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For Immediate Release

Monday, September 19, 2005

New AFSCME-SEIU Pact to Help More Workers Win Voice at Work

Breakthrough Agreement Includes "No-Raid" Commitment to Increase Organizing

Washington — 

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have reached a series of breakthrough agreements that renew their commitment to protecting and preserving existing collective bargaining relationships and will allow them to devote their energies to strategically uniting workers in such key industries such as childcare and homecare.

"When we strengthen our cooperation and help workers in the same industry unite, everybody wins," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "We look forward to working together with AFSCME to create better jobs and provide quality services."

"This agreement is a victory for the millions of workers who want a union but don't have one," said AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee. "I look forward to working with SEIU to help unorganized workers get good jobs, health care and a voice at work."

Under the national, two-year pact, AFSCME and SEIU agreed that neither union will attempt to raid, decertify or otherwise interfere with existing representation rights. The agreement also establishes a joint committee to address issues of union density and jurisdiction, creates a joint "Unity Local" of child care providers in California and Pennsylvania and creates a unified homecare union in California.

California homecare providers not currently protected by an AFSCME or SEIU collective bargaining agreement will be represented by both unions in the new California United Homecare Workers Union, AFSCME/SEIU. The partnership will help roughly 25,000 caregivers who provide vital in-home services to California's seniors and people with disabilities win fair contracts that include a livable wage and health care.

The 120,000 home care and nursing home workers who are members of SEIU Local 434B and the 60,000 members of UDW/AFSCME will work in partnership while maintaining their autonomy.

In California and Pennsylvania, SEIU and AFSCME will also collaborate to unite home-based family child care providers and will work together to improve benefits and stability in the child care profession. In both states, family child care providers would become members of the new statewide union, to be affiliated with both AFSCME and SEIU.

The two unions also established a legally binding dispute-resolution procedure.