Why We Are Running For Local 73 Office
Trial UPDATE! 07/16/18
The fight for elections within SEIU Local 73 continues. As many of you may know, the Trusteeship should have ended February 3, 2018. At that time, control of the Local should have been given back to the membership through democratically elected officers. Instead, the International has held control of the Local in direct violation of the law.
Fearing that this will be another never-ending SEIU trusteeship played out throughout the country for many years, several long standing members of Local 73 filed a lawsuit in federal court on February 8th, 2018 , asking for elections to be held as soon as possible. Five months later and several court hearings, the highly paid International Attorney's flown in from Washington DC tried every trick in the book to delay elections and pass bylaws that kills union democracy. In July, members finally got their day in court. After 3 weeks of trial and written closing arguments (located here) submitted Saturday July 14th, Judge Pallmeyer will now be deciding the case by end of July!
At issue before Judge Pallmeyer are 2 items:
1. When will elections be held,
2. Which bylaws will be used to hold elections.
The international trustees have extensive experience in suppressing member democracy and the will of local members throughout the Country. They are masters at stifling dissent and flying in cronies from out of state to control the local without holding contested elections.
Local 73 is no different. In fact, there has been only one contested election in Illinois in the past 30 years. Local 73 trustees did this by first terminating any staff that show interest in running for office and advocating on behalf of the members. Then they changed the bylaws so that Local 73 staff, who are made up of mostly rank and file members, can NOT run for office. However, the new bylaws allow out of town trustees handpicked by the International to run for office! These changes are perfect evidence of this ugly trend to hold power at any cost.
The International Union, acting through the Trustees have given out-of-state 'yes men' six figure salaries and a platform so that they can be the next candidate to run in a uncontested election. All of this this is paid for by your dues.
Is this what democracy looks like?
Members Leading Members slate strongly believes that post Janus, the SEIU international should promote more Union democracy, not less. They should promote more members to run for their Local office and not change bylaws to ban staff who are members from running for office. We believe that if members have ownership of their local they are less likely to withdraw from paying dues and thus will have a stronger Union.
Members Leading Members slate is a progressive slate made up of rank and file members just like you who went one step further and decided to work for the Union. We believed in our union and will fight for our members rights, even if it means to lose our jobs!
We strongly encourage all members of Local 73 to get more involved in their Union and sign up for full membership in order strengthen your union and vote in your next election.
We will fight for our Local.
We will win.
Keep reading to learn the facts.
FACT: As of February 3, 2018 the trusteeship is presumed invalid under the law.
However, the trustees are not returning the union to self-governance. Instead, they are telling the members that they need more time to fix things. It’s time to hold elections.
FACT: The Members Leading Members Slate was launched the first week of January 2018. A petition was circulated and signed by thousands of members not to extend the trusteeship or merge our Union. On March 5, 2018 union members hand delivered the petitions to International President Mary Kay Henry and demanded elections now.
Watch video of Mary Kay Henry receiving petition from Local 73 members and dismissing their representational concerns!
FACT: Three days after Members Leading Members was launched, Trustees terminated seven of the Local 73 employees running for office. This mismanagement has had a negative impact on members by depriving them of the staff needed to negotiate contracts and provide representation.
These members have a right under the law to run for Union Office without retaliation. Is this how employees should be treated by their employer? Unfair and unjust discipline is what Stewards fight against every day at their job. We believe in fair treatment for all workers and that includes our Local 73 staff. We need leaders who are unafraid of a challenge. Instead we have Trustees who are fearful, reactive and fire anyone they see as competition.
It is believed that Medina was sent here to correct the missteps taken by Denise Poloyac, but Medina is pushing the same failed International agenda. Hide. Shrink. Deny. Hide from challenges, shrink the union, deny members an election they deserve in order to hold onto dwindling power. This is a failed strategy for our Local and a failed strategy unions.
Don’t be fooled – Medina is trying avoid elections. Elections are in the best interest of our Union. Our members’ voices deserve be heard. Demand an election be held immediately.