Wednesday, June 29, 2016

900 California Workers Vote to Leave SEIU, Join Independent Union

Last week, approximately 900 corrections officers in Fresno County (Calif.) voted to leave SEIU Local 521 and join an independent union, according to media reports.

The corrections officers, who’ve been members of Local 521 for many years, are employed at the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office and Probation Office. Here are the vote totals from last week’s vote:
Fresno County Public Safety Association:  315
SEIU Local 521:   234
No Union:   18

Local 521 represents approximately 31,000 public-sector workers in the central part of California.

Almost a year ago, the same group of corrections officers also voted to leave Local 521. However, the election results were subsequently tossed out after Local 521 filed legal challenges because election officials inadvertently sent the mail-in ballots to voters some four days early.

In a separate development, more than 300 members of Local 521 near San Jose are planning to decertify SEIU, according to the Morgan Hill Times. The effort involves 314 classified school employees at the Morgan Hill Unified School District.

The effort is being led by the chapter president for Local 521, who said she resigned her position at SEIU in order to lead the decertification effort. She and her co-workers want to join a different union or form an independent union among themselves.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

According to the Morgan Hill Times, the former chapter president announced the effort at a meeting of the school district’s board of trustees, where she said:
“We pay $130,000 per year in union dues to SEIU San Jose and feel we don’t get any representation in exchange. This has been coming for a while.”

In May of 2016, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry appointed Local 521’s Chief Elected Officer (CEO) Luisa Blue to Henry's leadership team in D.C. Blue will now serve as one of SEIU International’s seven Executive Vice Presidents, the highest elected position following SEIU's President and Secretary-Treasurer.

Makes perfect sense, right? After all, it looks like CEO Blue has been doing a bang-up job in California.