Who is 1199SEIU?

“1199 represents the conscience of the labor movement.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Affordable, quality health care for all.

The 340,000 caregivers of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East are driven by a mission to achieve affordable, quality care for all. In Baltimore, 1199 members put that belief in action by volunteering to help pass Medicaid expansion, enabling thousands of uninsured Marylanders to access healthcare.

A history of constant innovation.

While some unions have struggled to adapt to a changing economy, the frontline health care workers of 1199 are more relevant than ever as vital, pragmatic advocates for patients, caregivers and working families. Our track record of partnering with forward-thinking employers to achieve shared goals and solve the problems brought on by the health care crisis reflects this union-wide spirit of innovation.

Working pragmatically toward solutions.

1199 members have developed a highly effective approach to problem solving, which involves working with employers to increase resources and improve efficiency, jobs and quality of care. The following are some of the most successful examples of labor-management partnerships in the country:


See the opportunities 1199’s training fund offers.
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  • By March 2010, three local hospitals and 23 nursing homes will be contributing to the union’s training and education fund, giving 3,000 union members the opportunity to enhance their skills and advance their careers.  Already more than 160 members have benefited from the fund, learning new skills and advancing into higher positions.
  • In New York, 1199 members have worked with the Greater New York Hospital Association to create the Healthcare Education Project, which informs and mobilizes voters on health care issues. The Healthcare Education Project has stopped cuts to health care facilities, achieved millions in new funding for patient care and passed innovative legislation such as the Family Health Plus program that covers over one million previously uninsured children and adults.
  • 1199 New York members have also worked with the League of Voluntary Hospitals to create the largest and most successful health care training fund in the country, which offers educational opportunities to more than 30,000 workers a year. 1199 members and the League have also created a Labor Management Partnership that has had quantitatively measurable benefits for clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and hospital efficiency.

Uniting all health care workers.

1199 was founded by New York pharmacists in the 1930s. That small group soon realized that they could only have an effective voice in the health care industry if their union embraced all health care workers. Today, 1199SEIU is the largest and fastest growing local health care union in the United States, representing almost every job classification in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient facilities and the homecare industry. 1199 members include registered nurses, nursing assistants, x-ray techs, respiratory therapists, dietary workers, research techs and many others.

In 2005, the Maryland and DC members of 1199 EDC voted overwhelmingly to unite with the members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East so they could have the resources to most effectively advocate for patients and caregivers in the area. The Maryland and DC Division has 8,000 members in facilities across the region and is rapidly growing. Other local unions have also voted to join with 1199SEIU, which now has members throughout New York State, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.