Friday, November 4, 2011

NUHW Members Approve New Constitution

Tasty hears that NUHW’s members just ratified a new constitution that’s like night-and-day compared to SEIU-UHW’s. 

Check out some of the differences:

Decision Making
  • At Dave Regan’s SEIU-UHW, the union’s main decision-making body is an “Executive Committee” where 30% of the positions are filled by SEIU staffers who’re hand-picked by Regan… people like Hal Ruddick, Rebecca Malberg, Joe Simoes, Cass Gualvez and Myriam Escamilla.
  • At NUHW, only rank-and-file members can sit on the union’s Executive Board. No staff. And members have the right to recall the union’s officers.
Union Salaries:    
  • At SEIU-UHW, there are no limits on the salaries of the union’s officers and staff. That’s why Regan was able to boost his pay to $300,000 and union staffer Steve Trossman is making $200,000 a year.
  • What about NUHW? Under the new constitution, staff people and officers (like the president) cannot earn more than the highest-paid rank-and-file member.
Members' Rights:  
  • NUHW’s constitution guarantees members the right to elect and recall stewards; the right to ratify contracts; the right to elect rank-and-file representatives to bargaining committees; the right to vote on whether to strike or not; the right to full and open accounting of Union finances; and the right to disagree with the leadership of the Union (Article 5).
  • SEIU-UHW’s constitution doesn’t guarantee any of these rights. Instead, Regan and Co. can remove shop stewards and bargaining committee members simply because they disagree with union officials or because they refuse to sign “loyalty oaths.” And SEIU’s DC officials have the ultimate right to bargain workers’ contracts for them.
Union Dues
  • NUHW’s dues are 25% lower than SEIU-UHW’s and the dues formula can only be changed by a vote of the membership.
  • At SEIU-UHW, dues can be increased without a vote of the membership.
You can check out a full version of NUHW’s new constitution on NUHW’s website.

So… how did NUHW’s constitutional vote end up? Tasty hears that voter turnout was more than twice as high as in SEIU-UHW’s officer elections. And 94% of the voters backed NUHW’s new constitution. Congrats to NUHW's members!