Stern will address "rumors" that he will step down at the end of his term in 2012 at the closing of the service employees union's executive committee meeting this week, according to a statement issued late Monday night by a union spokeswoman.

SEIU released the statement after reports about an e-mail sent by the head of SEIU's Seattle chapter, who wrote to her employees that she had received confirmation that Stern was leaving. 

Stern is a frequent visitor to the White House and one of the most powerful labor leaders in the country.

The statement was released following reports that Stern would step down.

Here's the full statement from SEIU:

Given recent speculation about the future of SEIU in the media, the following statement is being provided to interested parties:

"The 2.2-million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is an organization united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.

"This week, the SEIU Executive Committee is gathering in Washington, DC, for a three-day meeting where it will celebrate the monumental achievement and the role of the union in passing healthcare reform. During that meeting, there will be a series of discussions regarding the union's future, including our plans for growth in our core industries, our work to reform the financial institutions that trashed our economy, and our efforts to hold elected leaders accountable to working families.

"Over the past few months, there has been increasing speculation regarding SEIU President Andy Stern's intention to step down as president at the end of his term in 2012. President Stern will address these rumors at the close of the SEIU Executive Committee meeting this week."