Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SEIU Feeling a Chill in the Sunshine State!

Tasty hears that SEIU's "membership problems" are growing. Apparently, SEIU 1991 RNs at HCA's Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL just filed for a decertification election. Northside is one of only 10 hospitals that SEIU Healthcare Florida represents in the entire state. Sources say that, after nurses filed for the decert election, the California Nurses Association approached the hospital's 250 RNs about joining the CNA. But RNs apparently said they they didn't want anything to do with CNA since it's in a partnership with SEIU. (Nurses: www.NUHW.org? just sayin'...)

Tasty also hears that last week, SEIU lost two representation elections for hundreds of workers employed by the Compass Group. One election was in Florida and the second was on April 16 at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Of course the Executive VP of the Healthcare division, Mary Kay Henry, is too busy to be bothered with addressing these FAILs because she's currently campaigning to be President of the entire union! True, compared to SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger, who wouldn't know an organizing chart if it bit her in the rear end ("what do the focus groups think?"), Henry is a regular Walter Reuther. But is Mary Kay Henry *really* the best candidate SEIU's opposition could come up with? What are the big organizing victories she can hang her hat on? The Advocate Health Care campaign in Chicago? Oops, that never happened. A national Catholic hospitals agreement? Yep, any day now... (Actually, Fred Ross informed us that SEIU was on the verge of a breakthrough at St. Josephs Health System--but dropped it because they didn't want the pre-Zombie UHW to get the credit!)

The fact is SEIU today is far from an organizing powerhouse, and has completely failed to live up to its potential, much less to Andy Stern's grand rhetoric. Tasty thinks this leadership vacuum may be the most compelling indictment of the union Stern has is leaving behind. Thanks Andy. Have fun at the beach.