Executive Director Tim Paulson


Tim Paulson joined the San Francisco Labor Council as its Executive Director in September 2004. The San Francisco Labor Council is the center of labor activity in San Francisco and is comprised of 150 local unions, representing over 100,000 working men and women. The mission of the Council is to promote social and economic justice for all working people. As Executive Director, Tim leads and coordinates labor’s political activities, organizes events and rallies, and supports affiliates in their bargaining and contract negotiations when necessary.

Under Tim’s leadership the Labor Council has overseen and helped organize some of the most historic legislative and ballot victories for worker justice in California and the United State. Some of these include:

The passage of the Health Care Security Ordinance by the Board of Supervisors in 2007 is still the closest thing to Universal Health Care in the United States. The ordinance’s public option, which incorporates San Francisco County’s extensive Department of Public Health with its clinics and general hospital, was the model legislation that Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought to Washington to jumpstart what became the (less than perfect) Affordable Care Act.

With community partners the Labor Council negotiated a private sector Community Benefit Agreement with the Lennar Corporation that guarantees that 35 percent of the 10,000 new homes in the former Hunters Point Shipyard will be affordable to working families. This historic agreement includes card check for half a dozen union industries and secures $28,000,000 over the life of this development to invest in the community.

The Labor Council is also proud of the team that passed the highest minimum wage increase in the United States at $15 per hour. This was accomplished without any carve-outs as well as preserving the cost of living index in subsequent years.

And recently, working with San Francisco’s Job with Justice, the Labor Council helped pass (at the Board of Supervisors) the first Retail Worker Bill of Rights in the United States. This legislation guarantees that part time workers get first crack at more hours before the employer can hire anyone else. It also mandates predictable scheduling where workers aren’t constantly worrying whether they are working from one day to the next by guaranteeing that work schedules are posted two weeks in advance.

Prior to working for the Labor Council Tim had two decades of experience in the labor movement. Before joining the San Francisco Labor Council, Tim worked as the Political Director and Assistant Executive Officer of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. At the San Mateo CLC Tim directed all political activities of the Council and coordinated a wide range of Council activities, including the staffing of the Council’s Airport Labor Coalition, a monthly convening of unions which monitors and coordinates labor activities at SFO.

A Journeyman Tilesetter since 1981, Tim served as a principal officer and business agent for the 45-county Bricklayers, Tilelayers, and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 and was Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Northern California Tilelayers and Tile Finishers Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee. Tim has been a trustee to various Taft Hartley Health and Welfare and Pension programs and served as coordinator for the Tilelayers Local 19 Work Preservation organizing program in the early 1990’s, which generated millions of dollars of employment during the recession. In 1997 delegates to the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council elected Tim as their Vice President.

For almost three years Tim served as Organizing and Political Director for SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaigns in Northern California. This assignment generated significant union growth and helped jumpstart SEIU’s historic campaign to organize and improve the lives of security officers.

Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and lives in San Francisco. He serves on many committees and boards, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s Advisory Committee on State Federations and Central Labor Councils. Tim was elected by his colleagues to serve on the California Labor Federation’s Strategic Advisory Committee, which is comprised of representatives of the 15 largest international unions in California charged with coordinating political and organizing power. Paulson is the chair of the San Francisco State University Labor Archives Board and serves on the City College Labor Studies and the University of California Berkeley Institute for Labor Education and Research advisory boards. Tim is a director of the United Way of the Bay Area and is on the executive board of the California Democratic Party as elected chair of the Labor Caucus. He was recently elected as a vice-president of the California Federation of Labor.

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