History and Accomplishments

The 1199SEIU Funds are among the strongest and largest labor-management funds in the nation, providing a range of comprehensive benefits to more than 400,000 working and retired healthcare industry workers — members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East — and their families. Through the Benefit and Pension, Training and Employment and Child Care Funds, 1199SEIU members enjoy complete health benefits, a defined monthly pension at retirement and training, educational, job security, and child care benefits all at little or no cost.

The 1199SEIU Funds began with the Local 1199 Benefit Plan. Formed in 1945, its goal was to provide basic health, disability and life insurance benefits to just 300 New York City retail drugstore workers with employer-paid contributions. In 1948, the Benefit Fund became self-insured and self-administered. Since then, the Fund has continued to grow, providing the infrastructure to support additional benefit funds that provide coverage for healthcare workers throughout the industry in hospitals, nursing homes and home care agencies. Today, the four jointly administered Benefit Funds provide a full package of benefits, including hospital, medical, prescription, dental, vision and quality-of-life benefits to more than 400,000 members, retirees and their families.

In 1951, the 1199SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund was established to provide financial security for 1199SEIU retirees. Today, there are three 1199SEIU Pension Funds, which pay defined monthly benefits to more than 97,000 retirees and their beneficiaries. With more than $9 billion in assets, the three Pension Funds combined would be the fourth largest Taft-Hartley fund in the nation.

Over the years, new 1199SEIU funds were created to meet the needs of members and the healthcare industry as they evolved. The Training and Upgrading Fund was created in 1969 to provide education and job training programs for healthcare workers. It has now grown into a group of funds — the Training and Employment Funds — serving more than 40,000 workers each year in all sectors of the healthcare industry. These programs support workers and also the needs of the industry at large, helping to meet the challenges of emerging trends and address issues such as the nursing shortage with RN-specific job training and academic support.

The most recent addition to the 1199SEIU Funds are the 1199SEIU Child Care Funds. The 1199SEIU Employer Child Care Fund, founded in 1992, helps members balance family and work responsibilities through affordable child care, youth and educational programs. With the recent addition of the Greater New York Child Care Fund, the two Funds together now provide more than 12,000 children each year with after-school and weekend programs, summer and holiday camp opportunities and educational programming such as SAT and college preparation courses.

By collaborating with the Union and employers to prepare, sustain and support a quality workforce, the Funds are a valuable healthcare resource, fulfilling a commitment to building a strong industry that improves patient care.