Travis Woodward, President of CSEA SEIU Local 2001
Travis Woodward’s ties to CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 began before he was even employed by the State of Connecticut. His parents were both state employees, and as a CSEA union member, his father applied for the CSEA SEIU Local 2001 McCusker scholarship for his college tuition and he won twice.
Woodward started his career at the Connecticut Department of Transportation in May of 2002. In January 2003, just 8 months into his job, he was laid off from state service by corrupt Governor Rowland. During his layoff, Woodward began working for Berger Lehman, a consulting company for DOT on the Sikorsky Bridge in Milford and Stratford, Connecticut. There he learned firsthand the difference between a union and a non-union environment. A few months into his new job, the company decided to favor its bottom line by reducing its share of medical copays from 66% to 60%. Everyone in the office received the letter and that was that - the company had the last word. Later, Woodward found out the company offered a $1,000 bonus for steering prospective employees to sign on with the company. The chief inspector at the time had signed up two such employees, but the company decided not to pay him either bonus. The company held all the power.
Meanwhile, CSEA and the fellow locals in the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) fought for and won a three-year rehire protection during the event of a layoff. In May of 2004, 16 months after Woodward’s layoff, he was rehired from a SEBAC layoff list.
When Woodward returned to the States, he wanted to find out more about the union and pay it forward for their help in getting his job back. Woodward also wanted to help prevent future layoffs and other people from having to go through what he had. Woodward began attending Chapter meetings in New Haven and Council meetings in Hartford. In 2006, he became chapter treasurer and a CSEA steward, helping to enforce our hard-fought contract language. In 2010, he was elected as a council officer, and in 2012, council president. Nine years later, in 2021, he was elected CSEA SEIU Local 2001 President.
Through CSEA SEIU Local 2001’s P4 council executive committee, Woodward and his fellow council leaders were able to bring together a representative group of members to negotiate fair contracts in 2016 and again in 2021.
From Woodward’s early childhood years to his career experience, one thing has remained constant - the positive impact of a union.