Members Leading Members Newsletter Volume 3

Members Leading Members Newsletter Volume 3

SEIU kills Union democracy!

A photo taken from a February 2018 membership meeting.  Pictured standing is Sharon Hudak holding trustees accountable, asking them tough questions.

A photo taken from a February 2018 membership meeting.

Pictured standing is Sharon Hudak holding trustees accountable, asking them tough questions.

SEIU Local 73 leadership changed the by-laws so that its members will never be able to hold them accountable again in a membership meeting.

There were many changes in the new constitution and bylaws, such as banning Local 73 staff from running for office, but the most damaging change came when the trustees eliminated all four annual membership meetings required by the old constitution. This act alone will completely take the members’ rights away when it comes to holding their leaders accountable and charting the direction of their local. Dian Palmer, from the very first day she came in from Wisconsin as a trustee, hated the membership meetings and the fact that the members were asking questions.

In the last membership meeting, February 23rd, 2019, Dian Palmer was asked multiple times by members why they are eliminating the membership meetings, only to answer with,

“I will get back to you at the next meeting with an answer.”

Let’s hold Diane Palmer responsible and demand an answer at the next membership meeting, April 27th, 2019!

Almost every question was suppressed with the same dismissive response, as if Dian Palmer did not know why she changed the by-laws regarding membership meetings. She knows why she changed the by-laws; she was ordered by her boss, Mary Kay Henry, to do so. Mary Kay Henry personally brought Dian Palmer to Chicago from Wisconsin and gave her the opportunity, staff, and means to run Local 73, expecting full loyalty only to herself, and not to the members. So, when the boss calls and wants you to eliminate Democracy for the members to make life easier for her, you must obey. As a result, the members lost their membership meetings forever as well as their voices.

Here are some other benefits of the membership meetings that will be gone forever:

  • Members can no longer vote on their quarterly union budget/financial accountability.

  • Members can no longer vote on dues increases.

  • Members can no longer vote on any mergers with other unions.

  • Members can no longer vote on bylaw changes.

  • Members can no longer question their union leaders and call a motion to conduct business charting the direction of their own union.

  • Members can no longer come to membership meetings and exchange information with other members in order to educate themselves on what is going on in their union.

Losing all of these rights is losing your voice as a member to participate in the direction of your union. All of these rights are now deferred to the executive board only. Due to membership demands, and the fact that the members have not attended a membership meeting in over a year, Dian Palmer decided to hold a membership meeting April 27, 2019, at 10AM. Let’s show up and tell her exactly how you feel about your loss of democratic rights to govern your local!
I urge all the members of Local 73 to participate and let Dian Palmer know that she has taken away their voices by eliminating the membership meetings. Let the current leadership of Local 73, who don’t want to be held accountable by the members, know that you will vote them out the very next chance you get!

On Saturday, April 27th, 2019, show up for the last SEIU Local 73 Membership Meeting at:

10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. 
300 S. Ashland Ave. Basement 
Chicago, IL  60607

Local 73 members file charges against Dian Palmer for violating bylaws

Dian Palmer wasted no time after the election, giving herself a salary of $166,000 per year. In her haste, she forgot to read her own bylaw changes and their requirements. Although Palmer can increase her staff salaries, which she did, her own salary is set and approved by the executive board. A closed-session hearing was held on this issue at the Local 73 Executive Board meeting on April 13th.

Results of that hearing have not yet been released publicly to the members, including those individuals that filed the charges. There is no doubt that this was another sham hearing and they most likely exonerated Dian Palmer of all wrongdoing, because that is the agenda of SEIU officials. They never hold their leaders responsible. Either way, the members need a written response of the results of this internal hearing released immediately.

Joe Iosbaker, UIC Member.

Joe Iosbaker, UIC Member.

Members’ Dues Wasted!

Joe Iosbaker, a self-proclaimed revolutionist and a member of Local 73, has accepted a $7,500 donation from Dian Palmer for an organization called “CAARPR“, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. This would normally not mean anything other than a waste of money that our members worked so hard for. However, Joe has gone out of his way to support Dian Palmer and the International Union, and has even lobbied members to vote for them in the last election!

Joe Iosbaker was also in the committee for the Future, which took away all members’ rights, including membership meetings and the right for Local 73 Union staff to run for elected office.

Later, in October 2019, Joe Iosbaker was conveniently appointed as the election chair overseeing the first ever Local 73 elections, making sure Dian Palmer got elected.

This is the same Joe Iosbaker that praised Sal Rosselli in California for standing up to the International Union, a decade ago. Joe obviously has changed his mind since then and sold out his members in return for money from SEIU Local 73. He knows full well that the International Union and the current SEIU Local 73 leadership do not have the best interest of the members in mind, but will ignore everything around him for a measly donation for his organizations. Joe has proven he is willing to compromise his beliefs in exchange for money. No member of Local 73 should trust anything that Joe has to say, because he has been bought and sold by the International Union and Local 73 officials.

Legal Update

As we reported in our previous issues, the International Union was supposed to investigate the election appeal within 90 days of filing. Members of Local 73 have filed a charge with the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor has now conducted a thorough investigation and the case has gone to Washington, D.C. for disposition.

The Director of the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. will issue a final decision on the election violations by May 31st, 2019. Should the Director find any violations of labor law or constitutional bylaws, he has the power to order a new election to be held within 60 days of its finding. We are confident that the Department of Labor will overturn this election and order a new, fair election conducted by them, and give the members true democracy and voting rights.

Judge Pallmeyer issues a decision on the bylaw changes

As many of you have heard, in June 2018, the out-of-town trustees systematically changed the Local 73 bylaws in order to gain an advantage in the election by removing the right of all Local 73 staff, representatives, and organizers to run for office.

Judge Pallmeyer issued a decision in which she defers the bylaw question to the Department of Labor, stating that she has no jurisdiction over internal bylaw changes and that the original motion that was filed by the members of Local 73 was to hold elections and that goal has been accomplished.

Political Endorsements: Even MORE Members’ money wasted!

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County President.

Toni Preckwinkle,
Cook County President.

SEIU Local 73 leadership gave Toni Preckwinkle over $2,500,000 to run for Chicago mayor.

As many of you know, Chicago rejected Toni Preckwinkle and overwhelmingly accepted Lori Lightfoot as the next mayor. Once again proving that top-down management at SEIU Local 73, when it comes to political candidates, is just as inefficient as their management style when it comes to running the Local.

SEIU Local 73 leadership did not consult the membership when picking their candidate for mayor, and wasted millions of dollars on a candidate the whole city knew had no chance of getting elected.

This is systemic of the current leadership at SEIU top-down management, without any actual member involvement, and as a result, wasting millions of members’ dues money in a political arena.