San Antonio

SEIU members in San Antonio are employed by the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. The work we do affects all of us because it’s about providing services that matters to our community.

SEIU members provide quality drinking water, maintain the streets, keep our streets safe, maintain the libraries and parks, and protect our communities’ most vulnerable members.

We are not alone. Along with public employees and other workers across our state, we are achieving what we cannot accomplish alone to become a powerful voice for working families in Texas.

We are part of a national movement for justice. SEIU Local 5 is a diverse, member driven organization and part of SEIU. The Service Employees International Union is 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

SEIU City Workers Win Major Budget Victory in San Antonio

Today marked a major victory for city employees in San Antonio. The city council passed a budget for next year that will raise pay, implement new benefits, and even allocate funds for installing much needed street lights in our community.

The new budget will:

  • Set a new minimum wage for employees at $13.75 per hour
  • Raise pay to $15 per hour automatically for all city employees with 10 years or more experience; they will also get a one-time bonus of $300
  • Implement a 1% cost of living adjustment
  • Provide 6 weeks of paid paternity and maternity leave to new parents
  • Give all employees 3 days of wellness/family leave as well as flex time for eligible workers
  • and allocate $1 million for street lights in our city

We accomplished this win by standing together. After months of actions and dialogue with city leaders through the Employee Management Committee, our voices have been heard.

But this campaign to improve working conditions at the city is not over. There is talk at the city to eliminate our current pay plan. That would hurt all workers and our families.

Click here to join the discussion on facebook!

Follow SEIU Texas members and our campaign to make San Antonio work for everyone by searching #SATXTogether on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on SEIU City Workers Win Major Budget Victory in San Antonio

SEIU Texas members kick off fair city budget campaign with “Budget 101” workshop


San Antonians from underserved neighborhoods plan to mobilize for a “working families” city budget throughout the Summer.

On Thursday, as part of We’re All in This Together, SEIU Texas members, city workers and their neighbors, kicked off this year’s campaign to make sure San Antonio is a great place to live and work at the “Budget 101” community workshop. Participants learned how their voices can shape the San Antonio budget to reflect the priorities of working families and expand quality services for our most overlooked communities.

This year, community members voted to mobilize for the following budget priorities:

  • Continued investment for streetlights and sidewalks in underserved areas of San Antonio
  • Higher standards for San Antonians who provide essential city services
  • A $15 minimum wage for all city employees, including contract workers

“The city budget should reflect the needs of people who are often ignored,” said Alma Arevalos, an SEIU Texas member. “When we speak up and take action, city leaders have to take us seriously. Our efforts make it possible for ordinary folks to have an extraordinary impact in our city budget.”

Throughout the Summer, We’re All In This Together members and community partners will put the lessons from “Budget 101” into practice by speaking out at City Council meetings and budget community input sessions throughout the city.

“Everyday, I work to provide the city services we all rely on. I’ve gotten to know our neighborhoods very well and there is some great need out there,” said Alfonso Avilez Jr, Equipment operator, transportation and capital improvements (TCI) with the city and SEIU Texas member. “We can make some smart decisions in our budget to ensure those neighborhood needs are met.”

This community approach to budget planning has already proven successful. In their second year mobilizing for a fair budget, campaign partners worked together to win $1 million for residential streetlights on the west side, $33 million for sidewalk maintenance and repairs and reached a minimum living wage of $13 an hour for city employees who provide essential services.

Follow SEIU Texas members and their campaign to make San Antonio work for everyone by searching #SATXTogether on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on SEIU Texas members kick off fair city budget campaign with “Budget 101” workshop

The Rochas’ West Side Story

Couple unites with SEIU TX for a better San Antonio

Leer en español

Yesterday, San Antonio City Council voted to adopt the FY2016 budget. Due to the efforts of SEIU Texas members and our allies city employees will be making at least $13 na hour and San Antonio residents can count on increased neighborhood safety.  For the Rochas this means a lot.

When Humberto Rocha and Carmen C. Rocha moved to the west side of San Antonio in the early 1970s they enjoyed the quiet neighborhood and short commute to Mr. Rocha’s job. They knew the home they purchased needed a little tender love and care but after putting in new floors and a new roof they raised four children in the house.

However, over the year’s the Mr. & Mrs. Rocha have noticed that while they try and maintain their home, the City of San Antonio hasn’t been able to keep up with street maintenance and other public services. Today, it takes as little as their neighbor watering her plants to cause minor flooding near their home because of lack of drainage infrastructure.

“When it rains, it creates a stream in front of our home,” said Mrs. Rocha. “If there was drainage, sidewalks, and good streets we wouldn’t have this problem.”

In addition, over the years crime has become a problem. The family noticed that as some of the younger kids grew up the presence of gunshots and theft rose. At the same time, streets became dim at night due to lack of streetlights.

Today, Mr. & Mrs. Rocha are helping to make their street and others on the west side a little bit safer by making sure their priorities are part of

SEIU Texas speak out at San Antonio budget hearing

Mr. & Mrs. Rochas, center, attend a the final San Antonio budget hearing for FY 2016

the City budget. Along with other SEIU Texas members, the Rochas have attended SEIU Texas led budget trainings and City budget hearings.

“We joined SEIU Texas to see if [City Council] will pay more attention to the needs of residents on the west side,” said Mrs. Rocha. “We hope that others will unite with us for even more power.”

Mr. & Mrs. Rocha, along with other SEIU Texas members’ efforts are paying off. In August, City Manager Sheryl Sculley presented her proposed budget, which included $1 million for street lights on the west side, $23 million for street maintenance, $10 million for sidewalk repair, $12 million for drainage improvements and a $13 wage floor for city workers in addition to a 2% cost of living adjustment and the continuation of the Step Pay Plan. Yesterday, city council passed the budget which included an additional $30,000 for streetlights in every city council district.

A huge success for SEIU Texas members and our neighbors! Are you ready to join us? If so, email


Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on The Rochas’ West Side Story

San Antonio Members Rally for Fair Pay, Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Safety

Yesterday, as the new city council and Mayor Ivy Taylor were inducted into office, San Antonio residents took over the steps leading to City Council Chambers to rally for fair wages, affordable housing and a budget that includes safety infrastructure like streetlights, speed bumps and sidewalks.

Members moved quickly to organize the rally after learning that the Citizens to Be Heard was canceled as it was their last chance to be heard publicly before the pre-proposed budget input session closed.  Working families, city employees and seniors all gathered early to make signs highlighting their budget priorities and city concerns.

Because it was a short notice rally, people came out early to make signs onsite.

“We are excited to work with those who won re-election, as well as those new to the council,” said Buddy Villejo, San Antonio resident. “We just want to make sure that our voices are heard and that the 2016 budget works for ALL San Antonio residents. Citizens To Be Heard is one of the only ways we are able to do that publicly this year and they canceled it with little notification. “


SEIU Texas members were joined by members of Fuerza Unida, Esperanza Peace and Justice Center and Texas Organizing Project.  Together, residents and community organizations are making sure their priorities are part of the 2016 budget and that the new city council and Mayor Ivy Taylor push forward policies to promote affordable housing and fair pay for all city workers.


Need more photos?

Check us out on Facebook.

Check out the news coverage from the rally. 

Reciben con protestas a nueva alcaldesa Univision 41

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on San Antonio Members Rally for Fair Pay, Affordable Housing and Neighborhood Safety

Statement: San Antonio Runoff Election Results

In response to the San Antonio Runoff Election results, SEIU Texas has released the following statement:

“Congratulations to Mayor Ivy Taylor on her win.

While we are disappointed in the result, at the end of the day we are all San Antonians and we love our city. We are ready to work with Mayor Taylor to enhance quality city services, collaborate on fair city budget and encourage civic engagement from underrepresented communities.

Effective governance requires input from every day San Antonians. We will continue to rally our communities to lift up working family voices at City Hall.”

-Jerry Gonzalez, retired City of San Antonio employee and SEIU Texas member

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on Statement: San Antonio Runoff Election Results

SEIU COPE Endorses Leticia Van de Putte for San Antonio Mayor

Latest Update: Full list of polling locations for Election Day, May 9th.

Full slate of endorsements include candidates who share practical priorities of everyday San Antonians.

San Antonio—SEIU COPE (Service Employees International Union, Committee on Political Education) has endorsed Leticia Van de Putte for San Antonio Mayor along with CM Rebecca Viagran, CM Shirley Gonzalez, CM Ray Lopez, CM Ron Nirenberg, and Jeffry Van Slycke for City Council.

Over two decades of public service, Leticia Van de Putte has been a consistent and brave champion for working families. Mrs. Van de Putte shares our goal of building a city where all San Antonians can prosper by revitalizing our infrastructure, improving essential city services and championing inclusive governance.

Statement from Jerry Gonzalez, Retired San Antonio City Employee and SEIU Texas Member:

“Working families are looking for leaders who understand how to fix everyday problems. As a retired municipal employee, I’ve seen first-hand how quality city services can lift up a community. It’s time to lay the foundation for a modern city, with prosperous families and quality services at the core. Mrs. Van de Putte has always stood up for the working families who make San Antonio a great city. I’m pledging my time to talk to my neighbors and friends to get out the vote.”

The San Antonio Express-News has also endorsed Mrs. Van de Putte saying she “has the best combination of political skill and understanding of policy among the contenders.”

Early voting for Bexar County is open now until Tuesday, May 5th. Election Day is Saturday, May 9th, 2015. Find a full list of polling locations and hours here.

Full Endorsement List

Leticia Van de Putte

City Council
District 3: Council Member Rebecca Viagran
District 5: Council Member Shirley Gonzales
District 6: Council Member Ray Lopez
District 8: Council Member Ron Nirenberg
District 9: Jeffry Van Slycke

SEIU COPE (Committee on Political Education) is SEIU’s bipartisan political action committee that seeks to support candidates who stand with working families.

SEIU Texas and Workers United bring together over 25,000 healthcare workers, property service workers and public employees to create good jobs for all Texans. With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities by using our strength at the polls, in our workplaces and on our streets.
Principle for SEIU Texas State Council: Jean Hervey

Pol. Adv. paid for by SEIU COPE. Not authorized by the campaign of any candidate.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on SEIU COPE Endorses Leticia Van de Putte for San Antonio Mayor

Member in Action: Maria Gonzalez

IMG_0912Maria Gonzalez is done living in the dark.

For the last 40 some years, Ms. Gonzalez has lived on Queretaro Street on San Antonio’s west side. For most of those years her street has been very poorly lit. Last year, Maria decided to do something about it.

After SEIU TX members began taking action on the west side, Maria decided to create a petition of her own. She pulled out some paper, wrote up language asking the City of San Antonio to invest in streetlights on San Antonio’s west side. Then she went door-to-door asking her neighbors to sign it and stand with her. After Maria got almost everyone on her street to sign the petition, she took the petition to the SEIU TX office and asked members to stand with her in turning the petition in.

“I began collecting signatures on my own,” said Ms. Gonzalez. “It was good to have the support of not only my neighbors but SEIU Texas members as well.”

SEIU Texas members delivered the petition, along with other neighborhood comments, to District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzalez.  Months later, the city adopted it’s 2015 Budget, which allocated $1 million for streetlights to San Antonio’s west side.

Since then, Ms. Gonzalez has filled out the form requesting a light on her street and is excited to see what her street looks like at night.

This year, Ms. Gonzalez plans on making sure the City allocates funds for speed bumps near schools on the west side.  

Join Maria this year as the We’re All In This Together team works together to make sure resident priorities are the foundation of the 2016 San Antonio Budget.

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on Member in Action: Maria Gonzalez

5 Ways to Light Up Your Streets

Last year, the City of San Antonio put it’s budget together.  We made sure that our voice was heard and $1 million was put towards streetlights for the west side in District 5.  So, how do you make sure your street is well lit? Here are some suggestions.

5 – Host a Bonfire Party


In reality, this won’t last very long and you may see more firemen than you do people coming to put in new lights.  Hey, at least you can roast some marshmallows.

4 – Wear Glow in the Dark Clothing


Everyone looks good in neon, no?

3 – Hire Fire Throwers/Dancers 


Unlike the bonfire, you won’t get bored watching someone spin fire, but it might be hard to focus if you need to get in your car and go somewhere.

2 – Line the Street with Glow Sticks

glow sticks

Glow sticks are great for fairs and dance clubs, not so great for making people feel safe on a dark street.

1 – Let City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales know that your streetlight is out or that you don’t have one! 


While some of the ideas above might be a lot of fun they don’t solve the lighting issue long term.  You can call Councilwoman Gonzales at 210.207.7043 or email her at and report a light that’s out or a street that needs more lighting.  

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on 5 Ways to Light Up Your Streets

We’re All in This Together Goes Mobile!

WAITT Logo copy The San Antonio City Budget is our budget.  As San Antonio residents, we have a right to make sure our priorities are the foundation of our budget. In order to make that happens, SEIU Texas members and our We’re All In This Together partners are holding Mobile Meetings. 20150325_175744Our goal at the Mobile Meetings is to make sure residents have the information they need to become engaged in the budget process and ensure all residents have access to quality public services. By taking a van full of information to the streets, people can easily find out how they can get involved and voice their priorities for the upcoming budget without having to leave their neighborhood. Yesterday was the first day of this year’s Mobile Meetings. What I learned was that people all care about the same things and the main thing standing in their way from taking part in the budget process is not knowing how to get involved. With We’re All In This Together, it’s easy to get involved. 

  1. Start by filling out the survey and let us know what you think is most important for city council members to consider when putting together the 2016 budget.
  1. Save the date of May 2, 2015 for the We’re All In This Together Plan to Win Kick-Off.
  1. Talk to friends and neighbors about getting involved to create a better San Antonio with quality public services.  Check back soon for more information!
  1. Attend upcoming budget hearing trainings hosted by We’re All In This Together.
  1. Attend San Antonio City run Budget Hearings and make your voice count.
  1. Take part in local activities and press conferences to show your support for neighborhood priorities.
  1. Celebrate when the city includes our priorities!

Last year, we succeeded when the city included $1 million for streetlights on the west side, $3 million to repair and maintain sidewalks and other public services and strengthened our city workers to ensure residents receive quality public services. If you see a white van with our logo and photos, come say hello. We want to make sure all residents have access to the quality public services they deserve. Together, we have the power to create a better San Antonio!

Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on We’re All in This Together Goes Mobile!

The POWER of working together

Leer en Español

San Antonio Residents Victorious in Making Sure Their Priorities are in City Budget

SEIU Texas members and their neighbors show power of working together

10548305_10154573853960720_5710150793094736601_oYesterday, San Antonio residents and SEIU Texas members could officially claim victory when the city council voted to appropriate $1 million in the 2014 – 2015 budget for streetlights on the city’s west side.

City Manager Cheryl Sculley proposed $300,000 for streetlights on the west side in her initial budget. However, City Council members upped the funding to $1 million after SEIU Texas members and our neighbors hosted community meetings, called our friends, and held press events to highlight the need for light on the cities west side.  On streets like Salinas and Nueces, where only one light currently works, $1 million will go a long way to help create a safer neighborhood.

Juanita Elizondo was at the forefront at the fight.  She worked with her neighbors, talked to the press and handed out flyers in order to make sure people understand the importance of working together to put resident priorities in to the city budget.

“We needed $3 million but we will start with $1 million to help light up our streets on the west side,” she said. “If we had not been involved in the city budget process, the west side would have seen $0 for streetlights and we’d have to continue to live in fear. Together, we have the power to make change to our budget and we did.”

9TpXgoETEIn addition to $1 million for streetlights, the city also agreed to provide city workers with a 1% cost of living increase, increase funding for technology in schools, invest in new senior centers, and maintain neighborhood sidewalks. This all helps to create a better San Antonio where all people have access to quality public services.

SEIU Texas members and their neighbors have been working since the adoption of the 2013-2014 budget to make sure their priorities were included in this year’s budget.

Buddy Villejo, a SEIU Texas member and city employee for over 38 years has been working on the campaign since it began. “We really are ALL in this TOGETHER,” he said. “You may not win every time, but you can’t win if you don’t fight. We would not have gotten any more money to light up our west side and increase safety if we didn’t’ get involved.”

As a city employee, Villejo understands the importance that the budget has on city residents.

“I work hard to make sure San Antonio city residents have quality public services. The budget is essential to making sure I can do that. Not only by funding programs and services, but also by making sure employees are well compensated for the work they do.”

Though the fight to put resident priorities in the 2014-2015 is complete, the We’re All In This Together team continues to meet and plan for a better San Antonio.  You can get involved too! Join us for our next event: Cafe Con Dulce on Tuesday, September 23 @ 5:30 pm.



Did you like this? Share it:
Comments Off on The POWER of working together