Thursday, April 13, 2017

SEIU Nevada Performs Circus Act as Employers Feast at Banquet Table

In Nevada, SEIU’s f*ck-ups continue unabated, according to press reports and a recently released letter authored by one faction inside the 9,000-member local union. 

Meanwhile, some of the state’s largest employers are taking full advantage of SEIU’s dysfunction to deny workers pay increases and strip them of union representation.

Tasty earlier reported on the circus-like show gripping SEIU Nevada (also known as SEIU Local 1107), including dueling “internal charges” filed by the union’s President and Executive Vice President alleging violations of SEIU’s constitution and bylaws.

Last August, police were called to the union’s offices when the union’s Executive Vice President (Sharon Kisling) allegedly chased and threatened one of the union’s staff directors in what he called “a two-and-a-half-hour reign of terror at our office.”

In October, SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) held two days of hearings at the Circus Circus Casino to investigate the purple sh*t show. According to an April 12 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the IEB has not issued any results from its hearing. (Michael Scott Davidson, “Impasse Latest Sign of Trouble for Clark County’s Largest Employee Union,” April 12, 2017).

So here’s the latest.

On March 31, 2017, eight officers of SEIU Nevada’s unit of 5,000 workers employed by Clark County sent a letter to SEIU President Mary Kay Henry “expressing our concern for our local and especially our members.” The letter concludes with this appeal:
This local is broken and needs you. Please, please, please do the right thing and hold President Mancini and this local responsible for taking care of our membership which is where the focus should always be.

The letter focuses on problems SEIU Nevada is facing in its contract negotiations with Clark County, which reportedly employs a majority of the local union’s members. Last week, negotiations reached impasse.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “If a deal is not struck by July 1, when the current contract expires, the county says it will halt scheduled wage and benefit increases for unionized employees until a new contract is agreed upon.”

Here’s an excerpt from the eight officers’ letter to Henry (full copy is below):
We feel the necessity to let you know that we do not believe that we will have a contract in place by July and we are very, very concerned that we are not being heard and this is even more obvious by President Mancini's actions. With only one (1) organizer working for the County membership, he is being setup for failure. One individual cannot reach 4,000+ members that reside in a County of over 8,000 square miles.
The leadership within the Clark County unit are informing you that we cannot continue in the same direction we are today. The negativity, in-fighting, retaliation, blatant disregard for fellow officers, etc. has got to stop. We have waited patiently since November 1, 2016 for the results of the hearings held on October 30 and 31, 2016 and we can't wait any longer. We need to know the results so they are not being held over our heads. There is no reason that we should feel that you, the SEIU International Officers, are ignoring our continued pleas for help.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
Everyday that we draw closer to July 1, 2017, the closer we are to having a membership that is no longer willing to believe in SEIU. They will give themselves a raise by dropping the union that is no longer fulfilling their needs. We are barely over the 50% membership and we are willing to bet that if we drop below that mark, Clark County Management will be convinced to follow in the footsteps of the hospitals being represented by the same union that are currently under the microscope to prove their membership numbers to keep the status of the members union.

Last month, two Las Vegas hospitals unilaterally withdrew recognition of SEIU Nevada after alleging that a majority of the hospitals’ 1,000 Registered Nurses signed cards indicating they no longer wished to be represented by SEIU, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Michael Scott Davidson, “Second Las Vegas Hospital Severs Ties with Union,” March 13, 2017).

The two hospitals -- Desert Springs Hospital and Valley Hospital Medical Center -- are operated by Universal Health Services, Inc., a multi-billion dollar for-profit company headquartered in Pennsylvania.

The effort to remove SEIU was aided by the right-wing National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. SEIU has filed charges against the hospitals. According to the Review-Journal, SEIU's labor contracts for registered nurses at both hospitals expired in May of 2016 and successor contracts have not been negotiated since then.