Friday, September 29, 2017

Press: 1,100 members planning to quit SEIU local union in California

One-fifth of the members of SEIU Local 221 are attempting to decertify the San Diego-based union, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (“More than 1,000 members planning to quit county's largest union,” September 1, 2017).

Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Three groups with at least 1,100 employees among them are attempting to decertify from Service Employees International 221, a formal process of leaving the union.
They initiated the move after becoming frustrated with how SEIU has managed ongoing negotiations with the county, while their colleagues in other unions have managed to ink new agreements with raises.
“It’s been a farce from the get-go,” Bob Grable, a former member of SEIU’s bargaining team who sat through negotiations for three earlier contracts. He’s trying to leave that union and form a new group for some of the county’s employees.
“We started negotiations with nothing, no proposals, no negotiation, nothing. This ship sunk at the dock at day-one” said Grable, a vehicle fleet support specialist.

According to the Union-Tribune, three separate groups of San Diego County employees are attempting to leave SEIU Local 221 so they can join other unions: (1) 1,000 urban planners, psychiatrists and epidemiologists; (2) 116 dispatchers in the Sheriff’s Department; and (2) an unknown number of paralegals who work for the district attorney, public defender and the Office of Child Support.

In total, SEIU Local 221 has roughly 5,600 dues-paying members.

Soon after the news hit the press, leaders of SEIU Local 221 rushed to finish contract negotiations with San Diego County officials in order to close the window on workers’ decertification efforts.

The three groups of workers are just the latest among a long list who’ve bolted SEIU Local 221. For example, in May, nearly 400 employees of the City of Chula Vista voted to leave Local 221 and form an independent union after citing frustrations with the quality of SEIU’s support of its members.

In June of 2016, a group of 479 school employees voted to decertify SEIU Local 221 and join an independent union called the Poway School Employees Association (PSEA).

Altogether, in recent years more than eight other bargaining units have decertified the union.