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SEIU District 925 Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001805
The SEIU District 925 Collection contains correspondence, reports, job and wage surveys, minutes, annual meeting material, contracts, newsletters, flyers, mailings and other campaign literature, membership brochures, publications on issues of concern to clerical workers and working women generally, Karen Nussbaum's speeches and media coverage related to the organization and activities of 9to5/Working Women and its chapters and District 925. Particularly well documented are organizing and contract campaigns at Boston, Brandeis and Kent State Universities and the Universities of Cincinnati and Washington. The collection is a rich source of documentation on the intersection of the women's and trade union movements in the 1970's and 80's.

Important correspondents in the collection: Betty Arenth Ellen Bravo Cindia Cameron Ellen Cassedy Kim Cook Nancy Cross Carol Edelson Theresa El-Amin John Geagan Andrea Gunderson Dorothy Hayden Anne Hill Tom Hoffman Laura Kenny Bonnie Ladin Dorine Levasseur Sam Luciano Judith McCullough Debbie Niehoff Karen Nussbaum Maureen O'Donnell Jackie Ruff Cheryl Schaffer Debbie Schneider Casey Sharpe Andy Stern John Sweeney Diane Teichert Rose Trump Maureen Watson Bob Welsh

Important subjects in the collection: 9to5 Brandeis Library Union Childcare Union Project Classified Staff Association of the University of Washington Collective bargaining--White collar workers--United States Electronic monitoring in the workplace--United States Equal pay for equal work--United States Equitable Life Assurance Society Feminism--United States Karen Nussbaum Kent State University Organizing Committee SEIU Local 925 (Boston) SEIU Office Worker Division Sex discrimination in employment Sex role in the work environment Sexual harassment Trade-unions and child care--United States Trade-unions--Organizing--Massachusetts Trade-unions--Organizing--Ohio Trade-unions--Organizing--Ohio-Cleveland Trade-unions--Organizing--Washington Video display terminals--health aspects White collar workers--United States White collar workers--Effect of technological innovations on--United States White collar workers--Health and hygiene--United States White collar workers--Labor unions--United States White collar workers--Salaries, etc.--United States Women--Employment--United States Women in the labor movement--United States Women in trade-unions--United States Women labor leaders--United States Women's rights--United States Working class women--United States Working Women Series Description: Series I, 9to5/Working Women Files, 1973-1995: Correspondence, reports, minutes, media coverage, organizing and contract campaign literature and other publications related to the activities of the national headquarters and local chapters of the organization. All Working Women affiliates conducted health and safety, job discrimination and wage surveys, held workshops and public forums on issues of concern to women office workers and lobbied and campaigned against banks' and other institutions' low wages and discriminatory behavior toward their employees. The files are arranged alphabetically and, then, chronologically.

Series II, District 925 National Office Files, 1980-2001: Correspondence, reports, executive board and staff meeting minutes, financial records, media coverage, campaign literature and other publications related to the activities of the national headquarters and its officers. Included are files related to SEIU's Office Worker Division, which Karen Nussbaum chaired.

Series III, District 925 Regional Office Files, 1975-2001: Correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, media coverage and literature related to organizing campaigns and contract negotiations, primarily in the Boston area (Local 925), Ohio and Washington (Classified Staff Association). Files are arranged alphabetically within each region, beginning with the east. Some Boston Local 925 material predates its merger with District 925 in 1983.

Series IV, Contracts, 1983-2001: Collective bargaining agreements between District 925 affiliates and employers. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series V, Karen Nussbaum: Articles, Speeches, Testimony, 1976-2002: Files are arranged alphabetically.
Part II: See Part I for the history of District 925, as well as the bulk of the organization’s records during its origin and transitions (9to5 / Working Women / District 925 / Local 925), its national and regional office files, contracts, and Karen Nussbaum’s records. Part II consists of the records of Local 925 and District 925, including correspondence, meeting minutes (particularly Executive Board Meetings), and documents on District 925’s final transition and merger into SEIU locals. Additionally there are contracts and agreements not found in Part I, as well as publications. Finally, AV and library materials, predominately photographic materials, but also VHS tapes, a jacket, and two books, make up the final group of items.

Important Subjects: 9to5 Collective bargaining—Librarians Equal pay for equal work—United States Equitable Life Assurance Society Feminism Women in the labor movement

Important Names: Gail Gabber Doreen Levasseur Karen Nussbaum Maureen Ridge Debbie Schneider

Series Description: Series 1: Office Files, 1975-2003 Series 2: Contracts, 1977-2003 Series 3: Publications, 1976-2001 Series 4: AV and Library, 1970s-2000s

Dates

  • Deaccession: 1973 - 2004

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.
Some materials from the NSUP Literature folders (17-1 through 17-3) are available as electronic files only.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

19 Linear Feet (19 SB)

Abstract

Part 1 subjects include: 9to5; Working Women; working women's movement; clerical worker organizing; sex discrimination in employment; office worker health and safety; pay equity; SEIU Local 925; Classified Staff Association; Karen Nussbaum.

See Part I for the history of District 925, as well as the bulk of the organization’s records during its origin and transitions (9to5 / Working Women / District 925 / Local 925), its national and regional office files, contracts, and Karen Nussbaum’s records. Part II consists of the records of Local 925 and District 925, including correspondence, meeting minutes (particularly Executive Board Meetings), and documents on District 925’s final transition and merger into SEIU locals. Additionally there are contracts and agreements not found in Part I, as well as publications. Finally, AV and library materials, predominately photographic materials, but also VHS tapes, a jacket, and two books, make up the final group of items.

History

SEIU District 925 was formed in March of 1981 when Karen Nussbaum's Working Women joined forces with SEIU in a national campaign to organize office workers. Working Women had been formed in 1977 out of a network of affiliated groups that had been advocating for women office workers since the founding of Boston 9to5 by Nussbaum and Ellen Cassedy in 1972. It soon became apparent, however, that without a strong collective bargaining agent, women office workers would never achieve the wages, rights and respect they deserved.

Boston 9to5 had affiliated with SEIU in 1975 to create Local 925, the first autonomous union for office workers to grow from the emerging working women's movement, so a partnership between the labor and women's movements had already been forged. Local 925's president, Jackie Ruff, became District 925's executive director in charge of its organizing campaign, while Karen Nussbaum assumed dual leadership roles in District 925 and Working Women, which later changed its name to 9to5, National Association of Working Women. When Nussbaum took charge of the Women's Bureau in the U.S. Department of Labor in 1993, she was succeeded by Ohio regional director and national organizing coordinator, Debbie Schneider.

In launching District 925, SEIU signaled its recognition of the growing presence of women in the workforce and of clerical work as the single largest sector in that workforce. To meet the needs of both these constituencies, the International simultaneously announced the creation of its Clerical Division, later called the Office Worker Division.

For twenty years, until its restructuring and merger with other SEIU locals in 2001, District 925 successfully organized thousands of librarians, college and university support staff, day care and local government workers and other office, technical and professional employees in hard-fought campaigns primarily in Massachusetts, Ohio and Washington. Along with 9to5, it lobbied for equal pay, affirmative action, child care, office health and safety and against age discrimination.

Arrangement

Arranged in 5 Series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 3-7), Series 3 (Boxes 7-13), Series 4 (Boxes 13-14), and Series 5 (Boxes 14-15). Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Arranged in 4 series - Series 1 (Boxes 16-17), Series 2 (Box 17), Series 3 (Box 17), and Sereis 4 (Boxes 18-19). Folders in each series are simply listed by their location within each box. Series 1 and Series 3 are loosely arranged chronologically, Series 2 is arranged alphabetically, and Series 4 is not arranged. However, any given subject may be dispersed throughout several boxes within each series.

Acquisition

Part I: The records of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 925 were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by Debbie Schneider, Karen Nussbaum and other District 925 members between February of 2003 and June of 2004.
Part II: The SEIU District 925 Records, Part II were deposited in multiple accessions by former SEIU staffers Debbie Schneider on June 28, 2005; Gail Graber on August 2, 2005; and Maureen Ridge throughout 2005; as well as member Gail Marredeth on October 14, 2013. The Reuther Library serves as the official repository for SEIU.

Related Materials

Part I: Related material may be found in the records of 9to5, National Association of Working Women at the Schlesinger Library, Harvard University.
Part II: SEIU District 925 Legacy Project Oral Histories, SEIU District 925 Legacy Project, SEIU Executive Office: George Hardy Records, SEIU Executive Office: John Sweeney Records

Transfers

A number of photographs, posters, buttons, bumper stickers, audio and videotapes and other memorabilia received with the records have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection. Copies of 9to5: The Working Woman's Guide to Office Survival by Karen Nussbaum (1983) and The Job/Family Challenge: A 9to5 Guide by Ellen Bravo (1995) have been transferred to the Archives Library.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in June 2004.
Title
Guide to the SEIU District 925 Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
2004-06
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2014-02-11: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated by Alexandra A. A. Orchard

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
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Detroit MI 48202 USA