Job: External Organizer – San Jose

Title External Organizer – San Jose
Salary Salary commensurate with experience.
Location San Jose

SEIU Local 521 is currently growing our External Organizing Department in San Jose. SEIU Local 521 represents nearly 40,000 public- and non-profit, private sector workers across the Bay Area, Central Coast and Central Valley of California. Our local is on the cutting edge of progressive activism, building the power of workers and engaging in larger social issues such as immigration, racial and environmental justice.

We are seeking energetic, passionate, and hardworking External Organizers who are excited to be a part of a movement for real social change, who believe in the value of work and the value of public services, and who want to be part of a team that fights and wins for workers, their families, and their communities.

You will be organizing new bargaining units into SEIU Local 521. Our organizing plan is focused on the public sector, privatized public services, and public healthcare.

You will be responsible for:

Key Responsibilities:

  • Organizing non-union workers to make change and to organize into SEIU Local 521.
  • Assessing, building relationships with, motivating and agitating workers through individual and group meetings. Recruiting, developing and mobilizing worker organizing committees.
  • Identifying, recruiting and developing leaders. Training and supervising member organizers.
  • Planning and executing actions, events, marches, etc. at worksites and beyond.
  • Building toward union elections, negotiating election agreements and filing charges through NLRB and PERB.
  • Developing and executing organizing campaign plans. Understanding and contributing to the community and political outreach, campaign communications, targeting, lead development, and research.
  • Working to support other key local union priorities, as needed
What you will need to do the job:

Job Qualifications:

  • Willingness to travel frequently and/or for an extended period of time within the local’s jurisdiction, based on work assignments
  • Willingness to work long and irregular hours, often including nights and weekends.
  • A strong commitment to social and economic justice and the commitment to organize the unorganized through the labor movement
  • At least one year of experience as a full-time external organizer or equivalent community or rank and file member organizing experience.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills. Good listening skills are a necessity.
  • Ability to create and execute detailed organizing plans.
  • Ability to establish rapport with and organize workers across diverse ethnic, social, economic and occupational groups.
  • Good judgment and ability to discern priorities when faced with many important tasks.
  • Ability to think strategically and respond to rapidly changing situations.
  • Basic computer literacy and a willingness to use technology where needed.
  • Ability to work effectively and harmoniously as part of a team.
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred but not required.

Must possess a valid California driver’s license; must pass a DMV check; 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: Salary commensurate with experience.
  • Employer-paid retirement plan & 401(k) sponsored plan.
  • Fully-paid health insurance for employees and dependents.
  • Liberal vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedule.
  • Life insurance, dental, vision care, and flexible spending accounts for healthcare and daycare.

To Apply:
Send cover letter and résumé to:

SEIU Local 521
2302 Zanker Road
San Jose, CA 95131
No phone calls, please.

This position is open until filled; however, the posting/acceptance of applications may close at any time.

SEIU Local 521 is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, or disability. SEIU Local 521 works to ensure fair treatment of applicants and employees and actively enforces policies against discrimination and sexual harassment.

About SEIU Local 521
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 40,000 public service workers in cities, counties, courts, schools, private non-profits, special districts and public health care. We are looking for energetic, hardworking staff that is committed to real change, who believes in the value of work and the value of public services, and who wants to be part of the team that wins for workers, their families, and their communities.

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