Thursday, January 15, 2009

SEIU Roundup

Some updates on what's been happening elsewhere in SEIU recently:

Local 1000 Fights Governor's Furlough Plan

SEIU Local 1000, the California State Employees Association (CSEA) affiliate which represents civil service employees, continues to fight the governor's plans to put state employees on unpaid furlough. The plan would put state employees on unpaid furlough two days per month beginning in February, resulting in a pay cut of about 10%.

Local 1000 has filed a lawsuit to block the furloughs, arguing the governor lacks the authority to unilaterally impose changes to state workers' pay and work hours. A Sacramento County Superior Court judge will hear arguments in the case on January 29. Local 1000 also filed an unfair practice charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). The governor's attorneys argue the court has no jurisdiction and that PERB should hear the case, not the court. PERB members are appointed by the governor.

Local 1000 has offered the state an alternate list of proposals it estimates would save the state $370 million over 2 years.

Proposition 8 Challenge

More than 50 California labor organizations, including SEIU affiliate United Healthcare Workers (UHW), California Faculty Association (CFA), SEIU Local 1000, and the SEIU State Council, filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuits challenging Proposition 8. CSUEU does not appear on the list of supporters, but is part of the SEIU California State Council.

Re-unification with AFL-CIO?

An associate editor with The Atlantic reports Change to Win and AFL-CIO are discussing a merger. Change to Win is a coalition of labor unions, including SEIU, formed in 2005. SEIU disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO in 2005.

Local Split by SEIU, Members Call for Disaffiliation Vote

The international SEIU executive board voted to move 65,000 United Healthcare Workers (UHW) members out of UHW and into a new, soon-to-be-created SEIU local. SEIU will create the new mega-local by merging the former UHW members with locals from San Jose and Los Angeles. When a new local is created, that local's officers are appointed by SEIU headquarters, rather than elected by the membership.

In response to petitions from members, the UHW executive board has written to SEIU president Andy Stern requesting a vote of UHW's 150,000 members on whether to disaffiliate from SEIU. The members' petitions cite forced removal of 65,000 long-term care members from UHW, stifling of union members’ free speech rights, and Widespread corruption by Stern-appointed union leaders among their concerns. During recent UHW elections, board members ran unopposed, despite reported SEIU attempts to recruit and support other candidates.

No comments: