Update on Local 73 Trusteeship

On January 25, 2017, the SEIU International Executive Board (IEB) adopted the report and recommendations of Hearing Officer Edgar Romney, who had been appointed by the IEB to consider the emergency trusteeship imposed at SEIU Local 73.

The report found that the trusteeship was imposed properly and should be continued.  Following are answers to questions members may have about the report.  Local 73 members may request a copy of the full report by emailing Martha Gallegos at mgallegos@seiu73.org.

  1. How did the hearing officer reach his decision? What evidence did he consider?

In the trusteeship hearing held on September 24, 2016—which was open to all members—the hearing officer heard testimony presented by the trustees and witnesses who testified on their behalf, as well as statements from former officers and Executive Board members (including former Local 73 President Christine Boardman and former local Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Brandon), and many of the 160 Local 73 members in attendance. In addition to the testimony and statements presented at the hearing, the hearing officer considered 29 exhibits entered into the record during the hearing.

The hearing officer kept the record open so that members could submit additional information for him to consider until October 8, 2016. 21 post-hearing submissions were made by the deadline, which were reviewed and informed the hearing officer’s decision.

The hearing officer’s decision was then submitted to the SEIU International Executive Board for its review.  The International Executive Board considered and then voted to adopt the decision in its entirety on January 25, 2017.  Under Article VIII, Section 7(f) of the SEIU Constitution, the International Executive Board makes the final decision on the trusteeship.

  1. What effect will the IEB’s decision have on the local?

The IEB’s decision will not affect any of the work the trustees, staff and members of Local 73 are doing to stabilize the operations of the local and engage members in the day-to-day work of their union. It does affirm that the trusteeship was correctly imposed and will remain in place.

  1. Does this affect stewards, union staff or my contract?

The decision will not affect the day-to-day work of the union nor any of the work the trustees, staff and members of Local 73 are doing to stabilize the operations of the local and engage members in leading the work of their union.

  1. Who is in charge of the local?

Dian Palmer and Denise Poloyac have been appointed as Co-Trustees of Local 73, and Lenore Friedlaender has been serving as a Trustee, assisting the local.

  1. How can I meet the trustees?

Members can meet Dian and Denise at the January 28, 2017 membership meeting, as well as upcoming regional membership meetings and Local 73 actions.  Members can join the Local 73 email and text messaging lists, as well as check the local’s website and Facebook pages for information about upcoming events.  In addition, the trustees will be joining workplace meetings and actions to meet members, talk about the local’s plans and hear members’ ideas.

  1. Since the decision affirms and continues the trusteeship of Local 73, how and when can the local return to self-governance?

International President Mary Kay Henry will determine when the Local has stabilized its operations and finances and made the changes needed to protect member resources and consistently win for our members.  She will do so in consultation with the Trustees.  Once the union’s operations and finances have been stabilized, trustees can recommend to the International President that the local come out of trusteeship.  As we move through the year, the Trustees will keep all members informed about the progress of the Trusteeship and the steps that we are taking to ensure that the local union’s operations and finances are stabilized, and that we are improving the lives of Local 73 members, their families, and their communities.

  1. In the meantime, how will members be able to be involved in the leadership of the local?

Since the beginning of the trusteeship, the trustees and staff have been engaging members in the work of the local in new ways, with a focus on increasing member engagement in bargaining contracts and other campaigns to improve the lives of local 73 members and all working families.  Trustees and staff will expand member engagement in this work even more as we work to close the many contracts that had been left open at the time of the trusteeship.

The trustees are also engaged in an analysis of the local’s steward structure to help expand the number of stewards and scope of their leadership.  As part of this process, the trustees and staff are creating a new steward training program to increase member engagement and leadership within Local 73.

Member leaders will also play important roles in the work that trustees and staff are doing to ensure the local membership and operations are self-sustaining.  In the coming months trustees will share our plans with members to continue to stabilize the local through membership meetings.  Trustees and staff will engage members in this plan and rely on member leaders to help complete this important work.

  1. How can I become more involved in making Local 73 a strong union that wins for all of its members and is an active voice that defends our communities, vision and values?

Local 73 trustees and staff encourage all members to attend chapter and membership meetings, join members and allies for upcoming actions, become a steward or volunteer for upcoming member leadership opportunities.  Members can join the Local 73 email and text messaging lists, as well as check the local’s website and Facebook pages for information about upcoming events.

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