Effectively immediately, Steven Ward joins the Coalition as its new Staff Director, and Guillermo Galarreta as National Coordinator for Campaigns.
Steven Ward comes to us from SEIU Local 49, where he was Health Care Division Director for eight years, leading both KP and non-KP workers in organizing and bargaining in Oregon and southwestern Washington. His 25 years of organizing work includes time with SEIU, AFSCME, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. As Organizing Director of SEIU Local 503 (Oregon), Ward helped create a statewide alliance between the union and a large portion of the nursing home industry — a labor-management partnership that’s increased union density, won increased funding, and raised standards for more than 10 years.
“I look forward to working with our Coalition unions and with Kaiser Permanente to revitalize our Partnership and to develop and implement strategic plans to meet our joint goals. This is an exciting opportunity for all of us — to strengthen our Labor-Management Partnership and ensure Kaiser remains a great place to work and a great place to receive high-quality affordable health care,” said Ward.
Guillermo Galarreta is a familiar face to many Kaiser employees: He coordinated the field campaign during our recently concluded bargaining, including targeted actions and strike prep. With more than 20 years at SEIU Local 503 (Oregon), SEIU International, and SEIU Western Region, Guillermo has organized thousands of nurses, nursing home workers and food service workers in California, Oregon, and Georgia. He also directed successful janitor strikes in Houston (2012) and Minneapolis (2015), and developed organizer training programs as well.
Galarreta has spent his career in health care. At the Seattle King County Health Department in the 1990s, he led the STD Outreach Project (SOP), which helped slow the spread of communicable diseases and improved access to care among underserved populations.
A Final Word
Finally, we want to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation for Walter Allen, who came out of retirement to take on the huge job of being the Coalition’s Interim Executive Director for nearly two years. His guidance, support, and leadership steered the Coalition safely and successfully through the stormiest time of its life. We wish him all the best as he returns once again to a retirement well earned.
The Coalition is excited to have Steven Ward and Guillermo Galarreta aboard as we work to implement our 2019 National Agreement and rebuild our Labor Management Partnership.