For today’s featured 2011 Community Change Champion, I’d like you to meet Geroge Gresham, the President of 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East.
George Gresham was elected 1199SEIU President in April 2007. He is the fifth president in the union’s 75-year history, representing 350,000 healthcare workers throughout New York State, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, District of Columbia and Florida.
In June and July 2009, George directed the successful collective bargaining with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes on behalf of 135,000 New York metropolitan area members at 87 institutions. The contract expands job security guarantees, secures health benefits, improves the pension benefits and gives wage increases through April 2015.
The grandson of a Virginia sharecropper, George spent his early childhood in the segregated school system of the state. Eventually, his father became a trucker and later a member and activist in the Teamsters Union up north. The economic impact of a good Union job on the family’s living standards was not lost on George Gresham.
To learn more abour George and the other recipients of the 2011 Community Change Champion Awards, join us as ChangeAwards.org.