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City of New Orleans Membership Meeting March 2, 2017


City Workers in New Orleans are fighting for better working conditions and for better compensation and benefits. In February, SEIU members created committees to address the concerns of city workers. They will focus on:
– Respect & Dignity for all rank-and-file City employees on the jobsite
– Affordable housing
– Adequate compensation and better healthcare coverage for City of New Orleans Employees

The follow-up Meeting will be held on March 2, 2017 at 7:00 pm at SEIU Union Hall 540 S. Broad St. Suite A, New Orleans, LA 70119

Make sure you have a voice at the table. Stand with your co-workers and fight for your fair share.

For more information, contact your organizer Heather Larson at 504-214-8141 or

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Statement on the Tragic Death of Alton Sterling

We stand in solidarity with the Sterling Family and the community of Baton Rouge as again the country is faced with fatal police violence against a community of color. In SEIU BATON ROUGE – SEIU members and families are deeply saddened by the shooting death of Alton Sterling. We see 100+ men in our Union who look exactly like Alton Sterling. They are blue-collar men who go to work every day and sometimes have to work a second job or like Mr. Sterling may scrape together enough money in small increments by selling CD’s on the side just to make ends meet.

There is no justifiable explanation for the death of Alton Sterling and to try to create one ignores the reality that surrounds us. The reality that Louisiana has the third highest unemployment rate in the country, with Black women, men and children being disproportionately impacted. Louisiana incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world, making it the world’s largest prison capitol. While Black people struggle to make a living and survive in a state with poor social and health outcomes, they have to avoid getting shot by police, and betrayed by public servants who are supposed to protect them, their families and their communities.

As President of SEIU 21 LA, I have seen the struggles of working families in North Baton Rouge. They have been neglected and left behind. Particularly the communities of color have been slighted and face, systemic racism, political and economic disenfranchisement and environmental devastation which leads to some of the worse health outcomes in the country.

This story is not new and continues to be played out on our TV screens providing us with a front row view of the injustices in communities across America that mirror the community in Baton Rouge where we lost Mr. Sterling. These are the communities that have been neglected and left behind by city leaders who vowed to invoke the “inclusiveness” of Baton Rouge. Communities of color have seen too many times where an investigation does not lead to real change because city leaders are too busy citing self-serving rhetoric rather than speaking with a voice that will unify us all.

We will no longer accept this type of duplicity to continue. We will hold those who have vowed to “Protect and Serve” accountable. We will no longer go on with our daily lives when in America 559 individuals has been killed by police this year. In order for this to stop, we must make it Stop!
SEIU stands with communities demanding a thorough investigation into the incident by the Department of Justice. We further demand that this investigation leads to real and continued accountability of law enforcement that ensures those most marginalized are not harmed by state based violence. Far behind us are the days where we sit idly and allow the Baton Rouge Police Department that has a long history of police brutality and misconduct, to go on without demanding that those involved receive sanctions for their transgressions.

This is why SEIU is demanding that Mayor Kip Holden take action now by having the Justice Department convene and monitor an independent review board in order to:

  • Examine the practices of the Baton Rouge Police Department’s discriminatory policies and procedures,
  • Provide recommendations and ensure those recommendations are implemented.
  • If the findings discover misconduct — We are calling on Mayor Holden to fire Chief Carl Dabadie.

The people of Baton Rouge will not be silent, Baton Rouge need healing and deserve “real leadership” at this critical moment; and we pray that they will get it!

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SEIU 21LA is a proud community ally with


As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, SEIU 21LA is proud to partner with many wonderful community allies in presenting While the City of New Orleans has certainly made progress, it has unquestionably been uneven, often leave working African American families out of the process entirely. Head over to to read about the challenges still facing many New Orleanians.

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In Louisiana, we know how special and important our culture is. For this reason, SEIU 21LA is delighted to have participated in the Zilphia Horton Residency Project. Check out the videos below!

The Zilphia Horton Residency Project connects cultural organizers with community groups in a way that allows all parties to learn new methods of activism that are meaningful to the community impacted. The program is a project of the Highlander Research and Education Center. They are a social justice leadership and cultural center located in Tennessee. In the 1950s, they were a crucial part of the Civil Rights Movement, having trained Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Bevel, Septima Clark, Bernard Lafayette, and John Lewis.

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Sodexo Contract Ratification

Location: Union Hall

300 Jefferson Hwy. Ste. 200

Jefferson, LA. 70121

Time: 4:30 PM

Date: Thursday, October 24th

Click  here –> Sodexo Contract Ratification Vote


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General Membership Meeting


Union Hall

300 Jefferson Hwy. Ste. 200

Jefferson, LA. 70121

Time: 5:30 PM

Date: Thursday, October 24th

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SEIU Local 21 LA Members gives a presentation at Together Baton Rouge Civic Academy

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JP School Support Workers Receive Free Dental, Life and Vision Insurance

At yesterday’s Jefferson Parish School Board meeting, a board proposal passed that would expand dental, vision and life insurance benefitsPicture Page 11 to all school employees working more than 20 hours a week, including support workers such as cafeteria workers and bus drivers.

This is a big win for our members!

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CBR Contract Approved at Metro Council Meeting

After a lengthy campaign, the City of Baton Rouge union contract was approved by the Baton Rouge Metro Council on April 10, 2013.
This culminated years of hard work and dedication of SEIU Local 21 LA union members.
Thank you to the city of Baton Rouge and the Metro Council members who have supported SEIU 21LA throughout the years. We look forward to working with the city.
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Below is union president, Helene O’Brien’s statement to the Metro Council:

Hi.  My name is Helene O’Brien. I am the president of SEIU Local 21 LA.  We represent employees of DPW, Head Start, Juvenile Services, the City Constables, the City Community Centers, Community Development, Mosquito and Rodent Control, to name a few.  And I am here today to ask the Metro Council to approve this contract.

This contract is a simple renewal, with no additional costs to the city-parish.  But it is a product of good faith negotiations between the Administration and its employees.  We’ve made modest changes to the previous contract.  The most important of which is to ensure access to training opportunities for all employees.  This expanded training access is essential, especially now as DPW re-organizes and upgrades its technology.  It is good policy to develop your workforce, especially the dedicated and committed workforce of East Baton Rouge City-Parish.

The only other changes to the contract are measures that ensure better communication and cooperation among the workforce and management, which, again, is essential in a time of great change.

Finally, the members of SEIU Local 21 LA, your City-Parish employees want to thank the Metro Council for its support and the Mayor for recognizing that when we disagree, and you all know that that happens now and again, that when we disagree, it is a family disagreement.  And that our members, your city-parish employees, are committed to serving the public with the highest quality and to make you proud.

Thank you.


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State of the Schools Second Line for Justice: March 13 at 4 p.m.

2ndLineforJusticeLogoHow can we improve the working and learning conditions in New Orleans schools for workers and students? A recent report answers this question. Its findings will be released to the community on March 13.

(March 5, 2013 – NEW ORLEANS) — “State of the Schools” is an action research report complete with recommendations that answers the question: How can we improve the working and learning conditions in New Orleans schools for workers and students?

Over the course of three months, a team of action researchers composed of former and current New Orleans school service workers – cafeteria workers and custodians – as well as New Orleans public school students came together for a participatory action research (PAR) project.

The PAR project developed from the need to investigate the impact decentralization is having in the schools by the two groups most impacted by the changes: the workers and the students they serve.

This intergenerational group, ranging in age from 9 to 74, created surveys, gathered data, analyzed findings; and as a result, came up with five solid policy recommendations to improve services. These findings are aimed at all 45 New Orleans school boards and will be released to the community during the March 13 event.

“One of the main reasons I signed up to be an action researcher is because I have children who attend Orleans public schools and I want the best education and learning environments for them,” said Jumal Otis, a seven-year food service worker in the Recovery School District. “I’m working to help all students and workers get the right pay and supplied needed so they can have better lives.”

Both Otis and her 11-year-old son, Carl served on the PAR team.

The second line will start at 4 p.m. at the Recovery School District’s new office located at 1615 Poydras St. and travel to the steps of City Hall, 1300 Perdido St.    Music will be provided by TBC Brass Band and the Messy Cookers. Free food will be served at City Hall. School leaders, both charter and traditional, will be attending to support.

The one-page summary of the report is currently available. The report in its entirety will be made available after the event. For more information, contact Jewel Bush at (225) 454-3853 or

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