Category Archives: Labor Studies

Labor Studies

Labor Studies offers graduate degree and certificate programs that examine the opportunities and challenges facing workers and their organizations. The program builds critical thinking, analytical, and leadership skills so that students become more effective advocates for workers’ rights and social justice. Learn more here.

A Migrant Worker Mother’s Day

The real Mother’s Day present is ending forced family separation – says working Filipino mothers who labor as domestic workers in the US while their children are in the Philippines.

Image courtesy of Damayan Migrant Workers Association

It was the day before Mother’s Day at the People’s Forum in Manhattan. Fifty, mostly women, migrant workers from the Philippines gathered in the basement theater for a premiere of the documentary “MaiMai.” The film, like this Mother’s Day event, demonstrated how globalized capitalism has strained migrant motherhood.

“This gathering is to recognize the mothers forcibly separated from their children,” announced the facilitator in Tagalog. “Who has their kid in the US?” Solemnly, one mother raised her hand. “Whose children are in the Philippines?” The remaining mothers in the room raised their hands in unison.

Most of the women are above 30 and labor as domestic workers in New York to send money back home to the Philippines. MaiMai, a nickname for Mary Claire Cahumnas, is one of these women. Unlike the others, she was joined by her six children at the event. The young ones sat together in the corner, tossing in their seats, joking with each other as they anxiously waited for the film, starring their life story, to begin.

“MaiMai” is the latest installment of the Damayan Migrant Workers Association’s Baklas Film Series. Directed by Filipino filmmaker Mike Cabardo, it follows the 44 year old domestic worker trafficking survivor and her children as they reckon with being reunified after seven years of separation.

MaiMai is one of the 1.1 million women who work overseas to send remittances to family in the Philippines (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2022).The country depends on workers’ remittances for almost one tenth of their GDP (World Bank Group, 2023). Labor migration became a government policy beginning in the 1970s and today roughly one tenth of the population lives abroad (O Neil, 2004; Maruja, 2017). Since the 1990s women have outnumbered men as overseas foreign workers in land-based employment. The top occupation for women is domestic work (Maruja, 2017). Shaped by government policy, motherhood for many in the Philippines has become associated with forced migration, family separation and all too often, labor trafficking.

MaiMai’s life is testament to the cost of the Philippines government policy. Through the lens of her life, the film discusses the root causes of family separation and labor trafficking and its traumatic impact on the family. By showcasing how the Cahumnas family is trying to heal from trauma, the gathering aimed to inspire the mothers in the room to confront the mental health and family strain caused by separation and work as a community to heal.

This frame of the documentary shows two of MaiMai’s children comforting her during an interview

The film begins with MaiMai on the streets of New York commuting to her housekeeping job. She recounts her story that began more than a decade earlier. When her children were under the age of ten, the youngest being six months old, she put them to bed one night before slipping out to the airport. She headed to the US to work as a domestic worker for an American family. Once she arrived her employer did not pay her what was promised and often prohibited her from leaving the house.

Over the next seven years she labored under these conditions and her husband at the time utilized her remittances to take care of the children. For a period of time she could not send money home because her traffickers withheld her pay.

This frame shows five of MaiMai’s six children with their father in the Philippines in the 2010s

“I had a lot of fear because I was undocumented before. My family didn’t know. I hid it from them,” shared MaiMai on the post screening panel.

With the help of Damayan, she earned a T- visa, colloquially referred to as a trafficking visa, which provided her legal stay and passage for her children to come to the US. However, once they were reunited, their problems did not end.

“I have been reunited with my children for four years now. But I still work seven days a week and it’s very painful,” shared Mai Mai through tears.

MaiMai’s remark speaks to the precarity of domestic work in globalized capitalism. Her eldest daughter Yanna Cahumnas shared, “Here in the US we have a mother but we still don’t feel it because she is still working seven days a week. We don’t have time to bond.”

“My siblings have anxiety and trauma. My siblings don’t have memories of my mother because they were babies when she left. So we are growing up on our own.”

Photo courtesy of Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Left to right: MaiMai Cahumnas and Yanna Cahumnas

The Cahumnas story demonstrates the cost of migrant motherhood. To discuss the roots of and solutions to forced migration, separation and labor mentioned in the film, a panel of survivors, organizers and allies gathered. On the panel, MaiMai was joined by her eldest daughter and Damayan Intern, Yanna, the filmmaker, Mike Cabardo, the Medical Director of Homeless Services at the Family Health Institute, Dr. Victor St. Ana and Co-Director of the Barnard Center For Research on Women and scholar on domestic workers history, Premilla Nadasen.

Left to right: Riya Ortiz, MaiMai Cahumnas, Yanna Cahumnas, Dr. Vic St. Ana, Professor Premilla Nadasen

Mental Health and Migrant Motherhood

Riya Ortiz, executive director of Damayan, facilitated the panel discussion and asked the first question in the spirit of mental health awareness month, “How does forced migration and the resulting family separation continue to affect your family? Did that affect your mental health?”

MaiMai answered first. “We are going through family counseling but I have to keep working to pay for the rent, bills, clothes and food. I still take an additional part time job and get home at 11 or midnight. Because I will do everything for my children but I am not sure if they understand. One child wants to go back to the Philippines. So I keep asking them what I should do?”

All the while, daughter Yanna held her head, heavy with tears, in her hands. With some support and encouragement from Ortiz, Yanna gathered strength to respond. “When Nanay [mother] left I was in kindergarten. She didn’t say goodbye. She put us in bed to sleep then left because she was afraid she would not be able to leave if we were upset. I remember there were meetings in school but my mother wasn’t there. I understand but it still hurts.” She began to cry again. The panel paused to give her space. Then the audience cheered her on in support.

“We are trying to heal in therapy. My mother talks about her guilt, why she left us. But we need time to heal. I am thankful for my mother for pushing us to go to therapy. We hope we will not be strangers anymore. To the mothers in the crowd, please do not be afraid to ask for help. If you need therapy, Damayan can refer you to someone.” The crowd erupted in applause yet again.

Three of MaiMai’s children in their home in Queens, New York

MaiMai and Yanna’s experience speaks to the larger experience that Dr. St. Ana witnesses as a pro bono physician for labor trafficking survivors and uninsured workers, “The experience of forced migration and separation can lead to that feeling of being destabilized. That in turn can turn into depression and anxiety.”

Migrant mothers can also develop mental health challenges apart from the family if they are labor trafficked. Dr. St. Ana witnesses C-PTSD in his patients who are trafficking survivors.

Migrant Mothers Labor Trafficked To Take Care of Other People’s Children

“I was a live-in worker. It meant anytime they could wake me up. When I was sleeping they would wake me up to get milk for the baby or get them water. I was afraid because I did not have papers. They didn’t have to wake me up to get the milk because they can do that for the baby or get themselves water. On the contract it said 7am-7pm but they were not following it.”

MaiMai’s experience exemplified the three elements of trafficking that are hidden in plain sight. Her employers forced her to submit to exploitative work by restricting her movement (force), not following the contract and withholding pay (fraud) and utilizing her lack of documentation as a fear tactic (coercion).

MaiMai’s circumstance exemplified the most vulnerable to labor trafficking, foreign nationals with or without documentation who live with their employer. Employers exploit foreign nationals by threatening deportation and confiscating documentation. Those whose visas are tied to their employer are especially vulnerable because if they leave the abusive situation, they become undocumented (National Human Trafficking Hotline, 2023).

Healing as a Community of Isolated Mothers

While forced migration, separation and exploitation is a widespread experience for Filipino families, the community is keen on healing.

“How do we begin to heal? Having community and building connections is an incredibly important part of the healing process,” shared Dr. St. Ana. “A major symptom of depression is withdrawal. Withdrawal from communities and people you love.” Not only is community the antidote to social isolation but also to self-awareness. “By having a community it is easier to build insight into one’s own condition. To see that what they are experiencing is not so unique just to them. You see the commonalities and experiences and you don’t feel so alone.”

While healing can look very different for each person, Dr. St Ana affirmed that community is the biggest and most enduring medicine. “That’s what Damayan does,” he concluded.

Yanna experiences the benefit of community firsthand, “Damayan is like a second home to me. I don’t have a mentor in my family. But I have Tita [aunt] Riya who is my Nanay [mother] in Damayan. We share stories and give advice. There’s Moira who I share my trauma with.”

Dr. St. Ana expanded on Yanna’s encouragement by sharing, “The hope is that with your new life here you can create new memories that are positive. Through those experiences you can reframe what you have all been through. I see that as potential ways to heal. Hopefully together we can continue to talk about this openly as we have today so we don’t feel ashamed. That there is no more stigma against having experienced these things because it’s all natural reactions that many people here have been through.”

Damayan staff, worker leaders and members posing for a photo during a Filipino lunch

Forced Family Separation Embedded in the Economy

While these reactions to family separation are normal, the panel concluded that the migration, separation and exploitation experienced by Filipino women should not be normalized.

“It’s really unfair that some families of the working class and working poor have to decide between do I spend time with my children but we are hungry or do I leave the Philippines, work abroad and give them a better life but we’re not together?” lamented Ortiz.

In Damayan’s analysis, the economic conditions that necessitate migration from the Philippines were formed by US imperialism and the corrupt Philippine government formed in the wake of US colonialism to serve the United States’ interests. Damayan envisions a future where Filipino families find sufficient employment and livelihood in the Philippines so no family will be separated again.

Exploitation of Domestic Workers Embedded in Capitalism

In the meanwhile, Damayan is actively trying to improve the conditions of the domestic workers who do have to migrate to survive. Once domestic workers get to the US, they are met by a society that demands but also devalues domestic work (Fraser, 2016). The devaluation is embedded in financialized capitalist society, argues sociologist Nancy Fraser (2016) in “Contradictions of Capital and Care.” Before the second half of the 20th century, women in the family of middle class America were responsible for cooking, cleaning, child-care and elder care without pay. Resultantly, the work was cast as women’s work. This work, which sociologically speaking is referred to as social reproduction, has historically been remunerated with virtue and love, while work outside the home, economic production, has been compensated with money (Fraser, 2016). In the 1970s middle and upper class women began to escape this subordination as economic conditions necessitated two income earner households. However, the gutting of public welfare exacerbated a gap of who will take on the reproductive responsibilities of maintaining the household and caring for family members? Middle class families turned to privatized care in which low-wage workers filled the gap (Nadasen, 2021; Fraser, 2016).

Filipino domestic workers enter this labor market under the social conditions that exploit domestic workers. Today, the majority of domestic workers are immigrants and women of color. However, even though these workers are provided cash wages, they are not treated like any other worker in the sense of protection from discrimination and benefits.

“Domestic workers are excluded from key labor laws,” shared Nadasen. They are excluded from the federal National Labor Relations Act among others that provide protection against discrimination, provide minimum wage, overtime pay, safe work environments and the right to bargain collectively.

As a result, domestic workers cannot survive on a 40 hour work week. Even the luckiest, like MaiMai, who is eligible for certain government benefits on her T-visa, continue to work seven days a week until late at night to afford rent, bills, clothes and food for her children (US Office of Refugee Resettlement, 2023). As her daughter previously expressed, in the US Yanna feels like a stranger to her mother because she still works seven days a week so they do not have time to bond.

Instead of caring for her children, MaiMai is forced to “care” for someone else’s children. The exploitation of domestic workers is propagated by the narrative that domestic workers do this work because they care for the employer.

“Employers sometimes refer to domestic workers as care workers. They say that domestic workers might be part of the family. They might assume that you love their children. That you care for their children. What they actually do is that they use that language of love and care to ask you to stay late, work longer hours, and take less pay. To sacrifice your own life and your children for their families and their children,” explained Nadasen.

MaiMai resonates with this because when was trafficked as a live-in housekeeper, “My trafficker called me part of the family.”

Comparatively, Nadasen noted,  “But what I have seen here today – that is care. That is love. When I see children talking about the sadness and the trauma they experienced being separated from their parents, or seeing the parents feeling the pain from separation. That is what care is.”

Photo courtesy of Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Premilla Nadasen speaking on the post screening panel

A Future Without Family Separation

Ortiz is also a victim of forced family separation herself. “When I was eight my mother left for the US for the same reason. People ask, is it a fair exchange to be able to go to a good school and become comfortable because my mother is abroad? It’s unfair to get asked this question.”

“The employers of domestic workers in the US, mostly rich and white, will never have to be confronted with that question. You miss birthdays, Christmas, weddings, graduations, even illnesses and deaths. That’s out of the question for them but for us it’s a given.”

As Damayan members’ experiences prove, depression, anxiety, strained family relationships and exploitation are the givens of migrant motherhood.

“Most of all, the way the situation works now where people have to be forcibly separated from their children is not one that should exist. It should not exist for anyone,” stated Professor Nadasen. The crowd cheered in agreement.

Nadasen shared how this vision can be realized, “The other part about this that’s important about the community is that you come together to make a change. You come together to organize and to empower people so that this does not continue to happen so that we can begin to change laws. Sharing stories is part of a process of healing, part of a process of educating. There are people who don’t know or understand what’s happening. By sharing the stories you are beginning a process of change.”

Emboldened by sharing her story with the community, Yanna is determined to improve the experience of the next generation of reunited Filipino families. “Now we [Damayan] are focusing on the children of Damayan members. Damayan is here so if you have children or children arriving here we can help enroll them in school. Text me or call me. I am here to help.” After high school graduation this month she will join Damayan full time. “I am shadowing Riya and Lydia to become a leader of the next generation at Damayan. It makes sense because my Mom is a labor trafficking survivor.”

Ortiz expanded on their plans. “Yanna and I are talking about doing an orientation with the children in the Philippines before they get reunited in the US. They don’t know that their mother will be working seven days a week and they will be mostly living alone. We want to know their hopes and dreams so when they come here we can support them properly. Even if the kids earn their own money, go to college, it is not enough. There will always be a hole unless you address the trauma from family separation and forced migration. Those things don’t go away, you just learn how to manage and you keep recovering and keep persisting.”

Ortiz concluded the panel by recognizing MaiMai’s progress amid struggle. “This is not a story of failure or defeat. The survivors always persist. Ate [older sister] Mai, you are setting a very good example to your children by going to therapy. They may not understand it now. But in the future they will appreciate it.”

Community Healing at Work

The Q&A following the panel transformed the basement into a townhall of mothers sharing their similar experiences and exchanging ideas.

“What Ate MaiMai did, I did it, too,” shared one Damayan member. “When she left her children after putting them to sleep is what I did too. Now my heart is pounding. It was better for me to see them sleeping than seeing them while they were crying. Maybe I would not step on a plane! I feel sorry because I feel like a selfish mom. We cannot undo what happened but if we could do it differently how would you like it to be done?”

Another member and trafficking survivor shared with the room. “It’s important to have constant communication with your children and leave them with the right person.” Discussion continued along the lines of children’s culture shock in the US, their mental health challenges when experiencing parental separation and suggestions of what should be done while children are in the Philippines.

Photo courtesy of Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Damayan member participates in the Q&A

Damayan concluded the event with a celebratory cake and distributed a token of appreciation to every mother in the room. However, the takeaway message is clear: the real Mother’s Day present for the Filipino community is ending forced family separation and replacing it with livelihoods in the Philippines to enable them to take care of their children.

Damayan members who are mothers cut cake and receive a Mother’s Day gift from Damayan

MaiMai’s film will be published online soon. Follow Damayan’s Facebook page to be notified when it is released.

Remarks by MaiMai and Yanna were delivered in Tagalog and immediately translated by Ortiz to the crowd.

Joanne Dolman provided a personal live translation of the speeches, remarks, questions and answers to me throughout the event.


Jules Grifferty (they/them) is an MA in Labor Studies at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban studies.


Asis, Maruja M.B. (2017). The Philippines: Beyond Labor Migration, Toward Development and (Possibly) Return. The Migration Policy Institute.

Damayan Migrant Workers Association (2023). 34th Family Reunited on US Soil. ​​

Damayan Migrant Workers Association. (2023) Honoring Filipino Mothers with Damayan Baklas Film Series: “MaiMai”.

Fraser, N. (2016). Contradictions of Capital and Care. New Left Review, 100, 99-117.

Office of Refugee Resettlement, an Office of the Administration for Children & Families within the US Department of Health & Human Services. (2023). Fact Sheet “Victim Assistance”. Washington, DC.

O Neil, K. (2004). Labor Export as Government Policy: The Case of the Philippines. The Migration Policy Institute.

Nadasen, P. (2021, July 16). How Capitalism Invented the Care Economy. The Nation.

National Human Trafficking Hotline. (2023). Domestic Work.

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2022). 2021 Overseas Filipino Workers (Final Results). ​​,1.77%20million%20estimate%20in%202020.

World Bank Group. (2023). Personal Remittances received % of GDP Philippines.

SLU seeks an Assistant Professor in Labor Studies

Assistant Professor in Labor Studies

Job ID:  25008

Location: Sch. of Labor & Urban Studies

Full/Part Time:  Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Regular


The CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Labor Studies and Urban Studies that are designed to meet the needs of working adults as well as traditional-age college students who seek to learn more about the challenges confronting poor and working-class populations in the workplace and in the community. It also collaborates with other units of CUNY to offer a range of college-credit programs designed to give workers the academic and technical skills they need for professional advancement. Its faculty includes distinguished scholars in the social sciences as well as expert practitioners in government, labor, and public service.

The Department of Labor Studies at SLU seeks a junior scholar for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor. Fields of specialization within Labor Studies are open, but the successful candidate will possess a demonstrated scholarly record and future research agenda that focuses on workers, the labor movement and diverse working-class communities, past and/or present. Candidates should also have demonstrated excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level. Preference may be given to candidates with experience teaching nontraditional and adult students, and/or teaching general education courses.

Performs teaching, research and guidance duties in area(s) of expertise. Shares responsibility for committee and department assignments including administrative, supervisory, and other functions.


  • Until further notice, this is a hybrid position, eligible to work remotely and on-site in the office.
  • Candidates will be required to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Exemption (medical or religious) requests to this requirement will be considered in accordance with applicable law. Being fully vaccinated is defined for this purpose as being at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. Final candidates must be fully vaccinated as of their first day of employment.


By the time of appointment, applicants must hold a Ph.D. in History, Literature, Cultural Studies, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Economy, or a related interdisciplinary field in the social sciences or huminites. Candidates must have demonstrated excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level.


CUNY offers faculty a competitive compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.


Click on the “Apply Now” button and follow the application instructions.

Please have your curriculum vitae/ resume and scholarly interest or cover letter with names and contact information of three references available to attach into the application before you begin. Please note that the required material must be uploaded as ONE document. The document must be in .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, or text format- and name of file should not exceed ten (10) characters. Incomplete application packages will not be considered.

The direct link to view this posting from external sources is:


Open until filled, with review of applications to begin after October 15.


CUNY Job Posting: Faculty


CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.

Apply Now

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute 2022 Summer Internship Program

CUNY DSI’s Summer Internship Program provides graduate and undergraduate students with meaningful research experience in the field of Dominican Studies. Participants work collaboratively and under the guidance of CUNY DSI scholars from the institute’s research team and Dominican Library and Archives.

While at CUNY DSI, summer interns immerse themselves in foundational Dominican Studies texts, refine their research agenda, and develop a comprehensive research project with the support of the specialized resources and staff at CUNY DSI’s Dominican Library and Archives. While developing their research project, summer interns receive guidance and feedback from a small array of researchers housed at the CUNY DSI alongside Director, Dr. Ramona Hernández.

General Information

Dates: June to August 2022
Setting: Fully In-person
Location: The City College of New York, 160 Convent Avenue New York, NY 10031
Application deadline: April 24th
Notification date: May 16th

*International students are welcome to apply, but students must make their own visa arrangements.


The Summer Internship Program typically begins in June and ends in August, with flexibility to meet the needs and requirements of students and their home institutions. All interns must commit to at least four weeks but cannot exceed 35 hours of work per week.

Application Process

 Complete online application
– Please submit the following documents with your application:

  • A resume and/or CV (curriculum vitae); and
  • A cover letter that discusses your interest in CUNY DSI, what you hope to learn or achieve, and the kind of research you are interested in pursuing.

Application Deadline:

Applications are due April 24th by 11:59pm.

Apply Now

Financial Aid

The CUNY DSI Summer Internship Program is an unpaid internship. Accepted students are highly encouraged to pursue outside funding such as scholarships, fellowships, and Federal Work Study. If a Federal Work Study award is granted, students must inform their financial aid office that they would like to work at CUNY Dominican Studies Institute so that a work agreement can be made between CUNY DSI and the home institution.











Develops agendas and performs research work to support union position in labor-management meetings and/or policy meetings with Nonprofit/private sector employers, government representatives and any other related organizations.

  • Develops collective bargaining proposals with local leadership and rank and file committees and prepares them for presentation to management.
  • Performs technical economic analysis in support of collective Collaborates with collective bargaining committees on working conditions and costing economic demands.
  • Collects and organizes information from various sources; analyzes and produces material for use in the department for collective bargaining and special research projects, including salary comparison and personnel trends.
  • Acts as chief spokesperson during
  • Drafts Memoranda of Agreement and summaries to be used in contract
  • Drafts contract language; proofs contracts and readies final contract for
  • Analyzes city, state, and federal legislation and budgets and evaluates their impact on the
  • Performs general and statistical analysis of policy issues on a regular basis, including but not limited to tax policy, employment and unemployment, health and social services, economic development, financial and investment trends, pensions, and health care
  • Assists local Union leadership and Council Staff on contract enforcement, including attending labor management meetings and personnel issues.
  • Attends local membership meetings and makes presentations on collective bargaining issues and
  • Responsible for all aspects of collective bargaining for assigned
  • Provides technical assistance to department staff and develops applications for
  • Provides technical assistance to other DC37 departments as
  • Performs other related duties


 A. Degree; strong analytical and quantitative background required.

  • Proven strong financial and data analysis
  • Experience in public policy and/or labor relations.
  • Experience with private/nonprofit employers
  • Strong writing, speaking and research abilities.
  • Quantitative skills and ability to independently gather and analyze information from various
  • Advanced level computer skills and experience using PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access or other comparable database and spreadsheet software.

Resumes should be submitted to Amy Kadlub at, by the close of business Friday, March 18, 2022.


Service Employees International Union (SEIU) seeks a Senior Political Program Manager

JOB TITLE: Senior Political Program Manager

SALARY: MGT E; $107,543

LOCATION: Washington, DC (HQ)/ Field (Location Flexible)

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW: The 2 million members united in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are at the forefront of a movement to build power for working people and empower all workers to form unions, no matter what job they do. SEIU members are from every walk of life, every political party, every background, every faith. They come from communities with their own stories and strengths, and that makes the Union all the more powerful because there’s strength in numbers. SEIU members work across the healthcare spectrum providing high quality care and services.

They are the workers who keep our nation’s airports running and make sure landmark buildings are clean and secure. They provide essential public services and give a foundation of learning to our youngest and brightest. SEIU members believe in and are fighting for a Just Society where all workers are valued and all people respected—no matter where they come from or what color they are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.

PURPOSE: The Senior Political Program Manager assists the International Union in strengthening its electoral, legislative, and fundraising infrastructure and capacity programs at the state and local levels. The Senior Political Program Manager will work in an assigned set of states and in conjunction with SEIU national, area, state and local leadership and staff to contribute to the development of the overall SEIU political, legislative and grassroots program and to help design and implement:

  • Targeted electoral plans for specific states and local unions
  • Electoral campaigns in key targeted federal, state and local races
  • Strategic involvement in ballot initiative campaigns at state and local level
  • Legislative campaigns and state battles
  • Ongoing political education, skills development and training programs for staff and members.


  • Coordinate electoral planning for targeted strategic campaigns with Local Unions, State Councils and SEIU stakeholders with clear goals and benchmarks.
  • Work with Local Unions and State Councils to build and execute field campaigns for targeted elections, political accountability and state battles.
  • Assist Local Unions in recruiting, training, mobilizing and deploying Member Political Organizers (MPOs).
  • Ensure Local Union and State Council actively report progress-to-goal for electoral programs.
  • Increase SEIU political, community and labor strength through developing and enhancing working relationships with State Federations, Central Labor Councils, Affiliated and Independent Unions, community organizations and advocacy groups.
  • Enhance the political infrastructure of SEIU through assisting the development of State Council plans; political and legislative programs, and through developing grassroots training and education programs for members and local union staff.
  • Recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate staff assigned to the political program in the Region when called upon to do so by State Councils or Local Unions.

CONTACTS: SEIU International Union staff, Local Union and affiliate leadership, State Councils, and other organizations and individuals as required.

DIRECTION & DECISION-MAKING: This position reports to the Deputy Political Director and the incumbent works largely independently.

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE: The Senior Political Program Manager position requires a high level of proven leadership and judgment and must demonstrate knowledge of grassroots political organizing. At least five years of direct experience with electoral campaigns, legislative campaigns, or union organizing, and a background that would provide for the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Developing and implementing comprehensive political plans.
  • Working independently with elected SEIU leaders and staff at various levels of the organization in complex political situations.
  • Possessing thorough knowledge of political campaign strategies, planning and execution.
  • Polling, researching, targeting, direct mailing, and performing opposition research.
  • Working with voter files, Voter Activation Networks (VANs) and voter targeting.
  • Possessing effective oral and written communications.
  • Developing strong working relationships and the ability to work on a team.
  • Managing and assessing multiple high-priority programs and priorities in different states.
  • Managing a program budget and implementing strategic plans.
  • Managing and developing electoral and grassroots campaign plans, logistics and timelines.
  • Meeting deadlines with minimal supervision.
  • Working with leaders, staff, and partners and operating with a high level of judgment and discretion.

 PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Work is performed in both the headquarters office in Washington, DC, and in the field (as required), and long and extended hours and travel are required.

VACCINATION REQUIREMENT: Candidates will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for either a) a certain medical condition(s); b) on the basis of sincerely held strong religious beliefs and practices or c) as otherwise required by law.


A resume is required for all applications and a cover letter is highly suggested. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan.

Apply Here

Community Food Advocates seeks a NYS Good Food Purchasing Campaign Manager

Community Food Advocates’ Mission:

To ensure all New Yorkers have access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate foods through equity-centered, high-impact public policy. We accomplish this through coalition-building and organizing, backed by strong policy and budget analysis.

Position Summary:

NYS Good Food Purchasing Campaign Manager

Community Food Advocates (CFA) is a small but mighty policy, advocacy and organizing not-for-profit that fights for high-impact, far-reaching policy solutions to address poverty and hunger in New York City. We work to make the resources of government, at all levels, benefit people who are the most economically marginalized by promoting policies that strengthen and support the full utilization of publicly-funded food and income support programs.

We are looking for a proactive and collaborative individual to join our Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) Campaign team. GFPP focuses on 5 value areas: environmental sustainability; worker well-being; animal welfare; nutrition; and local economies to work toward transforming the local and regional food systems by changing the ways government agencies use their purchasing power. The Manager will work directly with the Director of the NY Good Food Purchasing Campaign to build support for Good Food Purchasing efforts in the NYS legislature and with municipalities throughout NYS.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Build an effective multi-sector, statewide coalition that would ensure there is support for changes to NYS procurement law and works towards state GFPP policy adoption
  • Identify new members and foster leadership within the coalition to strengthen statewide network
  • Educate stakeholders and decision makers on the importance of values-based food procurement and help develop educational materials
  • Support local organizational partners and local governments/municipalities across NYS as they institutionalize values-based food procurement

Experience and Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years experience leading legislative and/or budget advocacy campaigns grounded in coalition-building and focused on state-level change in New York
  • Building and maintaining effective strategic coalitions
  • Strategic engagement with legislative process
  • Knowledge of NYS food system related issues
  • Strong relational skills and exceptional coalition/relationship builder
  • Familiarity with specific challenges faced by Black and other POC producers, suppliers, etc – throughout the institutional food supply chain
  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills
  • Skilled meeting facilitator
  • Demonstrated ability to center impacted communities throughout the campaign and decision-making process

Salary and Benefits:

  • Salary: $70,000
  • 4 day work week
  • Benefits: Medical insurance, Flexible Spending Account, and commuter benefits program. 403b retirement account available. Full Paid Family Leave. Vacation, personal days, and sick/safe paid time off. 9 paid holidays and the office is closed from Christmas Eve to January 2nd.


  • Travel throughout NYS as needed

Our Commitment:

Community Food Advocates is actively strengthening our organization’s anti-racist commitments. We are building a team that shares this organizational identity and represents racial diversity and inclusion. Diversity includes race and gender identity, age, disability status, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, and other aspects of a person’s identity.

CFA believes in the strength of collective power. The best ideas come from a team with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences to solve problems and advance work through a variety of perspectives that maximize our impact. We dedicate space for anti-racist learning, conversations, and furthering initiatives that enrich our organization. All CFA employees are responsible for creating an environment of inclusion and empowering everyone to be able to do their best work.

Women, people of color, members of impacted communities are strongly encouraged to apply. Please send both a cover letter and resume to

Additional Application Instructions

Please send both a cover letter and resume.