SEIU Local 721
SEIU Local 721

External Organizer

Based in Los Angeles, CA


SEIU Local 721 is a dynamic, and fast-growing organization recognized as one of the largest and strongest union of publicly funded employees in the nation. We are on the forefront of local politics, defending public services in the face of budget challenges, organizing workers in the public service sectors and are key players in national reform efforts. We have over 170 staff members covering 6 counties in Southern California. Our more than 90,000 members provide public services in diverse fields, including health care, social services, special districts, private non-profits, libraries, courts, parks and recreation, public works and mental health in cities and counties throughout Southern California. Through grassroots organizing, identifying, and developing leaders within our Union, and organizing worker political power, we are on the front lines of holding government accountable, ensuring efficiency, tackling waste, and improving services.

The decisions made by the External Organizer can have a profound effect on worker’s lives. Their main responsibility is to implement the union’s program. As such, an External Organizer is responsible for articulating the Union’s message to workers and carrying out external and internal work of SEIU Local 721 as approved by the Executive Board and implemented by the Executive Leadership. The External Organizer will also motivate, mobilize, and represent potential and existing members to protect their rights and improve the quality of their work lives. The External Organizer’s principle job is to provide leadership to carry out the goals of SEIU Local 721.

For every component of this position, the External Organizer will be required to identify, recruit, develop, mentor, train, and coach leaders in the following areas:

  • Leadership Development: Identifying and developing leaders is the primary function of the External Organizer. All organizing campaigns of the union and internal organizing assignments should be run through strong leadership structures. Building strong and representative organizing committees, ability to train and motivate leaders to build support and maintain strong leadership structures designed to empower and mobilize workers by advancing the union’s program priorities. Craft leader development plans to increase the skills of leaders to advance the goals of the campaign. Train and develop member lost timers, organizing committee leaders, including but not limited to: modeling, shadowing, development of training instruments, providing feedback, debriefing, etc. Assist with training and developments of new organizers, organizers-in-training, and interns as assigned.
  • Commitment to the Values of the Organization: Adheres to the values of unionism such as member leader development, representation, organizing, and mobilization. Must be able to articulate the values of social justice, economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice in line with the policies of the local and international union.
  • Building Support: Accountable for working with leaders to build support for assigned campaign. Regular one-on-ones with individual leader plans, contact with workers and visiting worksites on a regular basis covering all shifts will be required. Accountable to numerical goals that can be measured daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly on all program priorities of the union.
  • Communication: Maintain regular and effective communication with workers in assigned turf through personal visits, house visits, phone calls, virtual meetings, peer-to-peer texting, and worksite meetings including the use of technology. Respond to telephone and electronic messages in a timely manner. Listen to workers concerns.
  • Staff Development: Incorporates feedback from their supervisor to strengthen their skills. Participates in team meetings, planning meetings, and strategy meetings as assigned. Provides input and conducts themselves in a professional manner in all internal and external meetings. May be assigned tasks that further their development such as writing raps, training instruments, facilitating meetings, etc. Provides input for their staff development plans, skills inventory, and other staff development tools. Adheres to check in, debrief, and 1:1 structure as needed by the programs of the union.
  • Representation: Ability to describe the representation process to organizing campaign leaders. Understands the regulatory and governing policies, laws and ordinances and practices that apply to the organizing target. Ability to identify an unfair labor practice. May confer informally with workers and management relative to work rules, regulations and conditions, employee relations policies and programs, and related matters after achieving union recognition. May be assigned representation matters after achieving union recognition. May be assigned to assist with contract campaigns, including but not limited to the bargaining survey, bargaining team elections and ratification process.
  • Issue Campaigns: Identify, develop, and implement issue campaigns. This includes but is not limited to strategies and tactic through coordinated activities. As a requirement of issue campaigns, leaders must be identified and developed to lead campaign, petitions, work actions, media events, legal actions, etc.
  • Legislative and Electoral Campaigns: Participates in the local’s political work such as canvasses, door knocks, phone banks or text banks. Political work may include campaign assignments around legislative, policy, candidates, ballot propositions, etc. Required to recruit not-yet members and/or members to participate and be empowered in legislative and electoral campaign activities, including lobbying, phone banking, letter writing, door-to-door canvassing, and other activities. May train and develop member leaders on recruiting members to contribute to COPE. Adheres to the union’s process on developing policy and endorsing candidates and propositions on the ballot.
  • Internal and External Organizing Campaigns: Effectively articulate the Local’s mission to workers and carry out internal and external organizing campaigns. Design and implement organizing campaigns to win Union recognition for unorganized workplaces, building leadership committees, identifying issues, accurately assess workers, leadership identification and development, and preparing workers for NLRB, MMBA and other elections, and/or strategic and recognition campaigns. Adheres to numerical goals to advance the goals of the campaign.
  • Turnout: Identify, recruit, trains and develops leaders to turnout other workers to union actions, events, meetings, etc. Proficient in organizing practices for turnout such as urgency, number of targets and confirmations needed to achieve turnout goals. Conducts first confirmation, second confirmations, final confirmations on the day of the union event as determined by the needs of the campaign.
  • Actions/Events: Supports and aids in the logistics of the department’s and the local’s actions and events before, during, and after when assigned. May be assigned a specific supporting role for each action and/or event.
  • Administration: Maintain a weekly work plan which accurately documents goals, past, present, and future activities, visits, and appointments in connection with work as an external organizer. Maintain accurate records, including activity reports and time allocation reports. Map and maintain worker member information in all turf at all times.
  • Proficiency in Technology: Accountable to new technology as needed for the proper function of the union’s program priorities. Takes advantage of trainings provided by the union to gain new skills. Ability to conduct virtual meetings, peer-to-peer texting, etc.


  • Ability to receive and implement feedback.
  • Ability to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team.
  • Ability to work independently
  • Effective demonstrable oral, written, and listening skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills as demonstrated by the ability to relate, establish, and cultivate respectful relationships with members and staff from diverse ethnic, social, and economic groups.
  • Analytical skills necessary to interpret contract language.
  • Ability to work under pressure and with minimal supervision; must be well-organized and self-motivated.
  • Excellent analytical and judgment skills as demonstrated by the ability to assess information and evidence and act strategically.
  • Ability to make effective use of resources available to the union.
  • Adept at leading and motivating workers in necessary struggles.
  • Dedication to improving the position of working people and strengthening the role of organized labor through work actions, street actions, community relations, and legislative and political activity.
  • Effective facilitating and organizing meeting skills
  • Working knowledge of or the ability to learn computer programs such as Microsoft office products, email, accessing the internet, and working with databases.
  • Related experience will be given consideration as will steward and rank-and-file experience.


  • Prior union organizing and negotiations experience is highly desirable.
  • Prior labor experience is strongly preferred.


  • Ability to work long and irregular hours. This is not a 9-5 job. Requires weekend work, covering overnight shifts, participation in union-wide activities and events, and assignments in different geographies. Work may require overnight stays for extended periods of time based on the needs of the campaign.
  • Required to have valid driver’s license, car insurance, and a working automobile.


  • Salary range as of November 2, 2023, $68,734.65 (entry) to $105,711.50 15 years+.
  • Fully paid benefit package including medical, dental, vision and a generous life insurance.
  • The External Organizer is an UUP bargaining unit position subject to a staff union contract.

Mail, fax or e-mail a cover letter, detailed résumé, two-page writing sample and the name, job title, address, and phone number of three professional references to:

Human Resources Department
SEIU Local 721
1545 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #100
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Fax: (213) 402-3590

E-mail: careers@seiu721.org

SEIU Local 721 is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability. SEIU Local 721 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces zero tolerance policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

Position will remain open until filled.

Posted internally 5/18/21

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