Who’d Want These People Running Their Union?

Dirty tactics 0

las vegas review-journalIn Nevada, an SEIU local president quit abruptly citing “an unhealthy and often toxic work environment.” The general counsel also resigned. These two resignations are just the latest in a string of resignations and terminations at the union.

Two top staff members — including the president — at Clark County’s largest union resigned effective Friday.

Martin Bassick, who was elected president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1107 in July 2013, on Friday sent a letter to all SEIU members informing them of his sudden resignation. Kathy Collins, who was recently hired as general counsel for the SEIU, also resigned effective Friday after only months on the job…

“My reason for resigning is due to an unhealthy and often toxic work environment,” Bassick wrote in his letter. “Our members are facing real issues… yet our organization often focuses on personal agendas instead of what is important to our members.”

All of the original director-level senior staff resigned under Bassick’s tenure and at least five union staff members were terminated in the last four months, according to a former union employee…

Bassick said that there are some internal structural and cultural issues that need to be worked out with the union, but declined to be more specific. He later said that the union has very passionate people, but when there’s heated debates, people need to talk issues through and not yell at each other and point fingers.

In his letter, Bassick said he’s spent the last two years trying to turn the organization around to no avail. Deficiencies within the local union’s constitution and bylaws have also resulted in an inability to self govern, he said.

“Somehow the SEIU Local 1107 has lost sight of working for our members’ common good and let internal politics take center stage,” he wrote. “Playing politics with our Union is not OK…”