Visit or call your fellow caregivers to talk with them about the union’s political program and leadership opportunities!
SEIU 775 Member Canvass Organizing Internship (MCOI) participants are part of an eight-week paid internship program in selected areas of Washington state, going door to door and doing house visits with members. Member-to-Member Specialist (MMS) participants do similar work, but on the telephone.
- House visit or call other SEIU 775 members
- Identify potential activists and leaders you meet or talk to
- Engage members to be part of the movement
- Increase membership participation, including the Political Accountability Fund
- Develop leadership skills
- Mobilize new members to become involved in union activities
- Continue to develop leadership skills by building our union in your turf with other active leaders and organizers after your internship is over
If you are interested in applying for one of these programs, watch your email and apply for the next session!
Do I need a car?
Yes. You MUST have a reliable car, current driver’s license and current insurance. You cannot participate in the program if you do not have a car, license and auto insurance.
How many hours per week will I get paid?
This is a temporary internship program for eight weeks and is not a permanent job with SEIU. You are assigned to work 40 hours per week, however the “work week” may include a weekend day. You will get two paid breaks (30 minutes) a day.
Will meals be provided?
Generally not, though we will have lunch and coffee during the Boot Camp, and other all day in-office trainings. You will provide your own lunch on most days.
What about my client and home care duties? Can I continue to work with my client?
It is your responsibility to find coverage and respite care for your client during the times you will be a MCOI intern. We encourage you to consider having your client contract with home care agencies whose workers are in our union.
Will all materials be provided for house visit?
For house visits, you will be provided with all materials needed for you to locate homes easily. You will share your story and listen to members’ stories, encourage them to get involved, and to join the Political Accountability Fund.
What is the next step after I submit my application online?
MCOI’s lead will contact you within one week via phone after you submit your application.
Watch a MCOI video!
SEIU 775 members Mahta and Asenati describe their experiences visiting other members to talk with them about our Union as part of the Mobilization Canvass Organizing Internship (MCOI) program:
Meet Yesenia, who has done MCOI
Yesenia has been a caregiver for more than 3 years and cares for clients through an agency. She did the MCOI program more than once, and she was excited to be returning because she enjoys the work and she enjoys using the skills she learned last time.
When she participated in MCOI before, the program helped her stretch her skills and discover that she’s able to be a strong leader.
Yesenia appreciates that her employer was supportive of her union activity and were able to find coverage for the time she was be away from
Meet Tanika, who has done MCOI
She decided to join the MCOI team because it seemed like a good opportunity to get out of her comfort zone and go meet other caregivers. She likes that this is another way to help people.
She used to be anti-Union, but then a member of a previous MCOI team came to talk with her about all of the different ways that her fellow caregivers were making a difference for themselves and those they care for. That’s when she decided to get involved and become an active member.
Being a part of a MCOI team is her way to “pay it forward” to other caregivers and find out what issues are most important to them.
“I want to get people to get off the couch and get motivated to be leaders in the Union,” she said. “Own your Union!”
What is a Member-to-Member Specialist (MMS)?
Member-to-Member Specialists are caregivers who take a break from our regular work and spend time working at an SEIU 775 office in downtown Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, or Tri-Cities with a team of other caregivers.
We spend our days calling other caregivers on the telephone to talk with them about what it means to be in a Union together, how they can get involved, and why it’s so important that we all stick together.
In a time when anti-Union extremists like the Freedom Foundation are spreading lies about us, it’s more important than ever that caregivers hear the truth from other caregivers:
This is OUR Union and WE make the decisions to stick together to demand respect for ourselves and dignity for those we look after.
It’s a great opportunity to do something different for a little while, and develop new skills. But the most exciting, inspirational part of this job is getting to talk with other caregivers — the heart and soul of our Union — to talk with them about what our Union can do and hear back from them about how they want to shape the future of our Union.
Should I apply?
As people who have done this program, our first answer is, “YES! ABSOLUTELY! Everyone should do this!” But there are a few requirements you need to know about if you’re going to do this, too:
1. This is not a permanent job: It is a paid position but it’s intended for caregivers to come work for a session that runs for about 6 weeks. (Session lengths may vary.)
2. You will work full-time hours, Monday through Friday, in one of four locations (Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities). You don’t have to be able to drive for this position, but you do have to be able to get to the office in your area every day.
3. You must find someone to look after your clients (IP) or get permission from your agency (AP) to be away during the time you’re working at the Union office.
Dora has been a caregiver for her father for more than 14 years, but she just became certified as an Individual Provider in October 2017 and joined our caregivers’ Union, SEIU 775.
In April 2018, she was on the Member-to-Member Specialist team to call other caregivers and explain what our Union stands for and why it’s important for all of us to stick together. She was excited about the chance to talk with other caregivers about these things, because many of them didn’t realize that they’re part of a strong community of 45,000 caregivers in Washington and Montana that work together to improve all our lives.
Some who haven’t been caregivers for the whole 15 years that SEIU 775 has been around didn’t realize that IP caregivers’ pay used to be minimum wage, just over $7 an hour, with no wage scale, health insurance, no PTO, no L&I, and no retirement benefit. We’ve worked to improve our contract through the years and now IPs have all those benefits and starting wages of twice what we earned back then.
One of the things that was exciting about making these calls was being able to explain the Union to caregivers who don’t speak very much English. Dora is bilingual, so she was able to talk to them in Spanish about the ways that our Union fights for our rights — and tell them that the Union is our voice as caregivers.
Before she talked to them, some caregivers thought that the Union was some outside group of people they didn’t. Now, they understand that the Union is just the way that all of us come together as caregivers to work to benefit everyone.
“Who better to be the Union than caregivers?” Dora said. “It’s our voice.”
When caregivers heard that they are part of a powerful organization with so many opportunities for making change and helping people, they were eager to learn even more.
Dora urged them to go to their area meetings where they could meet caregivers in their hometowns and find out what’s going on there. Working in homes can be isolating, so it’s good to meet other caregivers who understand you and support you.
It was a long commute from her home in Tacoma to the Union’s downtown Seattle office, but Dora appreciated the opportunity to build a bridge to caregivers who might have missed out on participating in our Union without her.