Coup Being Waged at SEIU Local 1000
SEIU Local 1000 President Richard Louis Brown ran on a platform of bringing transparency to our labor union and he is delivering on that promise. However, for many of the old-guard Board of Directors (BOD), this is a direct threat to their ability to operate in secrecy that must be stopped at any cost.
Before that can happen, there are a couple things our represented members need to know about how your union operates. The governing body, or BOD, have 65 voting members that consists of:
- Executive Offices of the President and three Vice Presidents
- Ten Bargaining Unit Chairs (BUNC), one for each bargaining unit that Local 1000 represents
- 51 District Labor Council Presidents (DLC) that divide up the state of California by region
There are basically two documents that set the rules for the BOD — the slightly larger Policy File and the three-page Union of California State Workers (UCSW) Bylaws. There are a few other documents, but for the purpose of discussion this is sufficient. Over the years these documents are updated and changed by the BOD to, in theory, make governing more efficient. In more recent years (2015), these documents have been altered to fit a specific agenda that consolidated power and made our union less democratic. The Union Bylaws were last updated in 2018 and the Policy File in 2019.
The information above is necessary to understand so we can lay out what comes next. Keep in mind as you read on, the BOD continues to operate under a Policy File written exclusively for the last administration and approved by many who still sit on the BOD. Their unfounded fear is that someone else will abide by the Policy File that they willingly gave to the previous Local 1000 President. President Brown’s intention is to help inform and educate the membership about the consequences of inaction at this critical time.
The Coup d`état Begins
Currently, there is a petition being circulated by several of the old guard loyalists (OGL) who are attempting a coup to overthrow the results of the recent Local 1000 leadership election. Over the next few weeks, we will dissect how the OGL want to ignore the vote of the membership and permanently change how Local 1000 operates.
One week ago, a petition was delivered to President Brown demanding he call an emergency BOD meeting so the OGL can initiate their anti-democratic changes to the Bylaws and Policy File. The stated justification can be viewed in the constant spreading of disinformation being circulated on social media. Their “concerns” are not grounded in fact but instead rely on the repetition of false claims that began circulating even before President Brown assumed office two months ago on June 30, 2021.
Topping the list of anti-democratic atrocities being proposed by the OGL is a change to the Bylaws that reads as follows:
The officers of the UCSW shall be the President, Vice President/Secretary-Treasurer, the Vice President for Organizing/Representation, the Vice President for Bargaining, and the Chair as elected by the UCSW Board of Directors.
This proposed change adds a fifth statewide executive that is unelected by the membership, presides over the executive officers, and has never existed in Local 1000. This newly created position will have no accountability to the membership and is appointed by, and answers only to, the BOD.
The OGL Agenda
Several changes have been submitted and are posted on SEIU Local 1000. We encourage you to view them for yourself.
The OGL have spent years creating a union that works for them, not the dues paying members. Their tactics have included stacking the BOD with people loyal to the former President, rewriting the Policy File and Bylaws in order to consolidate power and, in some cases, enrich themselves. This attempted coup seeks to cede all control to the BOD and relegate the President and Vice Presidents to a figure head role with no ability to do anything. A brief excerpt of the proposed change to the Bylaws can be seen below.
Return to the Status Quo
The cause of this self-induced brainwashing is due to a complete absence of objectivity and disdain for the membership they claim to represent. Despite being unable to produce any evidence to support their allegations, the OGL are committed to restoring the status quo at any cost.
If your DLC leadership is circulating information about the new President and making claims that something nefarious is happening at SEIU Local 1000 headquarters, contact us. Most claims being made can be debunked by asking that person to show you the proof.
Does your DLC leadership represent your viewpoint? Are they voting in your best interest?
Contact your DLC President and ask:
- Do you reject the results of the last election?
- Do you support the current proposals to change the Bylaws and Policy File?
For many years, SEIU Local 1000 members have been denied information about their union. Decisions that affect you and your family have been made in secrecy, leaving the membership in the dark. This is what the OGL wants to reinstate. Where we go from here is largely up to you.