Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, said he will retire, according to an official announcement from the SEIU. Stern, 59, joined the SEIU as a member in Pennsylvania in 1972 and later coordinated a national organizing drive for the union in 1984 before he was elected the group's youngest president in 1996. According to the announcement from the SEIU, the organization grew by 1.2 million members during Stern's tenure. It now has 2.2 million members.
Stern played a significant role in the healthcare reform debate and was ranked 10th in Modern Healthcare
's Most Powerful People in Healthcare list in 2009
“I have been privileged and could not be more proud of the role I was permitted to play in helping make SEIU the pre-eminent voice and organization for people who work hard and take responsibility for their families,” Stern said when he addressed SEIU members about his retirement. “It's been an extraordinary run, and I leave my union on solid ground financially and with a deep bench of talent that will advance SEIU's legacy of working for justice for all workers.” Stern explained his decision to retire via video
After Stern leaves, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger will assume the role of interim-president until the International Executive Board votes on Stern's successor. The SEIU's Constitution states that the board must schedule an election within 30 days.