Letters to the Editor

My union, SEIU Local 1000, sends $15 million a year to SEIU headquarters and gets just $5 million back. That’s why I opposed the dues increase.
SEIU membership does nothing for us. And despite the fact that the membership is at least 80 percent against the dues increase, it passed. Too bad your story did not include significant facts.

Shneor Sherman

The latest dues increase was passed by the General Council by a 270 to 125 vote. The problem this presents to the membership is that the current leadership of SEIU Local 1000 has now established unrestricted access to union members’ paychecks. Using the dubious reasoning for the current dues hike, they could justify any kind of an increase. And with this complicit General Council, they could pass it.

I suppose we should be thankful that they didn’t go for more. But it’s a safe bet that at some point they will. Think about it: Who among us sees a roll of $20 bills on the ground and just takes one or two and leaves the rest out of a sense of restraint? State-employee paychecks are now an ATM that SEIU can readily access any time they have a hankering for some extra cash. That was the plan all along. The increase was not about building a better union, and it won’t. We’ll end up with what we’ve always had. We’ll just be paying more for it. The increase was really about allowing the $15to $16 million a year we ‘export’ to continue in the absence of various ‘rebates.’ SEIU has managed to complete a task that they’ve been struggling with since 2000, when they wanted our dues at 1.5 percent by 2005. They are just a year behind schedule.

Reliable sources tell us that the SEIU leadership has a plan to conduct delegate elections as slates rather than as individuals, allowing the leadership to exclude any opposing delegates in much the same way they prevented Kathleen Collins from holding the office she was elected to in 2005. Then, with the General Council purged of any opposition, they will change the election of officers from a ballot vote by members to a vote by the General Council delegates. It’s a scheme that would result in a closed, self-sustaining system of rule and cut off any real democratic control of the union by the rank and file members.

We now see the real reason the Union leadership pushed to change the Union officers to a three-year election cycle while the General Council delegates remain on a two-year cycle. They desperately needed to have a new group of sanitized delegates in place before the Union officers had to face another election by, and a reckoning with the voting membership. Welcome to a 21st century Union

Alexander M. Hommes

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