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Kathy Labriola Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250 Collection
larc.ms.0392  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Availability
  • Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Arrangement
  • Biography of Kathy Labriola
  • History of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: Kathy Labriola Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250 collection
    Date (inclusive): 1971-2015
    Creator: Labriola, Kathy
    Extent: 7.15 Cubic Feet (6 cartons; 1 box)
    Call number: larc.ms.0392
    Accession numbers: 2013/010, 2015/013
    Contributing Institution: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Abstract: This collection documents the labor activities of Kathy Labriola, licensed vocational nurse, union activist, and community organizer. The records comprise newsletters, flyers, notes, correspondence, articles, clippings, and promotional materials collected and generated by Labriola in her role as shop steward for Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 250, and through her involvement in three union-related committees: the AIDS Education Committee, the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, and the Committee for a Democratic Union (CDU). Other materials pertain to Labriola's role as a commissioner on the City of Berkeley Labor Commission, as well as her involvement in the fight against the two-gate system in the San Francisco Bay Area construction industry.
    Physical Location: Collection stored offsite: advance notice required for use.
    Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English.

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Kathy Labriola Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 250 Collection, larc.ms.0392, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Acquisition

    Donated by Kathy Labriola in 2013. An additional donation was made by Kathy Labriola in 2015. Accession numbers 2013/010 and 2015/013.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Frances Wratten Kaplan in 2016.

    Arrangement

    The records are arranged in the following nine series: Series 1: Kathy Labriola Personal Papers, 1976-2015; Series 2: Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 250, 1975-1995; Series 3: Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, 1976-1990; Series 4: AIDS Education Committee, 1984-1998; Series 5: Committee for a Democratic Union, 1982-1990; Series 6: City of Berkeley Labor Commission, 1971-1994; Series 7: Rank And File Committee Against The 2-Gate, 1977-1990; Series 8: Other Union Materials, 1972-1990; and Series 9: Audiovisual Materials, 1984-1994.

    Biography of Kathy Labriola

    Kathy Labriola was born in New Jersey and graduated as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) from Bergen Pines School of Nursing in 1974. That same year she moved to California and passed the California State Board exam. Her involvement in labor unions started in the mid-1970s when, while working in convalescent hospitals in Berkeley, she experienced first-hand the low wages and unstable work conditions of the hospital employees and the anti-union stance of the hospital administrators. Labriola herself was laid off from her job as an LVN at Claremont Convalescent Hospital after attempting to unionize fellow workers.
    A later job at a nursing home with a union contract introduced Labriola to SEIU Local 250. Her interest in union issues deepened and she eventually took on the role of shop steward. During this time, her disenchantment with the inner workings of the union grew as she witnessed the corruption and incompetence of the "old boy" network of union leadership. In an effort to bring about change, Labriola joined the Committee for a Democratic Union (CDU), a rank and file caucus committed to union reform.
    Labriola became heavily involved in two committees founded by Local 250 members: the AIDS Education Committee, and the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee. From 1978 to 1988, as part of the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, Labriola distributed educational literature, organized fundraisers, and lobbied the United States government for sanctions against the South African government. In her role as co-founder and committee member for the Local 250 AIDS Education Committee, Labriola conducted workshops and trainings with hospital staff on how to safely care for people with AIDS, and co-wrote AIDS and the Health Care Worker.
    In January 1987 SEIU placed Local 250 into trusteeship, dissolving the Executive Board and the Board of Trustees and effectively ending Labriola's position on both. A year later, as a result of a merger between Alta Bates Hospital and Herrick Hospital, Labriola was one of a hundred nurses laid off from their jobs. At that point Labriola's membership with Local 250 ceased, although her relationship with CDU continued for another year.
    From 1986 to 1994 Labriola served as a commissioner on the City of Berkeley Labor Commission. As part of her position she wrote a Labor Bill of Rights supporting workers in Berkeley, and was instrumental in representing labor interests in the Miles Cutter Development Agreement and in the City of Berkeley's plan for the redevelopment of West Berkeley. Labriola also played a role in the Rank And File Committee Against The 2-Gate. The committee, formed in the early 1980s by rank and file construction workers, protested construction companies that created two separate gates to a job site in order to avoid hiring union workers.
    Labriola attended the University of California at Berkeley and in 1980 was awarded a B.A. in Comparative Government. Her honors thesis was titled The Influence of Feminism on American Women in the 1970s. Labriola currently works as a counselor in Berkeley, California.

    History of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250

    Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 250 (now SEIU UHW) is the oldest union representing healthcare workers in the United States. Started in 1934 by a group of service workers at San Francisco General, a publicly owned hospital, they were successful in their ability to unite and fight for higher wages. At that time there was no national union representing hospital workers and it wasn't until three years later that the local got a new charter from the Building Service Employees International Union, becoming BSEIU Local 250. In 1968 BSEIU changed its name to the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU.
    In 1936, The City and County of San Francisco passed an ordinance stating that wages set at private hospitals in the city would determine the wage rate for workers at San Francisco General. This led to the first organization of workers in private nonprofit hospitals, including Franklin Hospital (renamed the Ralph K. Davies Medical Center in 1971 and now known as California Pacific Medical Center's Davies Campus), French Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, St. Luke's Hospital (now St. Luke's Campus of California Pacific Medical Center) and Dante Hospital. With support from sister SEIUs and the San Francisco Labor Council, Local 250 was able to garner enough public support and membership to introduce a collective bargaining agreement just one year later.
    In 1941, the Local 250 won a significant victory when it signed its first master agreement covering 11 private nonprofit hospitals in San Francisco. The addition of a grievance procedure, which contained binding arbitration and a non-discriminatory policy against workers who joined the union, provided protection for members in the workplace and allowed the union to negotiate more forcefully with management. By the early 1950s, Local 250 had expanded their union to include the entire Bay Area, and successfully negotiating master agreements with both Associated Hospitals of the East Bay and Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Project.
    For the next few decades the union continued to fight for better working conditions at Bay Area hospitals, winning its members increased wages, an employee-paid health and welfare plan, a retirement plan, a job classification and seniority system, and a labor management trust fund used to provide unemployment insurance for hospital workers. Local 250 further expanded to organize workers in convalescent facilities, starting with master agreements for three nursing home chains: Hillhaven Corporation, Hacienda, and National Health Enterprises. Convalescent care workers soon formed a substantial part of the union's membership.
    In 2004, Local 250 in Northern California and Local 399 in Southern California merged to form SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). SEIU-UHW currently represents 150,000 healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes, as well as home care providers serving the senior population and people with disabilities.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection documents the labor activities of Kathy Labriola, licensed vocational nurse, union activist, and community organizer. The records comprise newsletters, flyers, notes, correspondence, articles, clippings, and promotional materials collected and generated by Labriola in her role as shop steward for Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 250, and through her involvement in union-related committees: the AIDS Education Committee, the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, and the Committee for a Democratic Union (CDU). Other materials pertain to Labriola's role as a commissioner on the City of Berkeley Labor Commission, and to her involvement in the fight against the two-gate system in the San Francisco construction industry.
    Series 1, Kathy Labriola Personal Papers, contains histories written by Labriola describing her involvement in SEIU, Local 250 from the mid-1970s through to the late 1980s, including the years she spent as a member of the CDU. Other narratives chronicle the work achieved by the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee, the AIDS Education Committee, the Rank And File Committee Against The 2-Gate System, and Labriola's role as a commissioner on the City of Berkeley Labor Commission.
    Series 2, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 250, consists of records produced in the day-to-day operations of Local 250. These include administrative documents, convention materials, general correspondence, grievance and arbitration records, hospital and nursing home contract negotiations, Local 250 bulletins, and records pertaining to SEIU's trusteeship of Local 250 in 1987.
    Series 3 records relate to the Southern Africa Solidarity Committee's support of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The bulk of the materials span the years 1978 to 1988 and document the protests and fundraisers organized by the committee to raise awareness about apartheid. The campaign was so successful that the SEIU was able to pass a resolution, written by committee members, calling for the divestment of SEIU bank accounts and pension funds from any bank or corporation that conducted business with the apartheid regime.
    Series 4, AIDS Education Committee, comprises notes, reports, pamphlets, and educational materials related to the care and treatment of patients with HIV and AIDS, as well as various health and safety materials aimed at the protection of workers in healthcare institutions.
    Series 5, Committee for a Democratic Union (CDU), contains newsletters, committee meeting notes, correspondence, and promotional materials generated by CDU in its campaign for democratic elections and a more transparent union.
    Series 6, City of Berkeley Labor Commission, documents the work done by Labriola and the Labor Commission in supporting worker's rights in Berkeley, particularly in relation to the West Berkeley Plan and the Miles Cutter Development Agreement.
    Series 7 contains notes, correspondence, clippings, administrative materials, and protest materials related to the Rank And File Committee Against The 2-Gate. The committee, formed from rank and file members in the construction trades, protested contractors and construction companies that implemented the two-gate system to avoid hiring union workers.
    Series 8, Other Union Materials, contains materials produced by, or about, SEIU and unions other than Local 250.
    Series 9, Audiovisual Materials, consists of photographs of Kathy Labriola and CDU members, as well as various audio cassette recordings.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Strikes and lockouts -- Hospitals.
    City planning -- California -- Berkeley.
    Hospitals -- Employees -- Labor unions.
    Hospitals -- Employees -- Labor unions -- Organizing.
    Labor disputes -- Cases.
    Labor disputes -- California.
    Labor unions -- Organizing -- California.
    Collective labor agreements.
    Labor unions -- California -- Oakland.
    Labor unions -- California -- San Francisco.
    Collective bargaining -- Hospitals.
    Construction workers -- United States -- California -- Labor unions.
    Alta Bates-Herrick Hospitals.
    Cutter Biological.
    Service Employees International Union. Local 250 (San Francisco, Calif.)