Emergency Trusteeship Will Safeguard Members’ Interests, Restore Stability After Crisis That Disrupted Operation of the Local
CHICAGO—A crisis of governance and collapse of leadership at SEIU Local 73 resulted in an emergency trusteeship by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today to protect the interests of its members, ensure the performance of the Local’s collective bargaining responsibilities, and restore democratic procedures at the Local.
Immediate action was required because incessant infighting between Local 73’s top elected officers, President Christine Boardman and Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Brandon, reached a boiling point and seriously disrupted the operations and functioning of the Local, putting members’ interests at risk.
Under the provisions of the SEIU Constitution, Eliseo Medina, former Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, has been appointed as Trustee and Dian Palmer, president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, and Lenore Friedlaender, an officer from SEIU Local32BJ as Deputy Trustees, and they have assumed responsibility for the operation of the Local. Consistent with the imposition of a trusteeship, the current Local 73 officers have been removed from office.
“Immediate action was needed to protect SEIU Local 73 members,” said Eliseo Medina, who was appointed Trustee of the Local. “We will work to protect the best interests of SEIU Local 73 members by restoring the normal operations and functions of the Local.”
Serious charges and accusations between the Local’s two top officers caused an egregious breakdown in governance. President Boardman and Secretary-Treasurer Brandon each challenge the basic legitimacy of the other’s authority to hold office or lead the Local, resulting in a debilitating dysfunction of the Local’s governance process as well as causing instability and confusion within the Local and its membership.
Circumstances deteriorated so badly that the Local was unable to conduct the July 15, 2016 Executive Board meeting to carry out union business or hold a basic membership meeting scheduled for the next day. The Local is mired in internal charges, contested suspension of its secretary-treasurer and allegations that the local president can no longer serve due to a previous announcement of retirement.
As events have unfolded at the Local Union over the last several weeks, it became clear that Local 73’s members could no longer rely on the Local to function in a responsible stable manner.
Local 73 union members work hard every day to provide quality services to the many communities of Illinois and Northwestern Indiana. It will be the foremost goal of the trusteeship team to resolve the problems that gave rise to this intervention.