The Service Employees International Union plans to form a new union, SEIU Healthcare, which will represent 30 SEIU healthcare locals and will expand organizing efforts, said Mary Kay Henry, an SEIU executive vice president. The effort aims to push SEIU organizing outside of hospitals and long-term care to "every place that healthcare workers work," such as ambulatory surgery centers, laboratories and clinics, Henry said. The newly announced union, which officials expect to be established by midyear within SEIU, would also coordinate SEIU's healthcare lobbying and form a political action committee with an estimated biennial budget of $40 million, Henry said. SEIU named Dennis Rivera, president of SEIU Local 1199, to oversee the proposed union. Rivera, who has been head of the 275,000-member Local 1199 since 1989, will take his new post after his term expires in June. The SEIU represents nearly 1 million healthcare workers, including 84,000 registered nurses. -- by Melanie Evans
SEIU forming healthcare union
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