Friday, May 26, 2017

San Diego Workers Vote to Decertify SEIU

Last week, 386 municipal workers in the City of Chula Vista (the 2nd largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area) voted by more than a two-to-one margin to leave SEIU Local 221 and instead join an independent union.

The final tally on the vote, which was conducted by California’s Public Employment Relations Board, was:
Association of Chula Vista Employees (ACE):  163
SEIU Local 221:  81
No Union:  4

Why did workers vote to decertify SEIU?

An article in a local newspaper (The Star News, “Muni union members consider a break,” April 1, 2017) offers some insight:
Esteban Barajas, a Chula Vista public works employee and a full dues paying member with SEIU, said he wants to see his union break away from SEIU because he said they do not properly represent Chula Vista Employees when they are needed, and are only around every three years during contract negotiations and he said SEIU does not give CVEA a fair share of money.  He said SEIU receives about $250,000 annually as part of CVEA’s union dues.
“We’re supposed to be on the top of the food chain so why are they getting $250,000 and we are over here living off of top ramen soups?”

Workers at the City of Chula Vista are just the latest group to decertify SEIU Local 221. In recent years, at least eight other bargaining units have bolted Loco 221 including…

1) San Diego Community College District
2) City of San Marcos
3) City of La Mesa
4) San Diego County’s Probation Officers Unit
5) San Diego County’s Crafts Unit