SEIU Forces Its Members to Dress Up

SEIU is more concerned with preserving its own power than it is with letting its members dress more comfortably. When San Diego County sent around an email informing its employees that they could wear casual clothes throughout the work week rather than just on Fridays, SEIU responded by filing a complaint against the county. As a result, SEIU members have had to dress up Mondays through Thursdays while non-unionized county employees can dress casually those four days. Presumably, SEIU members are thrilled that their dues money is being spent to deprive them of their choice of what to wear to work.

SEIU is more concerned with preserving its own power than it is with letting its members dress more comfortably. When San Diego County sent around an email informing its employees that they could wear casual clothes throughout the work week rather than just on Fridays, SEIU responded by filing a complaint against the county. As a […]

SEIU Lobbies for Lousy Legislation

The California legislature is currently considering legislation which would make it nearly impossible for most county governments to hire companies and nonprofits to deliver public services. The bill, AB 1250, was introduced by a former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) boss, and SEIU is one of its chief proponents.

Why does SEIU care about the manner in which local governments deliver services to their residents? Because it has thousands of members who work for county governments, and SEIU would like to keep them and their dues money.

The bill would require that contracts save money, which sounds reasonable enough. But then the bill stacks the deck against contractors by adding unnecessary costs to contracts. County governments would be required to perform cost-benefit analyses, conduct environmental reviews, provide orientation to the employees of contractors, and perform annual audits. The legislation would also mandate that contracts must not displace any current government employees or even cause them to lose hours; and it would make counties liable for contractors’ labor law violations. So you see why it would be so difficult for counties to contract out – and these are just some of the bill’s provisions.

SEIU ridiculously claims that AB 1250 is “common sense” and will protect taxpayers and county services while increasing accountability and transparency. It further claims that “counties are protesting basic, commonsense standards of good governance that the State of California… abide[s] by already.” But this is not the case; the bill’s requirements for counties and their contractors are more burdensome than those currently imposed on the state and its contractors.

To help make its case for the bill, SEIU warns of the dangers of contracting out: “Bribery, corruption, sweetheart contracts, and hidden costs are an inevitable risk when governments contract out.” Of course, the union fails to note that those same risks are present every time politicians negotiate with powerful public employee unions.

In addition to the SEIU, the bill has the support of other unions, but that’s about it. This legislation has been blasted by various newspapers, including USA Today and two of the largest newspapers in California, the Orange County Register and the San Jose Mercury News. The Mercury News called the bill “onerous” and “an ambiguous mess.” USA Today called it “an audacious, self-serving bill” and recommended the state legislature “bury” it. The Fresno Bee heaped scorn on the bill calling it a “bucket of horse slop” and a “turkey.” The California Chamber of Commerce, a wide range of nonprofits and professional and business associations, and scores of local governments also oppose the bill.

What these opponents of AB 1250 recognize is that companies and nonprofits can often provide cheaper and/or better services than government bureaucracies can. And with many localities already having difficulty with meeting the needs of their residents and meeting their pension obligations, now is not the time for this legislation.

In addition to taxpayers, some of the most disadvantaged – those living in poverty, the elderly, the homeless, domestic abuse victims, etc. – could be negatively impacted by this legislation. After all, if struggling localities can’t save money by offering services through efficient private sector contractors, then some of those services might have to be curtailed.

Furthermore, because this legislation would likely increase costs, or at least reduce savings which might otherwise be realized, it could eventually result in localities not meeting their pension obligations and many SEIU members not receiving the pensions they’ve been promised. That should be a chief concern of the union, but it isn’t for some reason.

At long last, it’s time for SEIU to recognize that local governments exist to serve the needs of residents, not to provide cushy jobs to government workers. State leaders should help teach SEIU this vital lesson by rejecting this junk legislation.

The California legislature is currently considering legislation which would make it nearly impossible for most county governments to hire companies and nonprofits to deliver public services. The bill, AB 1250, was introduced by a former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) boss, and SEIU is one of its chief proponents. Why does SEIU care about the […]

SEIU Tried Bullying the Oregon Legislature

Last year, the Service Employees International Union spent over $5 million trying to get a ballot measure passed that would have imposed a huge tax hike on businesses in Oregon. Measure 97 would have increased taxes on businesses’ gross sales, not their profits, by $3 billion each year.

According to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue Office, the tax hike would have cost jobs and would have been regressive impacting less-affluent residents more heavily than the affluent. Because the corporate tax hike would have likely been passed on to customers in the form of higher costs for food, clothing, medicine, and utilities, among other things, the measure would have created a hidden sales tax. If approved, the measure would have increased state revenues by approximately 25%; this massive tax hike would have been the largest in the state’s history.

Unsurprisingly, the measure was opposed by many businesses, both large and small, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and the Wall Street Journal. Some of the largest newspapers in the state also opposed it. One of these papers, the Corvallis Gazette-Times wrote, “We recommend a ‘no’ vote on this poorly conceived measure, which will end up costing Oregon consumers.” Fortunately, Measure 97 was soundly defeated at the polls last November 59%-41% with 34 of the state’s 36 counties opposing it.

Rather than accept that Oregonians just aren’t interested in enacting a hidden sales tax, SEIU continued its efforts to hike corporate taxes. This time, SEIU tried to pressure the state legislature to impose the tax hike.

After failing to reach a consensus on new transportation funding in 2015, Oregon legislators tried again this past legislative session. (Eventually, they passed legislation hiking taxes and fees; these tax and fee increases are expected to raise over $5 billion dollars over the next decade to fund transportation improvements, which will provide jobs for unionized construction workers.) SEIU claimed to support this legislation; but, late in the legislative session, SEIU threatened to submit the legislation to voters and try to get voters to overturn it — if legislators wouldn’t cave and also impose SEIU’s corporate tax.

Even Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat who supported SEIU’s tax-hiking ballot measure last year, disagreed with SEIU’s ploy. In reference to SEIU’s threats, Brown stated, “I do not support those tactics.” She went on to say that “she is ‘opposed to this type of strategy’ in this instance and described it as ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face.’” Brown’s opposition to SEIU’s tactics is all the more surprising given the fact that one SEIU local was her second largest contributor in last year’s election.

Why was SEIU so bent on hiking corporate taxes, in spite of the costs to consumers, workers, and business owners? Because their union bosses want more money for the government, more government workers, more SEIU members, and more money from dues. And in its quest for money and power, SEIU clearly doesn’t care how many people oppose its tax on businesses and consumers.

In the end, SEIU’s threats failed to sway legislators, and SEIU backed down agreeing not to try to get voters to scuttle the transportation funding plan. Maybe SEIU should leave the legislating to the legislators, stop wasting its members’ dues money on political games, and focus instead on representing its members. After all, Oregon legislators have demonstrated that they are perfectly capable of hiking taxes; they don’t need any more ideas from SEIU on how to soak taxpayers.

Last year, the Service Employees International Union spent over $5 million trying to get a ballot measure passed that would have imposed a huge tax hike on businesses in Oregon. Measure 97 would have increased taxes on businesses’ gross sales, not their profits, by $3 billion each year. According to the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Revenue […]

SEIU Suffers More Setbacks

For the past several years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been dumping millions of dollars of its members’ money into efforts across the country to hike the minimum wage to $15. The membership of SEIU includes many lower-wage workers, such as janitors, security guards, home care workers, and graduate students. Last year alone, SEIU spent $19 million on its Fight for $15 campaign. Is this a good use of SEIU members’ money?

In June of 2014, the Seattle City Council voted to raise the minimum wage in a series of steps to $15 (with annual increases for inflation after the minimum wage reaches $15).  Later that year, the city signed a five-year contract with the University of Washington (UW) to study the effects of the wage increase. The first minimum wage increase of the series took effect in April of 2015. UW researchers found that increase had little impact, which may have been because many businesses were already paying above the minimum wage. The second increase took effect in January of 2016. This time, UW researchers found that the wage hike negatively impacted workers. In fact, that minimum wage increase caused the average low-wage worker’s income to fall by $125 a month, and the wage increase led to about 5,000 fewer jobs in the city. And Seattle isn’t done yet; the next wage hike takes effect in January of next year.

As inconvenient as the UW study is for SEIU and its Fight for $15 campaign, that’s not the only bad news for them: over the past year, three states have rolled back local minimum wage hikes.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted to increase the minimum wage in August of 2015, but the minimum wage increase did not take effect until May of this year due to a lawsuit. The state legislature was displeased with the city’s action, in part because it wants a uniform minimum wage across the state. So the legislature passed a bill to ban local minimum wages. After the UW study was released, the governor of Missouri announced that he would allow the bill to become law reversing St. Louis’s wage hike.

Between late 2015 and early 2017, five Iowa counties passed local minimum wage hikes. Once again, state legislators disapproved of the measures, and passed legislation to ban local governments from setting a minimum wage. The governor quickly signed the bill reversing the minimum wage hikes; but before he did, 10 city councils voted to opt out of their county’s minimum wage increases.

In 2014, the City of Louisville, Kentucky voted to hike the minimum wage; the next year, the City of Lexington, Kentucky followed suit. However, just last fall, the state Supreme Court ruled — nearly unanimously — that cities in Kentucky lack the authority to increase the minimum wage.

With all of these setbacks — and with new evidence that minimum wage hikes are hurting those that are supposed to be helped — maybe SEIU should stop spending so much time and money playing politics and focus its efforts on representing its members.

For the past several years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been dumping millions of dollars of its members’ money into efforts across the country to hike the minimum wage to $15. The membership of SEIU includes many lower-wage workers, such as janitors, security guards, home care workers, and graduate students. Last year alone, […]

In Decline

A Texas SEIU local that consists of janitors has seen its membership decline by over 30% over the past decade. “A decade ago, the union represented 5,300 janitors. But after dropping some buildings during its last round of contract negotiations, the union now represents about 3,500 workers.”

A Texas SEIU local that consists of janitors has seen its membership decline by over 30% over the past decade. “A decade ago, the union represented 5,300 janitors. But after dropping some buildings during its last round of contract negotiations, the union now represents about 3,500 workers.”

Hypocrites

SEIU has led and funded the Fight for $15 campaign demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union membership for all employees across the country. Of course, SEIU refuses to pay its Fight for $15 organizers $15 an hour or to allow them to join SEIU’s staff union, which is called the Union of Union Representatives. Some of these organizers say that they’re only being paid $9 an hour.

SEIU has led and funded the Fight for $15 campaign demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union membership for all employees across the country. Of course, SEIU refuses to pay its Fight for $15 organizers $15 an hour or to allow them to join SEIU’s staff union, which is called the Union of Union Representatives. […]

Incredible Hypocrisy

SEIU won’t allow Fight for $15 (and a Union) employees to join SEIU’s staff union, and SEIU may have violated the contract with its staff union.

A small group of organizers for Fight for $15 — the nationwide campaign advocating a fast-food workers’ union and a $15 minimum wage — are demanding the right to join the staff union of the Service Employees International Union, the labor group behind the $15 campaign.

In some cases, union employees may form a union of their own. That’s how the Union for Union Representatives, a group representing approximately 100 SEIU staff members nationwide, came about. Now the UUR is insisting that organizers with the Fight for $15 campaign should also be unionized — and that the SEIU has violated its own staff’s collective bargaining contract by not letting Fight for $15 workers join UUR.

Although the SEIU has sometimes described Fight for $15 as a semi-autonomous entity, distinct from the union itself, the UUR says workers affiliated with the campaign are effectively SEIU employees. As such, they should have representation of their own, said the UUR in a statement Monday…

It’s an awkward question for the SEIU and Fight for $15, which often accuse other companies of misclassifying workers in order to shirk their responsibility for fair pay and working conditions…

California Fight for $15 organizer Emiliana Sparaco told International Business Times she and her colleagues were “in the same position” as the fast-food workers they’re trying to organize: overworked, underpaid and precariously employed…

The SEIU did not return a request for comment…Though assigned to the Fight for $15 campaign, Sparaco told IBT she had been hired by the SEIU, and someone from the union was her direct supervisor.

“The only thing that keeps me from being an SEIU staffer myself is that my paycheck has another name on it,” she said.

SEIU won’t allow Fight for $15 (and a Union) employees to join SEIU’s staff union, and SEIU may have violated the contract with its staff union. A small group of organizers for Fight for $15 — the nationwide campaign advocating a fast-food workers’ union and a $15 minimum wage — are demanding the right to […]

SEIU Members Determined to Break Free

fresno beeSome California SEIU members are voting once again on decertification. Why must they vote again? Because SEIU used a technicality to overturn the result of the last decertification election, which the union lost by over 16 points. Of course, by overturning the election result, SEIU was able to continue collecting dues from unwilling union members. What was the technicality that SEIU seized upon to overturn the election? The union was unhappy because ballots were accidentally mailed four days early to union members. Although there has been an effort to decertify SEIU for several years, SEIU ridiculously claimed that the four days were “critical” to its campaign.

[Eulalio] Gomez and his supporters want to leave SEIU because they are concerned about the larger union’s efforts in social justice protests, many of which they contend oppose law enforcement officers or promoting minimum wage at large protests outside the area.

Gomez said members in other units within SEIU also are considering breaking away.

Some California SEIU members are voting once again on decertification. Why must they vote again? Because SEIU used a technicality to overturn the result of the last decertification election, which the union lost by over 16 points. Of course, by overturning the election result, SEIU was able to continue collecting dues from unwilling union members. […]

SEIU Doesn’t Care about Kids

fox 10SEIU busdrivers in Connecticut decided to go on strike leaving the families of thousands of students to scramble to try to find a transportation solution.

As a result of the strike, hundreds of students missed school and a pregnant mother had to walk her child to school over a long distance.

A dispute between the DATTCO Bus Company and its union drivers left thousands of Hartford school children without a ride to school on Tuesday.

Hartford police were on scene early Tuesday as several bus drivers on strike blocked school buses from leaving a bus yard on Main Street.

The protest left school children and parents stranded.

“[I’m] angry,” said Doriangelyd Sanchez, a mother. “They not thinking about the children, they thinking about themselves.”

While school was still on for the day, Hartford Public Schools officials said 2,100 students in grades kindergarten through eighth were absent. It’s an absenteeism rate of 15 percent.

That meant the attendance rate was 85 percent for Tuesday, which is lower than the 93 percent average.

Sanchez’s son, Daniel Fernandez, wasn’t able to take the bus Tuesday morning. She said she had take a long walk with him to school while pregnant.

Officials said one school, A.I. Prince High School, had to close for the day.

Parents and students told Eyewitness News that the stoppage upset them.

Dattco’s statement from Monday had some strong words about the work stoppage.

“They have placed their unions agenda ahead of the safety of the school children of the Hartford Public Schools,” the statement read. “We consider this to be a careless and selfish act and not in the best interest of our loyal and professional employees or the Hartford public schools.”

SEIU busdrivers in Connecticut decided to go on strike leaving the families of thousands of students to scramble to try to find a transportation solution. As a result of the strike, hundreds of students missed school and a pregnant mother had to walk her child to school over a long distance. A dispute between the DATTCO […]

Did SEIU Steal an Election?

kpqA Washington State resident alleges that about 1600 people voted illegally in the election to determine whether SeaTac would hike its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Who registered many of these people to vote? SEIU.

A man associated with a group which fought against the city of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage question’s the legitimacy of the public vote on the issue.

Wenatchee resident Jac Cates, who worked with Common Sense SeaTac, claims about 16-hundred people casting ballots in the election did so illegally.

He says, when canvassing voters, the organization found many were not citizens.

“A lot of them were registered through motor voter.  Also, many of them were registered through SEIU 775.  They were told by the person registering them because it was a local contest that they didn’t have to be citizens, which is false.  And it still is I believe.”

SEIU 775 said it had to register a heavily young, immigrant population to make the vote competitive…

SeaTac was the first municipality in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage in 2013.  It was quickly followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Orange County.  New York and California are phasing in $15 minimum wage  laws at the state level over several years

A Washington State resident alleges that about 1600 people voted illegally in the election to determine whether SeaTac would hike its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Who registered many of these people to vote? SEIU. A man associated with a group which fought against the city of SeaTac’s $15 minimum wage question’s the legitimacy […]