SEIU Local 521

SEIU Local 521

Research Director

Based in San Jose, CA


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 over 50,000 public service workers in cities, counties, courts, schools, private non-profits, special districts, and public health care.

AT SEIU LOCAL 521: Our mission is to provide our members with a voice in the workplace, in their union and in the larger community. Through our actions, we intend to create a more just and humane society. We are committed to protecting and improving the lives of workers and their families. We will work to improve and protect the services we provide to our communities. We believe that by working together as a united front, we can win better contracts and build industry power in our region.

The Research Director will supervise a team of union research staff members. The Director will oversee a wide range of research for union campaigns and projects including but not limited to, internal and external organizing campaigns, contract bargaining, post-employment benefits, local and state public policy, community campaigns, basic trainings in research methods and analysis, and various Local programs.. The Director will serve on the staff leadership team of the regional local and work as a team to oversee the implementation of the union’s vision and program.

RESPONSIBILITIES: All duties listed are required but not limited to and may or may not be continuously performed or ongoing at any specific time.

  • Develop strategic research and campaign strategy, and provide recommendations for the most effective use of research for Sr. level staff and members leaders
  • Develop and implement campaign and strategic research strategies and develop appropriate research products.
  • Oversee and review team preparation of professional level reports appropriate for contract negotiations, Media persuasion, member education, and presentations before public boards and commissions on behalf of the members and the union.
  • Train researchers to serve as well as serving him/herself as the Local Union expert witness in med-arbs, arbitrations, contract negotiations, public agency and quasi-public agency meetings with elected officials and high level local , state or federal government authorities
  • Lead research trainings for members and new staff in simple research projects include budget analysis, industry- wide wage, and benefit comparisons and how to develop costing analysis for contract bargaining.
  • Applying an equity lens to data and policy, and training research staff on how to develop and apply an equity lens.
  • Supervise, train, hire, and develop research staff.
  • Conduct staff meetings, team meetings, and individual meetings with staff to review and plan their work.
  • May include working with the rank-and-file leadership to create and implement research plans to strengthen the union.
  • Lead and assist in developing campaign plans around budget issues, contract negotiations, state and local policy issues and worksite problems.
  • Serve on the staff leadership team of the local
  • Coordinate with other senior staff to run the programs of the organization under the leadership of the rank-and-file executive board.


  • Experience providing research in negotiations for collective bargaining agreements and contract campaigns.
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of rank-and-file leaders and involve them in every aspect of the union’s program.
  • Strong planning skills, ability to discern priorities, and manage multiple responsibilities.
  • Possess proven leadership and consensus-building skills.
  • Willingness to work long and irregular hours, including weekends and evenings.


  • Experience motivating, supervising, evaluating, and developing staff and holding them accountable to a campaign & workplan.
  • Strong commitment to progressive racial justice, social change and activist experience.
  • Strong research & quantitative skills.
  • Computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, & Access, and a variety of computer-based research tools.
  • Excellent writing and communications skills a must.

ADDITIONAL 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.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Salary commensurate with experience ranging $116,482.98-$128,743.38 SEIU Local 521 employees enjoy top notch benefits including fully employer-paid family health, dental and vision insurance; a generous leave package; fully employer-paid defined benefit pension plan; 401(K); flexible savings accounts for annual health and childcare expenses; $200,000 life insurance plan; and other benefits outlined in the policies of SEIU 521.

TO APPLY: https://www.seiu521.org/who-we-are/work-with-us/

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.