Heather Conroy, an International Executive VP for the Public Sector Division of SEIU informed Local 888 President Brenda Rodrigues that the International Union has proposed dissolving Local 888 and holding a jurisdictional hearing to merge all of our bargaining units into the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) and SEIU Local 509.
The IU based it’s decision on an assessment of Local 888’s Janus readiness. It made some projections based on our income and expenses that the local would not be viable in 2020.
The Local 888 Executive Board held an emergency meeting on July 10 about the IU proposal and unanimously rejected the proposal. The board is committed to the rights of our members and continuing to lead our union in challenging times. Click here to see a statement of unity by the Executive Board: SEIU Local 888 Executive Board is united behind our officers.
The board passed a resolution affirming that only SEIU Local 888 members have the right to determine the future of their union.
With the full board’s support, Brenda and Secretary-Treasurer Tom McKeever have sent an appeal to reverse the decision to VP Conroy and to President Mary Kay Henry. No response to the appeal has been received as of July 18.
The Board’s resolution is copied below and can also be downloaded by clicking here: SEIU Local 888 members have the right to determine the future of their union.
Local 888’s officers and staff will make every effort to keep members informed.
SEIU Local 888 members have the right to determine the future of their union
SEIU Local 888’s officers were recently informed that the International Union (IU) is threatening to initiate a jurisdictional hearing to disband our local and merge our bargaining units into two other SEIU public service unions: the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) and SEIU Local 509.
Whereas: This decision is premature, not based on any post-Janus membership data, and totally undemocratic; and
Whereas: This decision will alienate our members at the exact moment when — because of the Janus decision — we need to be in better harmony with them; and
Whereas: The membership alienation caused by this top down, undemocratic decision risks losing more members while not solving the very real problems our union must tackle; and
Whereas: This decision will be used by our enemies to illustrate how SEIU is not an organization of, by and for the members, but instead is behaving just like any other corporation.
Now therefore be it resolved that: SEIU Local 888’s Executive Board and officers are united in opposition to dissolving Local 888 and instead wish to provide a constructive alternative by pursuing a strategic partnership with SEIU Local 509 to:
- Bring 25,000 SEIU members together in a Massachusetts collaboration resulting in new synergies and administrative cost savings. This collaboration will strengthen our members –white, black and brown – to fight for the good, union jobs our communities need.
- Through collaboration, explore opportunities for improved member representation, more aggressive organizing and a stronger political action program necessitated by an open shop (post-Janus decision) environment.
- Appoint leaders from each local to a joint Local 509-888 committee to oversee these objectives and establish benchmarks that — if necessary — could lead to a merger plan to be decided on democratically by the memberships of both unions.
And be it further resolved that: Should the IU insist on proceeding with a jurisdictional hearing, Local 888 leaders will take all necessary steps to persuade the IU to reverse its decision.
Adopted by the SEIU Local 888 Executive Board, July 10, 2018