SEIU Healthcare PA President Neal Bisno Joins National Union Officer Team, Matt Yarnell Sworn In As New SEIU Healthcare PA President
Statewide — Pennsylvania’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers, a major political and policy force in the state, is welcoming a new President. After serving as a leader of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania for over two decades, the last eight as President, Neal Bisno will stepping down to take on a new role with the national SEIU, having been elected at the recent SEIU National Convention in Detroit to serve as Executive Vice President of the national union.
“Serving as a leader of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania for the past 21 years has been a greater privilege and a more personally transformative experience than I can possibly put into words,” said Neal Bisno. “I am very proud of the progress that Pennsylvania nurses and healthcare workers have made by standing up together, from growing their union seven-fold, to winning Medicaid Expansion to allow over 600,000 uninsured Pennsylvanians access to life saving care, to achieving $15 an hour and a path out of poverty for thousands of direct care workers, to enhancing patient safety by passing the first-ever PA law against mandatory overtime for healthcare workers, and to winning safe RN to patient ratios in union contracts.”
“I am very excited to join our national leadership team led by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry to help implement the ambitious program SEIU members adopted at our Convention to win $15 and a Union for millions of underpaid workers, dismantle structural racism, take on the challenge of climate change, and achieve a more just and inclusive society for all Americans, regardless of who they are, who they love, where they come from, or what zip code they live in.”
In addition to serving as President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, Bisno was a member of Governor Tom Wolf’s Transition Steering Committee and currently serves on the Governor’s Healthcare Transformation Steering Committee as well as numerous other boards and committees.
Matthew Yarnell, currently Executive Vice President for Long Term Care, has been elected by SEIU Healthcare PA’s Executive Board to become our union’s next President, effective July 1st. Matt Yarnell will oversee the state’s largest and fastest growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home and community-based services, and State facilities across the Commonwealth.
Matt began working in a nursing home at age 18 and has gone on to serve SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania as Organizer, Vice President, and Executive Vice President. Most recently, Matt led the successful campaign for $15 for nursing home workers that resulted in landmark agreements to lift thousands of caregivers out of poverty and enhance the quality of care for seniors.
At age 36, Matt will be the youngest leader of a major union in Pennsylvania and will also be the highest ranking LGBT labor leader in the state.
“Through the union I learned to fight for fairness and how working people can use our strength in numbers to improve our lives and those of others who are often pushed to the margins,” said Matt Yarnell. “Now, as president, I am thrilled to work with our members across the state to continue our union’s arc of success, uniting thousands of nurses and healthcare workers to win the respect they deserve, ensure quality care for our patients, and lead in transforming our healthcare system toward a focus on building healthy communities. Together, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members will build the movement for $15 and a Union, forge the next forms of worker organization for the 21st century, and help create a wider movement for justice that links worker justice, racial justice, immigrant justice, environmental justice, and gender and LGBT equality. We will innovate and build new partnerships to achieve the good jobs, quality care, and healthy communities that all Pennsylvanians deserve.”
Additional SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania leadership changes, effective July 1st include: Kim Patterson, current Secretary Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare PA, will be retiring after 38 years of dedicated leadership, beginning as a hospital worker who helped to lead one of the longest strikes in the union’s history, and rising to become Organizer, Vice President, Executive Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer, always focused on helping healthcare workers build strong, robust, and inclusive unions at work and in their communities. Zach Zobrist, currently Executive Vice President for Hospital Systems, will become Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. Zach has led numerous bargaining campaigns that have improved the lives of nurses and healthcare workers, most recently leading the largest successful first contract negotiation by hospital, service and clerical workers in Pittsburgh’s history. He is also the architect of our union’s ground-breaking work around healthcare transformation and hospital quality improvement. Organizing Director Morgan Lindsey and Director of Strategic Innovation Jesse Wilderman, will be stepping up as Executive Vice Presidents. They are joined on the Officers team by Cathy Brady (Vice President for Long Term Care), Kevin Hefty (Vice President for Hospital Systems and Commonwealth Health Professionals), Amanda Lapina (Vice President for Hospital Systems), Wendell Royster (Vice President for Long Term Care), and our newest Officer Sarah Fishbein (Vice President and Assistant Organizing Director).
“I am so proud to be a member of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, an organization that empowers healthcare workers to build a better future for their patients, their families and their communities. This past year, under the leadership of Matt Yarnell, almost 5,000 PA nursing home workers were able to win $15 an hour and recognition for the hard work we do each day for seniors and people with disabilities.” said Lee Dolph, a certified nursing assistant from Scranton and member of SEIU Healthcare PA. “I am so excited to see the new heights our union will reach under Matt’s leadership to ensure that a living wage and quality, affordable healthcare is available to all who need it.”