2023 Executive Board Leadership Elections

Unionwide Executive Committee

2023 Executive Board Leadership Elections

Unionwide Executive Committee

Sonya Allen-Smith, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

As an Executive Committee member my focus and commitment will be to always work for the best resources and services for our union members. I have participated in all union activities and programs to help represent members at the hospital, in politics, and in negotiations.

This has been a challenging few years for all healthcare workers and we need to stand strong because WE the workers keep the hospitals open. Vote for me and the other members of our SEIU-UHW MUST (Members United for Strength) team!

Dennis Anderson, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

As your Executive Committee representative, I will spend every day working my butt off to ensure that the members of this union get a fair shake in this state.

I’ve bargained and protected our Dignity contract for three contract cycles, protecting our retirement, wages and healthcare; spent four years as a contract specialist and helped organize hundreds of non-union workers into the union. I also worked with Futuro and the Education Fund to ensure that you, your family and friends have access to low or no-cost education for good, middle class healthcare jobs with upward mobility. For 10 years I’ve worked with union leaders across the state to ensure our members can continue to fight for our families and our patients.

Protecting our benefits and retirement is a fight. Getting the wages we deserve is a fight. Ensuring patients in our care are treated with dignity and receive the care they need is a fight. And when that fight is with an industry with billions of dollars at their disposal, you better be ready to fight with every tool you can get your hands on. That’s why I’m running with the SEIU-UHW MUST slate of candidates.

Hortencia Armendariz, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

My number one goal is winning for, and with, the working families of SEIU-UHW. I’ve consistently worked side by side with you in the most challenging situations and we have overcome by securing our contracts so you can secure your future. I’m passionate about healthcare workers and patients uniting to win. About ensuring good jobs for healthcare workers and quality care for patients.

I’ve worked in every major area of the union, such as representation, impact bargaining, new organizing, political and community organizing. Whether it was my years in the Kaiser Division or the Healthcare Justice Division, I bring passion and commitment with results. Currently, I lead our recruitment efforts for Futuro Health where we are educating the allied healthcare workforce we need to fix the workforce shortage crisis.

We must continue to fight for our contracts and gains that will help relieve the impact the global pandemic had on us, our co-workers, our families and our patients. We must spotlight the plight of allied healthcare workers for all to get the recognition our SEIU-UHW members deserve.

Chokri BenSaid, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

Healthcare workers are confronted with challenges unlike any other time before. Only an experienced team will fight on every front to deliver what we deserve.

22 years ago I started my journey as a member leader in Outpatient Medical Records (OPMR) making sure that automation (introduction of electronic medical records) didn’t lead to starvation of the workforce but instead to an opportunity for growth and improvements. I have held multiple positions with our union as an elected leader and staff member over the years which gave me the opportunity to negotiate great contracts for hundreds of thousands of members in the public and private sectors. I have dealt with employers during recessions and economic booms. I know how to get healthcare workers what they deserve after their heroic stance during COVID.

The employers we deal with have very sophisticated operations that extend beyond the walls of the hospitals and clinics we work in, and beyond even the healthcare industry. Many of them operate on multiple continents. We can’t be sitting at a table of chess playing checkers. We have to be serious if we want to be taken seriously.

Diedre Blackburn, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Deidre Blackburn. I have been a Financial Counselor in the Emergency Department at Kaiser South Bay for 17 Years. I am running for Executive Committee on the SEIU-UHW Member Driven Slate because I believe it shouldn’t matter what hospital you work at as an SEIU-UHW Member. All SEIU-UHW Members, including the women who make up our ranks, should feel protected, respected, and uplifted. I know that the new leadership voted in under the Member Driven Slate will make sure to enact positive changes that encourage all of us to participate more in our union. Voting for the SEIU-UHW Member Driven Slate will put us back on the right track.

Christina “Tina” Brown, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Christina “Tina” Brown and I have been a healthcare worker with Kaiser Permanente since 2006. I’m a proud member of SEIU-UHW and served as a steward for five years with much emphasis on local representation and helping fellow members with Disability Case Management issues. I have a degree in Organizational Communications and have worked across TPMG, KFH, and numerous departments in both administration and patient care roles. I became “Member Driven” when I realized our union had taken a turn for the worse and is no longer geared toward representing and protecting us, the membership. Our current leadership is not of the people, for the people, and we need to correct that. I ask for your vote for the “SEIU-UHW Member Driven Slate” so we, as a collective of healthcare workers from across the state, can once again implement and require transparency, accountability, and engagement from our union leadership. It’s time for us to unite and show our strength in numbers and our solidarity as union sisters and brothers. No more allowing our union to desert us! We will bring back local representation and education so we may all rise together. Vote “SEIU-UHW MEMBER DRIVEN”!

Leticia Carrion, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Leticia Carrion and I have been working at Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside, CA for 18 years. I am a Nursing Assistant and I love helping people. I believe that is why I decided to get involved with my union, SEIU-UHW, and became a Steward 1O years ago. I’ve also had the privilege of serving as an Executive Board member for the last 6 years. I became part of a Member Driven mindset when I began to realize our union was not supporting, protecting, or representing the membership, especially in our community hospital of Tri-City. I decided that if I want change, I need to step up and be part of that change. With a group of collective healthcare workers from across the state, we can make that change! We need the right leadership in place to implement accountability, transparency, education, and excellent representation for all our membership.

I ask for your vote for the SEIU-UHW Member Driven Slate so that you, too, can be part of the positive change we all seek!
Thank you, and in solidarity,
Leticia Carrion

Sherron Conley, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

My name is Sherron “Kesha” Conley. I am excited and so very humbled to be running for a Union Wide ECommittee seat this election on the Member Driven Slate. I am a Radiologic Technologist from Doctors Medical Center Modesto (Tenet Healthcare) of 17 years. I was elected to represent my hospital four times at the Bargaining Table, as well as the Chief Steward. I’ve helped organize 14 Tenet facilities across the nation,  as well as done various political actions. I am very passionate when it comes to regaining and restoring the Respect, Trust, and Confidence of the membership. I believe our union needs to be rebuilt so that we can have a more solid foundation. I want to improve our local representation, contract enforcement, education, and make better use of our dues money. Please allow me to work side by side with our President and Vice President to make this happen. I humbly ask for your vote to continue fighting for fairness and accountability.

Roberta Contreras, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Roberta Contreras and I am a Heathcare worker with Kaiser Permanente Southern California. I have been a union member for 17 years and serve as a union steward. I have also been on DLMP, KCDS and Workplace Safety. I have chosen to run on the Member Driven Slate because I relate to what we stand for as a group. We need transparency, accountability, engagement and together our voices can be heard. I feel that we as members know the time is now to stand in solidarity to fight for our rights and demand respect in making that positive change! Please consider me, vote, and electmembers running on the “SEIU-UHW MEMBER DRIVEN SLATE”!

Paul Fayle, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Nothing changes if we sit by and do nothing about it. Let’s change the leadership as the first step! My name is Paul and I am a Clinical Lab Scientist. For 11 years our union has been hijacked and drained to fund a National pro-worker movement for strangers who are not in our union. With your vote I will redirect our union resources to benefit you and our dues-paying union members. I am driven by the members and focused on their facilities. I will focus on strength and staff in the local facilities and forcing HR to comply with the contract. I will ensure our union pursues contract violations through all remediation stages. I will work with all of you to change the entire tone and culture of our union from bullying and intimidation to support and responsiveness. I will ensure training and workshops for all of us and our leadership. I promise to increase communication between our leadership and our dues-paying members using our handheld mobile devices to bring members real-time information. My goal is to support a grassroots movement to improve your life and your family. I am happy to join the SEIU-UHW Member Driven Slate as a [candidate statement cut at the 200-word limit]

Cass Gualvez, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

I believe in the collective power of healthcare workers standing up for the dignity of themselves, their families, and their patients. Healthcare workers and working people aren’t victims. In fact we have more power than we realize, and I’m ready to make our union stronger, larger and more powerful than we are today!

I have a proven track record of organizing workers in the face of employer opposition, and pledge to develop more members to do the same so we can win even more campaigns and fights, and grow our organizing capacity.

The opposition is more well-funded than they were pre-pandemic, and have been emboldened to take advantage of healthcare workers and patients to further increase their profit. I’m running as part of the SEIU-UHW MUST (Members United for Strength) slate because we have to use every tool in our toolbelt NOW to fight for what we deserve before the balance of power tilts too far in our employers’ favor.

Sylvia Inouye, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Sylvia Inouye. I work at Kaiser Anaheim EVS Department and I have been a union member for about 5 years. I have chosen to run on the Member Driven Slate because I can relate to what we stand for as a group. I was a union Steward for about a year and was part of many councils, such as our local council, Leaders to Lawmaker council, and National EVS council. I stepped down to handle 2 jobs and school, but have always been transparent about what is going on within our union. I took an oath to take care of the members and to never harm them. That still stands today. I am a Healthcare Hero just like you. I clock in and out. I have been thru Covid and short staffing so I can relate to our continuous local issues. I believe in fighting for my fellow Brothers and Sisters. We are the investors of this union. We are the bosses and we deserve respect, transparency, and great benefits and pay that stay at least equal to cost of living, as well as representation for our local issues. Please consider myself and vote for me [candidate statement cut at the 200-word limit]

Vicki Jackson, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

I’m proud to stand in this fight with all of you amazing and worthy SEIU-UHW members. Your journey has been long and difficult, not to mention the last three years. Enough is Enough!

It’s time for us to lock arms and demand our respect from Kaiser, which is nothing we haven’t done before. But the stakes are high and the time is now. Stay connected and ready, with no distractions.

Together with the other SEIU-UHW MUST (Members United for Strength) team of candidates, I know we are the right team to get us to victory and a strong new contract. Let’s do this UHW!

Suzanne Jimenez, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

For over 10 years, I’ve worked with members to build their political capacity. I lead the political department that utilizes politics as a tool to win strong contracts and organize more workers into the union. My team has created leadership programs focused on developing rank-and-file members’ skills in political work – those programs include Leaders to Lawmakers, Election Leaders, COPE Ninjas and the Political Leadership Committee.

My team has focused on legislation to support healthcare workers during the pandemic, including passing the first ever state-mandated PPE stockpile law and COVID paid sick leave in 2020, 2021 and 2022. We passed legislation focused on addressing healthcare disparities and much more.

My team oversaw the successful campaign for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Arizona, the Georgia U.S. Senate 2020 special election, defeating the recall of Governor Newsom, and most recently building a legislature of healthcare champions.

With inflation at an all-time high, UHW members must use every tool to win strong contracts because our employers continue to make huge profits without recognizing the sacrifice healthcare workers have made to keep California moving forward.

Lester Katz, Executive Committee Unionwide

Member Driven

Hello, my name is Lester B. Katz. I am a Radiologic Technologist II and work at Kaiser Permanente Irwindale and Baldwin Park. I have been a union member for 31 years and a union Steward for 22 years. I have also been on 4 different bargaining teams. I have chosen to run on the Member Driven Slate because I relate to what we stand for as a group. We need transparency, accountability, engagement, and togetherness. As a fellow Healthcare worker, I have been in the work trenches with all of you; LVN’s, transporters, house keepers and ward clerks, to name a few. I can relate to your job issues because my job issues are similar, if not the same, as your job issues. So, when you vote, I ask you to please consider me and vote for me and my fellow members running on the Member Driven Slate!! Let’s bring back the Respect and Power to our members and make this a truly Member Driven Union. “Member Driven Slate 2023”

Gabriel Montoya, Executive Committee Unionwide

Members United for Strength (MUST)

I believe in mentoring and empowering my fellow union members by working with you all to build up union strength and take on billion dollar corporations like Kaiser, Dignity, Tenet, Prime, and others to keep our stuff. That’s what I will continue to do as your Executive Committee member and a member of the SEIU-UHW MUST (Members United for Strength) team.

As a rank and file leader, I’ve educated and organized my fellow union members to be empowered and take on issues like contract negotiations, workplace safety, contract enforcement, political organzing, and taking on the boss when they refuse to bargain or adhere to what we’ve fought for. I’ve done this by organizing meetings, actions, pickets and other campaigns to take on the boss and their allies.

With wealth inequality growing between wealthy corporations, their CEOs and the workers, we need to use every tool available. Now that our employers have gone from being multimillion dollar companies to multi-billion dollar companies, we MUST recognize that strikes alone aren’t going to protect our stuff, it will take recruiting elected officials and patients to stand with us, and taking on employers at the ballot box and the state legislature.

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