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Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West Records
larc.ms.0341  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Access to Collection
  • Separated Materials
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Organizational History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Indexing Terms

  • Title: Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West records
    Date (inclusive): 1934-2010
    Date (bulk): 1990-2008
    Creator: Service Employees International Union. Local 250 (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Creator: United Healthcare Workers-West.
    Collection number: larc.ms.0341
    Accession number: 2009/002
    Extent: 71.8 cubic ft. (68 cartons, 3 boxes)
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.
    Abstract: This collection is comprised of the Northern California records of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West, and its predecessor Union Local 250. Records date from 1934-2010 (photocopied material only for 1934 -circa 1950). Materials primarily document the organization's activity from 1990 to 2008, and include executive and administrative files; union organizing files; contract negotiations; collective bargaining agreements with hospitals, convalescent homes, homecare organizations, and emergency service providers; periodicals; photographs; and video recordings. Some historical and anniversary records are also present.
    Location: Materials are stored offsite; advance notice required.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Playback of video recordings is subject to review of potentially sensitive content, the condition of recordings, and the availability of playback equipment.

    Access to Collection

    This collection is open but unprocessed. Some material is restricted to protect personal identifiable information until further processing is completed. Access restrictions are noted at the file level. Please contact the Director of the Labor Archives and Research Center for more information.

    Separated Materials

    Artifactual objects received with the collection have been transferred to the LARC Artifacts Collection. Artifacts include framed photographs, certificates and resolutions; buttons; pens; and t-shirts.

    Related Archival Materials

    See LARC accession number 2002/058 for related records of the SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West and its predecessor Union Local 250. Records of SEIU Local 399, which merged with Local 250 in 2005 to become United Healthcare Workers-West, are in the holdings of California State University, Northridge.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West records, larc.ms.0341, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Acquisition

    Collection donated by the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW) in 2009; accession number 2009/002.

    Processing Information

    This collection has been minimally processed to ensure adequate housing and to create a complete box-folder list. An item-level inventory exists for audio-visual recordings. The collection was screened for personally identifiable information and sensitive materials have been separated and restricted. All folder and item titles are original, except for archivist-supplied titles in square brackets.

    Arrangement

    The collection is arranged as received. Records originating from different offices have been grouped in their original order into the following series: I. Executive Board (1934-2008); II. Education Department (1988-2007); III. Miscellaneous/Historical (1957-2009); IV. Administration (1997-2010); V. Organizing (1986-2007); VI. Hospital Division (1977-2007); VII. EMS Bargaining Notes (1983-2004, undated); and VIII. Communications (circa 1970-2008). Audio-visual recordings are organized chronologically within each carton, with undated recordings following dated material. Restricted materials (1987-2006) have been separated from the main files and are housed at the end of the collection in cartons numbered 1-8.

    Organizational History

    SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is an active California-based local union of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It is the oldest union for healthcare workers in the United States, and represents 150,000 healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, home health agencies, and homecare employment. United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) was formed in 2005 with the merger of two local chapters: Local 250 in Northern California and Local 399 in Southern California. Records created by Local 399 are held at California State University, Northridge.
    SEIU Local 250 organized in San Francisco in 1934, when a group of workers at San Francisco General Hospital joined forces to fight for better wages and working conditions. The union was chartered by the American Federation of Labor (AFL) as a federal union on September 13, 1934. It affiliated with the Building Service Employees International Union in 1938 (which became known as the Service Employees International Union in 1968). During the following decades, Local 250 won agreements with major hospitals in San Francisco and in the East Bay, including the 11-member San Francisco Hospital Conference, the Associated Hospitals of the East Bay, and Kaiser Permanente. Organizers secured job classifications and wage increases, the first comprehensive employer-paid health and welfare plan for hospital workers, the first retirement plan, and the first detailed seniority system. By the end of the 1970s, Local 250 membership had reached almost 15,000 and the union represented nursing home workers as well as hospital employees.
    In 1987, after a seven-week strike and costly negotiation with Kaiser management over a new “two-tier” wage plan, Local 250 came under the trusteeship of the SEIU. The International Union implemented a new industry-based division structure and updated the organization’s Constitution and By-laws. Local 250 continued to organize healthcare workers and reached out to paramedics, Emergency Medical Services personnel, and convalescent hospital staff. In 1988 the union faced off against the Affiliated Hospitals of San Francisco in a historic strike involving 1,700 members protesting new wage scales and benefits policies. After a successful resolution SEIU returned Local 250 to local control, and the membership elected leaders Sal Rosselli and Shirley Ware in November 1988. Under their leadership Local 250 negotiated a major contract with Kaiser in 1989 and restored a more positive relationship between the hospital and its workers.
    During the 1990s and 2000s Local 250 pursued contracts with dozens of facilities in the healthcare system, operated by large corporations including Kaiser Permanente, the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), Daughters of Charity Health System (DOCHS) and Sutter Health. The union’s membership grew to over 100,000, and, after merging with the Los Angeles-based SEIU Local 399 to become United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW), brought a powerful consolidated voice to the negotiating table.
    In 2009 SEIU again put the union into trusteeship, after UHW refused to submit to the International Union’s restructuring plan that would split UHW in two. Local leaders who were removed from office formed a rival union called the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), a move which ultimately resulted in a federal lawsuit against NUHW in 2010 and continuing disputes between the two organizations.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection is comprised of the Northern California records of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West, and its predecessor Union Local 250. Records date from 1934-2010 (photocopied material only for 1934 -circa 1950). Materials primarily document the organization's activity from 1990 to 2008, and include executive and administrative files; union organizing files; contract negotiations; collective bargaining agreements with hospitals, convalescent homes, homecare organizations, and emergency service providers; periodicals; photographs; and video recordings. Some historical and anniversary records are also present.

    Indexing Terms

    Collective bargaining--Health facilities--United States.
    Labor unions--Organizing--California.
    Medical personnel--Labor unions.
    Service Employees International Union. Local 250 (San Francisco, Calif.)
    United Healthcare Workers-West.
    Strikes and lockouts--Hospitals.