Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
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Union Negotiated Benefits in the U.S.
© June 18, 2010, Demian

Because they collectively negotiate for employee benefits, unions can be an important ally in winning equity for domestic partners. The unions listed here have negotiated benefits for same-sex partners, although some may provide benefits only in selected localities.

Benefits vary widely, and are subject to change. All we know about the benefits are posted.

It is likely that there are even far more unions that offer benefits than we list. If you have information regarding additions or changes, please see below for the data we need.

The Federal COBRA law applies only to legally married, opposite-sex employees, not to employees with domestic partners. So it is up to an employer to continue benefits on the death of a partner, such as has been done in West Palm Beach, Broward County, Monroe County, Key West and Gainesville in Florida.

None of the pages on this Web site may be reproduced by any form of reproduction without permission from Partners, with the exception of copies for personal, student, and non-commercial use. Please do not copy this article to any Web site.

U.S. Unions
Canadian Unions
Other Counties’ Unions

U.S. Unions
1199 National Health and Human Service Employees Union (1199), N.Y.
Actors Fund of America
AFL-CIO, U.S. National
AFSCME, Council 57, 67, 82 and 829
AFSCME, Local 146, Sacramento, Calif.
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
AFSCME, Local 2037, Pittsburgh, Penn.
AFSCME, Local 2719, Pittsburgh, Penn.
Amalgamated Workers Union, Local 88 (RWDSU)
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
American Federation of Government Employees, Local 476/HUD
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
American Federation of Teachers Staff Union (AFT), Wash., D.C.
Boston Hotel Worker’s Union, Mass.
Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 932, Ontario, Canada
Columbia University clerical workers, N.Y., N.Y.
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Committee of Interns and Residents Staff Union, N.Y., N.Y.
Consumers Union
Council 82 (prison guards - N.Y. State benefits)
Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Las Vegas, Nevada,
CWA Local 1085 (Gloucester County, N.J.)
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
DC Nurses’ Association
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Directors Guild - Industry Health Fund
    (same-sex only; medical, dental)
Greater Boston Hotel Employees Local 26, Mass.
Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 2
    (12 San Francisco hotels including the Mark Hopkins)
IATSE, Local 16
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18,
    Los Angeles, Calif.
Legal Aid Society, N.Y., N.Y.
Legal Services Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Mt. Sinai Hospital, N.Y., N.Y. (nurses)
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., N.Y.
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
National Treasury Employees Union
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
New York/New Jersey (NYNEX), N.Y., N.Y.
    [telephone company workers]
Newspaper Guild of N.Y.,  N.Y.
    [New York Times writers]
Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers
    [several locals in N.Y. and elsewhere]
Pacific Gas & Electric, San Francisco, Calif.
    (medical, dental, vision, designated as beneficiaries
    of company life insurance and savings fund plans;
    offered because of negotiations with IBEW Local 1245)
Professional Musicians Union Local #47
Public Employees Federation ( N.Y. State, SEIU/AFT)
Retail Store Employees Union Local 410R-8FCS, San Francisco, Calif.
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Seattle Public Library, Wash.
    (bereavement and/or family illness leave)
Teachers Insurance Annuity Association (pension plan)
Teamsters Local 70, Oakland, Calif.
United University Professors
    (professors, doctors and some nurses
    in teaching hospitals - N.Y. State)
Village Voice newspaper, N.Y., N.Y.
Writers Guild of America West - Industry Health Fund
  (the “Fund”)
Writers Guild-Industry Health Fund, Calif.
    (medical, dental; same-sex only)

Canadian Unions
Alberta Federation of Labour
Canadian Auto Workers
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Hospital Employees Union, B.C.
Ontario Colleges and Universities Faculty Association
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Ontario Federation of Labour

Other Countries’ Unions
Four Argentine labor unions extended National Security System
    medical benefits to employees’' same-sex partners. It covers
    teachers, commerce employees, executives and air-transport
    personnel. Argentina also has extended pensions to surviving
    partners of same-sex couples.

Additions and corrections are welcome. Please tell us:
• Company Name
• Employer’s Home City
• Specific Benefits (i.e., medical, dental, life, sick/bereavement leave)
• Same-sex Only, or Both Same-and Opposite-sex Couples
• Affidavit Required?
• Affidavit Restrictions (i.e., couple must cohabit X months before eligible)
• Effective Date
• Verifying Web or News Article

Governments that offer Full Legal Marriage

    Netherlands (2001)
    Belgium (2003)
    Canada (2005)
    Spain (2005)
    South Africa (2005)
    Norway (2009)
    Sweden (2009)
    Iceland (2010)
    Argentina (2010)
    Portugal (2010)
    Denmark (2012)
    France (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    Brazil (2013)
    Uruguay (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    United Kingdom
      (England, Wales, Scotland) (2013)
    Luxembourg (2014)
    Finland (2014)
    Ireland (2015)
    United States (2015)
    Colombia (2016)
    Germany (2017)
    Taiwan (2017)
    Malta (2017)
US States & Territories

    Massachusetts (2004)
    California (2008)
    Connecticut (2008)
    Iowa (2009)
    Vermont (2009)
    New Hampshire (2009)
    District of Columbia (2009)
    New York (2011)
    Maine (2012)
    Washington (2012)
    Maryland (2013)
    Rhode Island (2013)
    Delaware (2013)
    Minnesota (2013)
    Illinois (2013)
    Utah (2013)
    New Jersey (2013)
    Hawaii (2013)
    New Mexico (2013)
    Michigan (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Oregon (2014)
    Wisconsin (2014)

    Arkansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Pennsylvania (2014)
    Indiana (2014)
    Nevada (2014)
    Virginia (2014)
    Oklahoma (2014)
    Idaho (2014)
    West Virginia (2014)
    Alaska (2014)
    Arizona (2014)
    Wyoming (2014)
    Kansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Florida (2014)
    Colorado (2014)
    North Carolina (2014)
    South Carolina (2014)
    Montana (2014)
    Alabama (2015)
    U.S. Supreme Court (June 26, 2015):
      Ruling: All U.S. States must now
      allow same-sex couples the
      freedom of legal marriage.
Native American Tribes

    Coquille Tribe, Oregon (2009)
    Mashantucket Pequot, Connecticut (2011)
    Suquamish Tribe, Washington (2011)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington (2013)
    Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota (2013)
    Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Santa Ysabel Tribe, California (2013)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, Washington (2013)
    Cheyenne, Oklahoma (2013)
    Arapaho, Oklahoma (2013)
    Leech Lake Tribal Court, Minnesota (2013)
    Puyallup Tribe, Washington (2914)
    Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming (2014)
    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan, (2014)
    Colville Confederated Tribes, Washington (2014)
    Central Council of Tlingit, Alaska (2015)
    Haida Indian Tribes, Alaska (2015)

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