The Executive Board is the highest leadership body of our union. The primary role of our executive board is inspiring and motivating members into action-leaders who are passionate about devoting time and talent to building a leadership team within their worksite. Our executive board sets the vision and program of our union and encourages us to exercise our leadership potential.
The Board is democratically elected by our union members and meets monthly to help shape the direction and priorities of our union. Our Executive Board is made up of democratically elected leaders from across our membership. To ensure a representative governing body, there are several groups of seats:
- 5 officer seats, two of which are reserved from our two major industries
- President – Oversees union staff and leads in setting the vision and program for our union and watches vigilantly over the affairs of the Union. When members are equally divided on any question, the President shall cast the deciding vote.
- Vice President Healthcare – Plays a role in helping to set vision and program for our union. The Vice President of Healthcare serves as a representative at union conferences and conventions
- Vice President Property Services – Plays a role in helping to set vision and program for our union. The Vice President of Property Services serves as a representative at union conferences and conventions
- Sergeant at Arms – Plays a role in helping to set vision and program for our union. Helps facilitate union meetings.
- Secretary Treasurer – Plays a role in helping to set vision and program for our union. Keeps all membership records and application cards, and a record of all members admitted by initiation or otherwise.
- Geographic seats are elected from each of the main geographies in Oregon and Southwest Washington in which our members live and work, ensuring local interests and access for all members where they work.
- Industrial seats ensure that the specific concerns of members from disparate kinds of workplaces are well-represented.
- Additional seats are apportioned for worksites with the largest memberships, to ensure those groups’ voice matches the size and strength of their membership.
Meg Niemi has served as the elected President of SEIU Local 49 since 2009. She, along with the democratically elected members of the Executive Board, execute the union’s strategic work including strong representation, member involvement, bargaining, organizing and building community and political strength.
In the more than 20 years as a labor leader, Meg has bargained industry-leading contracts that provide good jobs, fair wages and job security for our members. Under her leadership, our union has doubled in size to 13,000 members.
Prior to serving as the President of SEIU 49 she was Organizing Director at SEIU Local 49. She also has previous experience as the SEIU International Regional Coordinator in the NW, worked as the Assistant Organizing Director at SEIU-UHW and worked as a Field Representative with school employees. Meg currently serves on the SEIU International Executive Board.
Vice-President – Healthcare
I believe the next couple of years we are going to have a lot of attacks on our union members and our benefits. I am proud of the benefits we have at Kaiser and think every member of our union – janitors, security, hospital & healthcare, laundry, Xerox, Pendleton – should have the same good wages and benefits we do. We have to stick together, make sure our members are getting the training and support they need, continue to grow our union, and get community support and elected leaders to join with us, but most importantly: we have to stand our ground.
Clean Room Tech, SBM
Vice-President – Property Services
I joined our board because I believe I can make a difference in the lives of my co-workers, my fellow members, and working families across our state. Helping others is my motivation. It is the reason that I do this meaningful work.
All members deserve higher wages, affordable healthcare and a secure retirement. Having strong contracts is not enough — we have to ensure representational excellence at all levels and make sure those contracts are enforced. The strength of our union is our membership.
Sterile Processing Tech, Legacy Emanuel Hospital
I strongly believe that we have to involve the younger generations and our children so that they can learn about strength in numbers and the value of compassion. As a mother, I hope to be a role model for my daughter and son by standing up and taking action.