ROXEY C. NELSON ELECTED TO LEAD 1199SEIU UNITED HEALTHCARE WORKERS EAST IN FLORIDA STATE’S LARGEST UNION OF HEALTHCARE WORKERS REPRESENTS 25,000 CAREGIVERS
Saint Petersburg, FLA. – The members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East – the largest union of healthcare workers in the nation representing about 450,000 caregivers – have elected Roxey C. Nelson as Executive Vice President to lead the organization in serving its 25,000 active and retired caregivers throughout Florida.
Nelson, a resident of Saint Petersburg, succeeds Executive Vice President Dale Ewart who is retiring after a 40-year career with 1199SEIU and other labor, economic and social justice organizations.
Nelson has served the union for more than 15 years, most recently as 1199SEIU’s Vice President of Politics and Strategic Campaigns in Florida.
“Roxey is an exceptional talent to direct the organization forward in serving our membership and the needs of all working Floridians and their families,” said Ewart. “Our members made a tremendous choice in electing an astute, passionate and eminently qualified leader.”
“While the power of our union is always based on the commitment, solidarity and strength of our members, Dale’s unmatched insight and leadership has left us in a potent position to face the many challenges faced by working Floridians today,” said Nelson. “Even though he’s retiring, Dale’s expertise and influence will endure here. I’m proud, humbled and inspired to take on this role for our membership.”
Members of 1199SEIU, the state’s largest union of healthcare workers, serve in about 80 nursing homes and 30 hospitals across the state in a range of direct caregiving and other essential roles such as registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, medical technicians, dietary, housekeeping and more.
Ensuring all workers are protected, paid fairly and have a voice in their workplace so they can provide high-quality patient care are among Nelson’s priorities as the new 1199SEIU executive vice president.
“These ideas should be basic and universal, but sadly we face a struggle because of healthcare corporations and a 20-year political majority in Tallahassee that put corporate profit and partisanship over people,” she said, citing the recent example of Florida House Bill 1239 that dramatically reduced nursing home staffing standards. “The legislation is unsafe for seniors and their caregivers, and only benefits the bottom line of a multi-billion-dollar for-profit industry. But it passed the legislature and was quickly signed by the governor while corporate lobbyists nodded, grinned and backslapped in approval.”
Reversal of laws like HB 1239 and electing new leaders who will truly serve the needs of everyday Floridians and their communities also will be an area of focus for Nelson who has decades of political experience.
Her professional background spans multiple industries including telecommunications, healthcare, labor relations, government and politics, non-profit management and more. Career highlights include managing and advising on hundreds of electoral, issue, and legislative campaigns; leading the successful $10 million Florida independent expenditure campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama; organizing the largest for-profit hospital labor worker drive in the Southern United States in decades; and currently serves on the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.
Nelson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Science degree in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. Nelson was born in Grenada, grew up in New Jersey and has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 2016. For more information on 1199SEIU in Florida, visit www.1199.org/florida.