Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Head of SEIU 1199 in Massachusetts Is Suspended over “inappropriate conduct”

Tyrék D. Lee Sr., the top official at SEIU Local 1199 in Massachusetts, has been suspended over “inappropriate conduct,” according to the Boston Globe.

The newspaper cites unnamed “people familiar with the situation” who say Lee was suspended over “accusations of sexual harassment.” The local represents approximately 56,000 healthcare workers in Massachusetts. (Priyanka Dayal McCluskey, “Head of health care union suspended over allegations of inappropriate behavior,” Boston Globe, December 12, 2017)

Lee holds the title of “Executive Vice President” at SEIU Local 1199, where last year he earned $128,902, according to records from the US Department of Labor.
Union officials did not detail allegations against Lee, said the Globe. Here’s what SEIU Local 1199 said in a statement to the press:

“1199SEIU strongly condemns all forms of inappropriate conduct and will not tolerate such behavior by any employee of our union. Upon being made aware of these allegations 1199SEIU has taken the action of suspending Executive Vice President Tyrék Lee while a formal investigation is conducted.”

The Globe notes that “Lee took the top job at 1199SEIU in January 2016, when he was 38.”

In November, SEIU appointed SEIU Executive Vice President Leslie Frane to lead an internal investigation due to the multiple SEIU officials accused of sexual harassment and/or misconduct, including the suspension and subsequent resignation of SEIU Executive Vice President Scott Courtney.

SEIU also announced the formation of an external advisory group including Cecilia Muñoz, former White House Domestic Policy Council director; Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center; and employment attorney Debra Katz, founding partner of law firm Katz Marshall & Banks.

It’s possible Lee’s suspension was connected to the investigation by Frane’s team.

If so, this may create some nervousness over at SEIU-UHW, where staffers and members at SEIU-UHW describe a culture of bullying and sexual misconduct, including alleged affairs by the union’s president, Dave Regan. In mid-November, Marcus Hatcher, one of the union’s top officials, was fired for allegedly having simultaneous affairs with three female members of the union’s Executive Board.

Will Frane’s crew soon be knocking on Regan’s door?

Stay tuned.