Court Ruling Could Cost SEIU

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Mark Janus is a public employee in Illinois, who is suing the union for compelling him to pay “agency fees” to AFSCME in spite of the fact that he is not a member and does not support the organization.

Just last year, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court split 4-4 in the Friedrichs case, which was very similar to the Janus case. Scalia’s replacement, Justice Neil Gorsuch, is widely expected to side with the justices who opposed forcing public employees to pay fees to unions to keep their jobs. If the Court does rule that way, the effect would be similar to passing a National Right to Work Act for the public sector.

If the predictions about the Court’s ruling are correct, SEIU is likely to lose both members and revenue. After all,  over half of SEIU’s members are public employees, according to the union’s website. The main question is how much will SEIU lose, but unions are expecting a sizeable effect. “Unions that operate in both ‘right to work’ and ‘fair share’ states say the shift could drive down membership by 15 percent to 30 percent.”

The experience of states that have passed Right to Work legislation (that applied to public sector employees) over the past few decades might provide some clues as to what the impact of Janus could be. In 1985, Idaho passed Right to Work legislation. Five years later, public employee union membership in Idaho had fallen 1.5 percentage points (from 19.8% to 18.3%). In 2001, Oklahoma enacted a Right to Work law. Public employee union membership over the next five years declined 1.5 percentage points in that state also (from 20.2% to 18.7%). In 2012, Michigan passed Right to Work legislation. The changes in Michigan were significantly larger, perhaps due to the fact that the public employee union membership rate was much higher than the rates had been in Idaho and Oklahoma. Over the next four years (The 2017 union membership numbers are not yet available.), public union membership dropped 8 percentage points (from 54.3% to 46.3%) in that state.

As a result of the Janus decision, SEIU’s political allies are likely to lose as well. For example, a recent study of neighboring counties found that Right to Work laws have a significant impact on election results and campaign finance.

“Comparing counties on either side of a state and right-to-work border to causally identify the eff ects of the state laws, we find right-to-work laws reduce Democratic presidential vote shares by 4-6 percentage points. We fi nd similar e ffects in US Senate, US House, and gubernatorial races, as well as state legislative control… right-to-work laws dampen labor campaign contributions to Democrats… In states with RTW laws, the total share of campaign contributions owing from unions falls by about 1.25 percentage points following the passage of RTW laws. The share of overall contributions collected by Democratic candidates also falls signifi cantly following the enactment of RTW laws. Democrats thus appear unable to replace union funding from other sources and they raise and spend less money after RTW laws pass.”

In addition, both union members and union bosses are likely to see financial changes as a result of the Court’s ruling.  According to the Heritage Foundation, “Union financial reports reveal that they charge workers roughly 10 percent higher dues and pay their full-time top officers $20,000 more annually in states with compulsory dues.” So without compulsory dues, public employee union members might well see smaller amounts of dues being deducted from their checks, and highly-compensated union bosses might well see slightly smaller paychecks.

More than likely, big changes are in store for SEIU starting next year. Perhaps the Court’s ruling will finally force SEIU to take the political views of its members more seriously and not simply pursue whatever agenda SEIU’s bosses favor. And, perhaps, after years of ignoring and  repeatedly disrespecting its members, SEIU will feel compelled to be more responsive to them.

 

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Mark Janus is a public employee in Illinois, who is suing the union for compelling him to pay “agency fees” to AFSCME in spite of the fact that he is not a member and […]

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 […]

Spreading (Other People’s) Wealth Around

A California county underpaid some SEIU members for several years of overtime work. SEIU and the county worked out a deal under which the county would pay $2900 to all union members rather than the amount owed to individual union members – some of whom are owed  over $100,000. Rather than accept the measly $2900, dozens of SEIU members who were underpaid are suing the county – and their union – to stop the outrageous deal.

Dozens of Santa Clara County social workers filed labor complaints Friday against the county and their union claiming a proposed overtime dispute settlement shortchanges them by tens of thousands of dollars.

SEIU Local 521, which represents the county’s social workers, filed a grievance with the county in 2011, and told its members to keep working overtime shifts while the matter was resolved. The union and county agreed last November to settle for $3.2 million. But the money was to be divided equally among all the 1,1000 members of the social workers unit, each of whom would receive about $2,900.

Christopher Banys, a Palo Alto lawyer representing the 55 workers in the state labor complaints, said the legal action aims to recover what’s owed each individual, some whose paychecks came out to be short more than $100,000 over the years.

“Our goal is to get our clients paid what they are owed and nothing more,” Banys said. “If someone worked $100,000 they ought to be paid that $100,000 and that’s what we going after.”

SEIU representatives did not return calls seeking comment…

Banys said they tried to work with the union to get workers their due pay but met with resistance and opted to take legal action before funds are dispersed en masse to membership.

“The union’s current position makes no sense to anyone I’ve ever told about it,” he said. “The only sense I can make of it is they are trying to spread the money around to all members, and I’m not even sure they all want that — many don’t want to take it away from their brothers and sisters who have earned it.”

A California county underpaid some SEIU members for several years of overtime work. SEIU and the county worked out a deal under which the county would pay $2900 to all union members rather than the amount owed to individual union members – some of whom are owed  over $100,000. Rather than accept the measly $2900, […]

Trying to Kill Jobs

Obsessed with supposed global warming, SEIU is supporting radical environmental legislation which would kill jobs and make electricity more costly and less reliable.

SEIU 32BJ, 1199 and the CWA are joining a labor-environmental coalition urging New York state lawmakers to pass the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act.

The coalition will be rallying in Albany Wednesday in support of the climate bill, which it describes as the strongest climate protection bill in the U.S.

Declaring that global warming is a working people’s issue, the coalition says this legislation “guarantees 100 percent clean, renewable energy, good jobs and justice for communities hardest hit” by climate change. The coalition says the climate bill would “create legally-enforceable emissions standards, invest in green infrastructure and good green jobs and set New York on the path towards 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.”

Obsessed with supposed global warming, SEIU is supporting radical environmental legislation which would kill jobs and make electricity more costly and less reliable. SEIU 32BJ, 1199 and the CWA are joining a labor-environmental coalition urging New York state lawmakers to pass the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act. The coalition will be rallying […]

Shady

SEIU filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to enforce an agreement that was not finalized.

In a complaint filed with the NLRB, the union claimed it reached an agreement with Prime in November 2014 on all of the substantive and material terms of a collective bargaining agreement for 1,100 employees at Encino (Calif.) Hospital Medical Center, Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., and Garden Grove (Calif.) Hospital Medical Center. After terms of the deal were set, Prime failed to execute the collective bargaining agreement, according to SEIU-UHW.

Prime disputed the union’s claims and argued the parties never agreed on the material terms of the collective bargaining agreement and execution of an agreement was contingent on certain factors that were not met…

The hospital network maintains that the parties never reached an agreement. “In fact, the evidence before the administrative law judge included an e-mail from the union’s chief negotiator stating that the parties had never finalized the agreement,” said Ms. [Elizabeth] Nikels [spokeswoman for Prime].

SEIU filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board to enforce an agreement that was not finalized. In a complaint filed with the NLRB, the union claimed it reached an agreement with Prime in November 2014 on all of the substantive and material terms of a collective bargaining agreement for 1,100 employees at Encino […]