Sterling Harders is SEIU 775’s President. Sterling was the first organizer hired by SEIU 775, and has served the last seven years as the Union’s vice president. Born and raised in a small town on the coast of Washington State, Sterling’s dad was a union mill worker and her mother began caregiving in the years before 775 existed.
Under her leadership, the Union grew by more than 10,000 workers. Sterling led a campaign to organize 35 nursing homes in 3 years, and chaired the contract negotiations that gave those nursing home workers their first real wage increase in years. She directed 775’s first organizing drive in Montana that resulted in Montana home care workers getting health insurance for the first time. Sterling led the field campaign for Proposition 1 in SeaTac, the successful campaign that helped sparked the national Fight for $15 movement.
Sterling chaired the Union’s Vision 2022 Committee that came up with recommendations for how the Union could survive and grow given the rapidly changing environment around technology and models of work. Sterling currently chairs the Union’s Health Benefits Trust, which provides some of the nation’s best health insurance to 20,000 caregivers. She is also a trustee of the SEIU 775 Training Partnership, Washington’s second largest educational institution by enrollment, and the SEIU 775 Secure Retirement Trust, created after 775 negotiated the first retirement benefit for caregivers in the country.