For Immediate Release: State’s Largest Public Labor Union Announces Primary Endorsement

Concord, NH, November 19, 2015 – The Board of Directors of the State Employees’ Association/SEIU Local 1984 announced the union’s endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary.

“Bernie Sanders has a long history of fighting for working people,” said Richard Gulla, President of SEA/SEIU Local 1984. “He shares many of our members’ goals and values. He is not afraid to take on Wall Street and will fight against corporate greed and corruption.  Bernie supports every worker earning a livable wage allowing them to care for and support their families.  He is also respectful and supportive of the collective bargaining process. He understands that many of our young people cannot afford to attend college so they can prepare for the jobs of this century; and that our senior citizens are not being afforded a dignified retirement.”

“We looked at the issues that mattered most to working people,” said John Hattan, SEA/SEIU Political Education Committee chair, “and most members supported today’s endorsement as the best decision.”

Earlier this week, SEIU, with which SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is affiliated, publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton as their presidential Primary pick. “While we differ in our endorsement, we share the same values, hopes and dreams for our country,” said Gulla.

SEA/SEIU Local 1984 and SEIU International will work together respectfully during the primary as they both work to move forward the interests of hard-working members who are part of the growing movement to raise wages and rebalance our economy.

“We look forward to supporting Senator Sanders throughout the primary race and will be prepared to support the most labor-friendly candidate post primary,” said Gulla.


SEA/SEIU 1984 followed its established candidate endorsement policy in arriving at today’s decision.  Per policy, the organization’s Political Education Committee (Poli-Ed) polled all members about their support of the primary candidates, regardless of party affiliation.  Of those who responded, Sen. Sanders received the greatest number of votes. The Committee then invited presidential candidates to the SEA/SEIU 1984 office in Concord to meet with them and answer members’ questions.  The committee then discussed each of the candidates’ merits and qualifications and made a recommendation to the Board of the Directors.  The Board then voted whether to approve the Poli-ed’s recommendation.  The majority vote was with Sen. Sanders.

About The State Employees’ Association/ SEIU Local 1984

The State Employees’ Association of New Hampshire/SEIU Local 1984 represents about 11,500 public and private-sector employees across the Granite State.  First formed in 1940 as a social organization, the SEA won passage of New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Law in 1975.  Since then, the union has negotiated hundreds of contracts with state, county, municipal and private-sector employers.  The SEA affiliated with the Service Employees’ International Union in 1984.  With two million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas.

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