Philadelphia, PA – Citing his strong support of pro-working family policies and his commitment to growing an economy that works for all Pennsylvanians, the Pennsylvania State Council of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today announced their endorsement of Tom Wolf for Governor. Union members and leaders, including healthcare workers, school employees and social service workers, were joined by the candidate outside of Philadelphia City Hall.
“Tom Wolf will improve the lives of working families and we are fully committed to making him the next Governor of Pennsylvania. He understands that good jobs are the key to fighting poverty and building a strong middle class,” said Héctor J. Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property service union in the country. “Tom has spent most of his life working to improve his community, and as a responsible businessman he has helped create thousands of good jobs here in PA.”
The union members and leaders specifically noted Wolf’s positions on education funding, healthcare, raising the minimum wage and taxing Marcellus Shale as examples of a shared vision for a just and fair economy for all workers.
“As a union member and a school district worker, I am proud to endorse Tom Wolf for Governor,” said Karl Johnson, 32BJ member and engineer at The School of the Future. “Philly public schools have been devastated by Governor Corbett’s cuts. Not only will Tom Wolf help repair the damage from the Corbett administration, he’ll invest in education from kindergarten to college.”
Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare PA, Pennsylvania’s largest union of healthcare workers, said, “Tom Wolf is the kind of leader Pennsylvania needs to protect and expand healthcare access and choice for all citizens across the state. He will build a healthcare system to put patients and working families first while increasing the efficient delivery of cost-effective care.”
Zakia Ruffin, a home care worker from Philadelphia, discussed how Wolf’s election would have a direct impact on her family. “I have been a home care worker for seven years and it has been a real challenge taking care of my three children on low wages and lack of healthcare,” she said. “I support Tom Wolf because he will provide an avenue for Medicaid Expansion so myself and other home care workers can get affordable healthcare that doesn’t deplete our monthly income.”
Wolf’s support of raising the minimum wage was also mentioned by the union as a reason for their support. “It’s not right or fair that citizens are forced to work two jobs, and take time away from their families because they make $7.25 an hour,” said Roni Green, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Local 668.
Tyshan Stallworth, SEIU Local 668 member and healthcare worker at Guadenzia Diagnostic and Rehab, said, “$7.25 an hour is just not enough for a single person to live on, much less for a single parent like myself to provide my child the bare necessities. Tom Wolf understands the value of paying people what they are worth.”
Plans were also announced to devote significant resources to Wolf’s election efforts, including hundreds of “boots on the ground” by SEIU member volunteers.
“I am humbled to receive SEIU’s support and I look forward to working with their members across Pennsylvania. Like SEIU, I believe in fairness and creating opportunities for all Pennsylvanians,” said Tom Wolf.
“As governor, I will invest in our future by restoring Governor Corbett’s misguided cuts to education, I will expand Medicaid to provide health coverage for half a million people, and I will fight to raise the minimum wage because people who work full-time should not live in poverty.”
ABOUT THE SEIU PENNSYLVANIA STATE COUNCIL
With over 1.2 million members worldwide, the Service Employees International Union is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. In Pennsylvania, the SEIU PA State Council represents nearly 80,000 workers in the areas of health care, public services, property services, school employees, laundry and distribution. We work to coordinate and unify the collective political and legislative priorities of all SEIU locals and districts throughout the state.