SEIU Members Unanimously Pass Trans-Inclusive Health Care Resolution

In a groundbreaking unanimous vote at the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) convention last week, members passed a resolution calling on local unions to bargain for trans-inclusive health care benefits. SEIU is the fastest growing union in North America with over 2.1 million members, and the vote is another sign that access to transition-related care is a fundamental part of supporting the health and well being of workers.

Findings in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey verify that health care insurance coverage poses serious challenges to transgender people:

  • Respondents reported that when they were sick or injured, they postponed medical care due to discrimination (28%) or inability to afford it (48%).
  • The high costs of transition-related care and their exclusion from most health insurance plans render these life-changing and life-saving procedures inaccessible to most transgender people.
  • 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

A respondent in the NTDS told NCTE, “I cannot afford gender reassignment surgery which is crucial to my mental well being and thoughts of suicide are always present.” Another respondent said, “I have also had several bouts of depression and anxiety disorders and once ended up in the emergency room for depression. I still bounce in and out of depression due to not being able to get the appropriate surgical procedures.”

A respondent in the NTDS told NCTE, “I cannot afford gender reassignment surgery which is crucial to my mental well being and thoughts of suicide are always present.” Another respondent said, “I have also had several bouts of depression and anxiety disorders and once ended up in the emergency room for depression. I still bounce in and out of depression due to not being able to get the appropriate surgical procedures.”

Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of NCTE said, “there are a lot of people who aren’t getting the care they need simply because they’re trans. Doctors often still don’t know how to treat their trans patients. And its moments with SEIU stepping up like this that push the social and cultural needle towards understanding of trans people in health care and inclusion of trans people in society.”

Bil Browning of The Bilerico Project sat down with Deputy Political Director Lauree Hayden to discuss the union’s resolution.

Last year SEIU introduced trans-inclusive healthcare coverage for international staff members. This step towards trans-inclusive health care allows for greater access while setting a new standard for the labor movement everywhere. SEIU’s healthcare plan exceeds the San Francisco city plan.

NCTE commends SEIU for their commitment to equality and for advocating for basic care that will provide enormous support to trans people.

Download our health care “know your rights” guide here.

One Response to SEIU Members Unanimously Pass Trans-Inclusive Health Care Resolution

  1. pasupatidasi says:

    Reblogged this on Pasupatidasi's Blog and commented:
    i am copying the link to this article and sharing it with the healthcare people involved my trans-daughter’s care…truly awesome news!

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