Chief of Staff

Location TBD

SEIU Local 521 was founded in 2007 when 5 local unions came together in the Bay Area, Central Coast and Central Valley to form one larger, more powerful union. Together our members are building a true 21st century union fighting to empower and improve the lives of our members. We represent 40,000 public service workers in cities, counties, courts, schools, private non-profits, special districts and public health care. We are looking for energetic, hardworking staff that is committed to real change, who believes in the value of work and the value of public services, and who wants to be part of the team that wins for workers, their families, and their communities.

The Chief of Staff will be a critical internal leader shaping the resurgence of a fighting union under intense political assault. The Chief of Staff is responsible for direct supervision of Directors, Line Staff as needed and integration of staff with overall strategic direction of the union.

JOB DEMANDS: Salaried position, long and irregular hours, frequent travel and overnight stays; occasional participation in special campaigns that require longer term travel and overnight stays; must have a driver’s license and a vehicle.


  • Works with CEO and Staff Directors to manage overall performance of staff.
  • Develops and executes strategic goals and work plans with Directors based on direction by the leadership of SEIU.
  • Supervises Staff Directors: insures staff performance, maintains appropriate measurements to assess performance, conducts regular reviews, evaluations, and builds staff development plans; makes recommendations on hiring and firing to Chief Elected Officer; organizes and runs staff meetings.
  • Insures integration of all work with organizing (both internal and external), special projects and political programs.
  • Drives progressive political culture among staff that embodies the best of trade union principles, the SEIU Mission, SEIU Leadership Standards, accountability, and pride in smart and effective staff work.
  • Liaison with International and sister local union partners on programs as needed.
  • Other responsibilities/duties as determined by the Chief Elected Officer.


  • Shared unity of purpose.
  • Openness to questions and willingness to learn.
  • Acting with the courage of our convictions.
  • Working together with accountability.
  • Commitment to inclusion.


  • Clear, strategic thinking to prioritize staff work and help lead staff in a dramatically changing political environment under intense internal and external pressure.
  • Ability to unite a diverse leadership and membership in a large geographic area - 7 Regional Offices.
  • High level skills around organizing campaigns (both internal and external).
  • Proven manager and supervisor capable of building high performing teams, and motivating and developing staff.
  • High level of facilitation and leadership skills in collaborative work.
  • Exercises high level of autonomous decision making and problem solving skills.
  • Exemplary proficiency in interpersonal communication, listening, conflict resolution, and organizing persuasion with members, staff and allies.
  • High level ability to make sound independent judgments and take initiative.
  • Experience in collective bargaining and contract administration.
  • Provides guidance to identify, train, and develop members and staff for union leadership roles.
  • Ability to analyze union issues and prioritize work demands.
  • Emotional intelligence and professional self-management under pressure.
  • Knowledge of union history, the organization, and programs.
  • Proficiency in oral and written communication skills.
  • Professional standards of behavior, appearance.

REQUIREMENTS: Must possess a valid California driver’s license; must pass a DMV check and have a good driving record; must have auto insurance that covers business driving (minimum of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per incident bodily injury liability/$100,000 property coverage); and must possess an automobile for business use.

To Apply: Send cover letter and resume to:
Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer
Attention: Pam Rodgers, Administrative Director

SEIU Local 521
2302 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95131
Email: jobs@seiu521.org
Fax: 408-954-1538
No phone calls please

This position is open until filled; however, the posting/acceptance of applications may close at any time.

Local 521 is an affirmative action employer and encourage applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability. Local 521 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.