"As you may know by now, UUR members at our recent convention in Washington DC voted to NOT extend our contract after the April 1st expiration date. The reasons behind this are many but one in particular was what is known in our contract as Appendix D.
Appendix D has plagued our contract for 20 years and is a stipulation or waiver of rights that we (UUR) can not "get involved in the politics or internal affairs of another SEIU local" or "UUR will not engage in activity to organize or assist in organizing, etc... of a local SEIU union" Essentially for 20 years, we have not been able to organize SEIU locals into UUR. UUR has also waived rights such as strikes, work slowdowns, etc... Being that these are waived rights and the collective bargaining agreement in which these rights were waived has expired, Appendix D no longer applies. All of which the UUR attorneys confirmed was correct.
As you know, Sarah Solis (UUR Chief Steward) was recently suspended indefinitely with out pay for talking to SEIU members about the layoffs of UUR staff being carried out in members names. This is something that has been reported in multiple newspapers and blogs for the last few months, and which SEIU spokesperson Michelle Ringuette, as well as Andy Stern, has confirmed in many of the aforementioned articles. Something all UUR staff have been doing for several weeks now. Appendix D was cited and they claimed "she was getting involved in the internal affairs or politics of a local". This was done right before the April 1 contract expiration, and she was disciplined on the expiration date of the contract.
Today, JJ Johnston, a senior SEIU official, emailed everyone in UUR with the following message...
I am writing to clarify and emphasize the obligation of all UUR-represented SEIU staff to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of local unions. Copies of Article XXX and Appendix D of the collective bargaining agreement are attached for your information.
For more than 20 years, SEIU has had a policy prohibiting our staff from interference in the internal affairs of our local unions. This policy is fundamental and critical to our relationship with our local unions. Our local union leaders must have full confidence that our staff, when assigned to assist a local, will perform their duties without becoming embroiled in the internal affairs of the local. This policy is expressly incorporated into the collective bargaining agreement between SEIU and UUR, and appears in Article XXX and Appendix D.
Apparently, some staff have been advised by UUR that, due to the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement with UUR, Appendix D has also expired. That is simply incorrect. Appendix D remains in full force and effect and all UUR-represented staff are required to strictly adhere to it.
Violations of the policy will subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
Clearly JJ Johnston thinks that he along with other SEIU management can scare us and attempt to divide us. Not true Mr. Johnston. Today we filed yet another Unfair Labor Practice against SEIU citing...
"On or about April 3, 2009, the above-named employer, by its officers, agents, and supervisors, interfered with, restrained, and coerced its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed to the by Section 7 of the Act by threatening all employees with discharge and other unspecified reprisals if they engaged in organizational activities and/or other activities protected by Section 7 of the Act, and for their membership in and/or activities on behalf of the Union of Union representatives and or protected concerted activity."
How much longer will SEIU continue to act like the corporate bosses they claim to empower workers against?"