Sterling Harders (she/her)
SEIU 775 President
As President of SEIU 775, Sterling was elected to support the more than 45,000 nursing home, home care, and residential care workers throughout Washington and Montana. To accomplish this, she leads a staff of 130 and an Executive Board – comprised of other elected officers and 33 rank-and-file home care workers, agency caregivers, and nursing home workers. Through SEIU 775’s innovative and cutting-edge approach, the Union has demonstrated time after time that we can and do win standard-setting contracts for caregivers and low-wage workers – including significant wage increases, paid vacation, health benefits, retirement, training opportunities, increased funding for nursing home workers, and the Fight For $15.
Born and raised in a small town on the Washington coast, Sterling acquired a firsthand perspective in terms of the importance of respect, dignity, and justice for workers given her father’s role as a union mill worker and her mother’s work as a caregiver. With this knowledge, she became the first-ever organizer hired by SEIU 775, fighting for the rights of workers throughout the Pacific Northwest at a time such individuals suffered chronically poor treatment and endured abysmal working conditions.
Since then, she has worked her way through numerous more-senior roles within the organization, serving as the Union’s Vice President from 2011 until 2018 – and now as President. Additionally, Sterling is proud to represent SEIU 775’s accomplishments as a Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that now represents more than 2 million members throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico – as well as more than 1.1 million health care workers across the country.