This year’s birthday party for SEIU Local 521 on May 21 also gave members an opportunity to send former 521 Chief Elected Officer Kristy Sermersheim off to a happy retirement after four decades of dedicated and unwavering service to the labor movement.
It was six years ago that five SEIU Locals merged to form our bigger and stronger Local 521 and in 2010, the membership elected Kristy to be the Local’s first Chief Elected Officer. Prior to that, Kristy had led Legacy Local 715, a job she was elected to in 1986.
Kristy’s leadership has helped us grow into a nationally recognized and respected Local within SEIU, and we have been truly fortunate to have someone of such integrity and vision lead us all these years. We will miss Kristy but look forward to having her join our Retiree Chapter and still boss us around.”
— Gwyn Harshaw, SEIU Local 521 President
The birthday and retirement celebration was celebrated at all SEIU Local 521 offices with video equipment: San Jose, Salinas, Bakersfield, Fresno and Visalia.
Click on each photo to zoom in, or see the photo gallery on Flickr.
“Happy Birthday my Union SEIU Local 521! Thanks for the cake and fellowship at the union hall tonight. Best wishes to our retiring Chief Elected Officer Kristy Sermersheim and much thanks for the 40 years of hard work she’s done to ensure county workers get the best contract and that it continues to be enforced. I greatly appreciate all my Union has done to protect our jobs and how they step in to protect individual and groups of workers from unfair situations and when workers are taken advantage of. I can tell you first hand of many instances over my 35+ years in the workplace where my Union stepped in and put a stop to unfair workplace issues. Thanks, and Happy Retirement Kristy and Happy Birthday Local 521!”
— Kathleen O’britis-Mckenney, West Valley College