Together, We Made a Difference!
2019 was a year of historic wins for SEIU members and working families in Oregon and Washington. We had ambitious agenda to address some of the issues that matter most to union members: taking action on our housing crisis, making healthcare safer and more affordable, and ensuring fairness and opportunity for everyone.
In Salem and Olympia, SEIU 49 members participated in lobby days, talked to elected officials, testified at hearings, and took action to help pass bills that will improve the lives of our members and strengthen our communities. Here are highlights from our political action program this year.
Stable, affordable housing is a top priority for many SEIU 49 members, so we fought to pass important bills that will help keep people in their homes.
Oregon: We passed SB 608, protecting renters from no-cause evictions and setting limits for how much landlords can raise rents.
Washington: We passed SB 5600, giving renters 14 days instead of 3 days to catch up on overdue rent. Renters will now also get 60-day notices for rent increases.
Here’s a helpful video explaining how SB 608 will help keep Oregon renters in their homes.
SEIU 49 members took action to help pass important healthcare bills to make healthcare more affordable, hold nonprofit hospital systems accountable to their mission of providing charity care to protect patients and workers, and make healthcare
Oregon: Ensuring people have the ability to access care is a top priority for our union, so we worked hard to pass HB 3076. This will require hospitals and clinics in nonprofit systems—like Kaiser and PeaceHealth—to provide a minimum amount of free or discounted care to patients who aren’t able to afford care.
Washington: Passed SB 1155, a bill that provides for uninterrupted meal and rest breaks for nurses and certain healthcare employees. Patient care suffers when healthcare workers are overworked, so this bill will go a long way toward ensuring caregivers can provide safer and better care for their patients.
FAIR SHOT AGENDA
As part of the Fair Shot Coalition, our union fought for and won historic victories that impact members, the people we serve, and communities across Oregon.
We helped pass the strongest paid family and medical leave program in the country. Oregon workers, including low-wage workers, will be able to take 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a loved one or themselves.
We were also able to pass Driver’s Licenses for All, which will allow people to obtain a driver’s license regardless of their immigration status, making our roads safer for everyone.
Last year, we passed a registry in Oregon to protect janitors from sexual assault and harassment—now, janitors in Washington will have those same protections. We helped pass SB 5258 which will provide isolated workers with sexual harassment prevention training, a list of resources for seeking help, and a panic button to keep them safe on the job.