapter

Executive Board:  Mark Hardenburg

Trustee:  James Salazar

Under the Local Constitution each term of office is for three years starting October 1, 2012. With the leadership of these new officers, we look forward to a bright future for every SEIU AZ member!

Leave a comment

Giving Thanks – and Helping Others…

This Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that our unity as union members gives us a voice with our employers and the strength to fight for better wages, affordable health care, good working environments – and the respect and dignity every worker deserves.

Walmart employees are not so fortunate.  Even after years of service, hard work and heavy responsibilities, most of them still make pitifully low wages, won’t be given full-time work, can’t afford health care for their families – or even afford to buy the groceries they need.  Even those who do have full-time jobs are struggling.  Sara Gilbert, a Walmart Manager says, “I work full-time for one of the richest companies in the world and my kids get state health insurance and are on food stamps.”

On Black Friday, Walmart workers are striking in communities across the U. S.  Our SEIU sisters and brothers stand in support of the striking workers.  Walmart is attempting to silence their voices, but they can’t silence ours.

We’ll be standing with Walmart associates in Phoenix and Tempe, and we encourage you to join us and wear your purple!  We’ll have SEIU T-shirts available for you, too.

Black Friday, November 23:

9 a.m. – Walmart Supercenter at ChrisTown, 1607 W. Bethany Home Rd. in Phoenix

Noon  –  Walmart Supercenter, 800 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe

To RSVP, call Todd Schwarz at 480-619-7065.

If you’re not in a location where you can join us, click here to find out more about other ways you can help.

As you give thanks for all that you have, please take a moment this Friday to let Walmart know that their employees deserve respect, dignity and wages that will allow them to care for their families.

In solidarity,
Maya Castillo
SEIU AZ Local 48

Leave a comment

Hardworking Americans should not be living in poverty!

On Tuesday, July 24, SEIU members and allies from across the nation came together to tell Congress to increase the minimum wage.

In Arizona, bus riders in Tucson and Phoenix were met by SEIU members and friends who gave out hundreds of free bottles of cold water while they collected signatures on petitions to send to Congress. In Tucson, SEIU members were joined by Bus Riders Union volunteers and in Phoenix, members teamed up with the Arizona Advocacy Network.

SEIU Pima Chapter Chair Maya Castillo said, “The people we talked to were so happy to see us.  They appreciated the water and they were eager to sign petitions to increase the minimum wage.”

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project, co-authored an editorial published on Click here to read “Hardworking Americans should not be living in poverty.”

Leave a comment

July 24, Join the Day of Action to Raise the Minimum Wage!

The 99% Need a Raise!

Raising the minimum wage is an important step toward an economy that works for all of us, not just the richest 1%. Putting more money in the pockets of ordinary Americans will boost our economy by decreasing income inequality, help small businesses grow, and create jobs.

• The minimum wage can’t support our families. $7.65 an hour, the Arizona minimum wage, amounts to only $15,912 a year. That’s over 30% below the federal poverty line for a family of four.

• We get $7.65. They get 725%.  The federal minimum wage hasn’t kept up with inflation, but CEO pay has risen 725% over the last 30 years and 80% of all real income growth has gone to the richest 1% of Americans.

• A fair chance for a better life.  If the federal minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years, it would be $10.55.

People who work for a living should be able to support their families and live off their wages.

Join Us on the National Day of Action!  We’re asking people to sign a petition telling Congress to raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation.

Stand with us!

In Phoenix:

Tuesday, July 24 from 4 to 6 PM
16th St. & Indian School Rd.

(Click here to download the flier.)

In Tucson:

Tuesday, July 24 from 3:30 to 5:30pm
Ronstadt Transit Center, 215 E. Congress

(Click here to download the flier.)

Together, we can end the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us.

Leave a comment

Legislators go home, finally

“It’s far better the legislature meet every sixty years for two days than every two years for sixty days.” –  Mark Twain

Arizona lawmakers wrapped up their work at 8:25 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 after nearly four months in session. During that time a furious battle raged between corporate-sponsored politicians and Arizona’s rank-and-file public employees.

The politicians wanted to silence you – Arizona’s real public servants. Here’s just some of what was proposed:

•    Prohibit Meet and Confer for State, County and City public employees in Arizona

•    Prohibit release time for union members working on joint projects with management

•    Prohibit payroll deduction of dues or add onerous conditions to maintaining membership from year to year

Fortunately, SEIU members got to work and united with union and community allies to fight back. Here are the results:

SB1485 (prohibition of meet & confer):  We defeated this and prevented it from moving at all.

HB2848 (prohibition of release time):  Even with a last-minute push to get this tacked on to the personnel “reform” bill, we killed this one too!

SB1487 (prohibition of dues deduct) and HB2103 (annual reauthorization):  Despite the protracted efforts by the extremist Goldwater Institute, we killed this bill.

Here’s something else we can all celebrate: last year’s pension split rip-off has been over turned in court and the legislature owes you some money! (Last year the Legislature changed the rate to 53-47 employee-employer; a court challenge forced the legislature to reverse that.)

HB2264 – ASRS Employee – Employer Contribution Rates:  Now public employees will return to contributing 50 percent of the total retirement contribution and the employer contribution will increase to 50 percent.

One win we did not achieve was stopping the Governor’s Pet Project HB2571: Personnel “Reform” that will loosen standards related to hiring, firing, promotions, and disciplinary action. You’ll soon be hearing much more on what you and your co-workers can do in response to this very bad law.

What did it take to defeat this barrage of anti-worker bills? (Or, what has the union done lately?)

Here’s a quick summary:

SEIU AZ sits on the 5 member Arizona Labor Table Steering Committee and was charged with managing the field campaign that included…
– Fielding 20 door-to-door canvassers and hundreds of yard signs in targeted legislative districts;
– Helping to launch a new media social network plan that produced over 20,000 petition signatures in opposition to the anti-worker bills;
– Hosting a Tele-Town Hall – a “mega conference call” that included nearly 2,000 public employees
– Generating over 5,000 calls into legislators and that helped STOP all the anti-union bills.

As the public campaign cools down, the worker campaign heats up!

Public Employees like you want to know:

•    What does “at will” employee mean?
•    What recourse do I have when dealing with an abusive boss?
•    How do I speak up to make things better for the public we serve, without becoming a target for retribution by management?
•    If I report misconduct or corruption, will I lose my job?

To find out, call us and schedule a “Lunch-time” Seminar where you and your co-workers can learn what it means and what you can do about it.

From anywhere in the state, members can call Hector at 520-979-9935 to set up a seminar.

Leave a comment

Join us and take action to protect Arizona workers’ rights! Contact your Legislators NOW!

On Wednesday, March 28, nearly 2,000 public workers connected with SEIU Arizona’s statewide TeleTown Hall to learn more about the anti-worker bills in legislature  and actions they can take to stop the bills.

On Thursday, March 29, SEIU members joined with our allies to send a powerful message to legislators.  Together, we delivered more than 20,000 signatures telling legislators stop attacking Arizona’s working families and start focusing on building an Arizona that works for everyone.

Click here for the story from FOX 10 reporter Dan Spindle. Find out what Senate President Steve Pierce said about the petitions by clicking on this link to Shaima Hahin’s story for Cronkite News.

And on Friday, March 30,  a new poll was released that shows Arizona voters strongly oppose this extremist legislation.  Click here for the story from Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez. You’ll find more details by clicking here.

Click on this link to tell your legislators to VOTE NO on bills that are bad for Arizona’s workers — and all Arizonans!

Here is just one example of several bills that are bad for Arizona’s working families:

• The Governor’s Personnel Reform Bill – HB2571

This bill:

– Eliminates the Merit System and making State employees “At will.” It’s just a matter of time before it affects all public workers.

– “At will” employees could be fired at any time for any reason and will have no chance of reinstatement unless they can prove illegal discrimination based on, for example, race, age, sex, religion, national origin or disability.

– Public employees could be exposed to the influences of political favoritism, cronyism and nepotism, making public employees pawns in a political game.

– The Merit System was passed by Arizona’s legislature more than 40 years ago to stop this kind of corruption.

From the Thursday, March 15 Arizona Republic,  “…Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said the ramifications of the bill are “incomprehensible.”  “At the end of the day, the governor may be Republican right now, but that may not always be the case…at one point or another, we have to admit we are ceding an incredible amount of power to the executive branch of the state,” he said.  “This will open the door to political cronyism.”  Click here to read the full story, “Senate to consider bill easing rules for firing state workers.”  And check out E. J. Montini’s column, “Making cronyism state’s official public policy.”

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is against the bill, too.  Here’s an excerpt from his editorial on  “As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Pima County, I have had the privilege and responsibility of serving the citizens of this community for over three decades. During that time, I have seen many changes aimed at the betterment of our State. Unfortunately, I have also witnessed several ill-conceived, poorly planned legislative efforts become law.

House Bill 2571 is one such short-sighted, ill-intended piece of legislation.”  Read the full editorial here.

Leave a comment

Arizona Republic series gives CPS Workers a Public Voice

Arizona Republic reporter Mary K. Reinhart and photographer Nick Oza are giving readers a revealing look at the heartbreaking challenges CPS workers face, the reasons why many workers leave and their thoughts about changes that are needed.

Part 2 of their year-long series “Saving Arizona’s Children” included these features on Sunday, March 4.  Click the links below to see the complete stories.

Arizona CPS workers face heavy caseload

Video: A Day in the Life of a Caseworker

Arizona CPS Workers Give Reasons for Leaving

Amid Low Pay, High Stress, a Search for CPS Solutions

Budget contrasts could impede Arizona CPS reform

Leave a comment

SEIU Members from Across the State Speak Out for Arizona’s Working Families in a Day of Action at the Capitol

The Day of Action at the Capitol on March 1 was a great success!  Nearly a thousand union members, friends and allies traveled from all across Arizona to fight anti-worker legislation.  We made our voices heard through a tremendous show of solidarity – lobbying legislators and standing together for a powerful rally!

Members told legislators it’s time to stop blaming Arizona’s public service workers for our state’s problems, and start focusing on jobs and the economy.  We urged them to vote NO on extremist bills that target hard-working, middle class, public employees who give their best on the job every day for the people of Arizona.

Here’s brief information about the bills we’re fighting:

• The Governor’s Personnel Reform Bill – HB2571 – starts by eliminating the Merit System and making State employees “At will.” It’s just a matter of time before it affects all public workers.

– “At will” employees could be fired at any time for any reason and will have no chance of reinstatement unless they can prove illegal discrimination based on, for example, race, age, sex, religion, national origin or disability.

– Public employees could be exposed to the influences of political favoritism, cronyism and nepotism, making public employees pawns in a political game.

– The Merit System was passed by Arizona’s legislature more than 40 years ago to stop this kind of corruption.

Status: HB2571 cleared the House Rules Committee last week and now goes to the House Floor for a preliminary vote by the full House.

• SB1484 – Paycheck deductions; employee authorization:   This requires annual reauthorization for payroll deduction for union dues.  It includes an emergency clause because apparently this “is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety” of Arizonans.    If the Governor signs it, it becomes law immediately.

Status: This bill has already passed the Senate and has gone to the House.

●  SB1485 – Unions; public employees; prohibitions:  This prohibits Meet and Confer for all public employees.

●  SB1486 – Public employees; activities; unions; compensation:  This bill eliminates union release hours, so if you are currently eligible to do union business that benefits the County or City, you won’t be if this bill becomes law.

Status: This bill has already passed the Senate and moved to the House.

●  SB1487 – Government employees; union dues; withholding:  This bill prohibits all payroll deduction for union dues. It’s a First Amendment issue this year.

Contact your legislators and urge them to vote NO on bills that are bad for Arizona’s working families!  To find your legislators’ contact info, go to:

Leave a comment

Arizona Republic series investigates how budget cuts have harmed CPS and families it serves

The horrible impact budget cuts have had on CPS workers and the families they serve was front page news on Sunday, when The Arizona Republic began a yearlong series, “Saving Arizona’s Children.”

Here’s an excerpt from the story by Mary K. Reinhart:

“Child Protective Services struggled to cope with caseloads even before the economy took a dive, but budget cuts made the situation worse as the need for services grew.

DES laid off more than 700 employees — including 159 CPS workers — after the state’s human-services agency took large cuts in February 2009.

The agency also reduced or eliminated funding for domestic-violence shelters, emergency rent and utility payments, food banks, substance-abuse treatment, job training, parenting programs and interventions to prevent family homelessness.

By January 2010, more budget cuts created an ever-growing waiting list for child-care subsidies, reduced cash assistance to families with children and made Arizona the only state to cap enrollment in its children’s health-insurance program, KidsCare.

Brewer used $26 million in federal stimulus funds to restore 2009 program cuts for families already in the system and rehire all of the CPS workers. But longtime child-welfare administrators say the damage had been done because they couldn’t recover the workforce and waiting lists for services already had piled up.”

To read the full story, click here.

And read “Child Protective Services: A System in Trouble.”

Leave a comment