SAN FRANCISCO: SEIU Holds Off On Nonprofit Health Worker Organization
The Service Employees International Union, San Francisco's largest municipal workers union, "has suspended a legislative agenda targeting nonprofit health care and social work agencies," the San Francisco Examiner reports. In an attempt "to organize agencies that provide public health and social services for the city," SEIU was supporting "several proposed ordinances that would aid its organizing." However, faced with a nonprofit business-sponsored effort to take the initiatives "to the voters in June as a test of political muscle," SEIU compromised. SEIU agreed to "[r]emove nonprofit health care agencies from proposed 'displaced worker' legislation," and the nonprofit agencies agreed not to place the initiatives on the ballot until November. "Obviously, it is the best thing for everybody. Going to the ballot on an issue like this, when the parties had not even sat down together, was premature," said SEIU spokesperson Maureen Anderson. "It is an interim agreement. It allows for discussion, which is in the best interest of the people who get these services in San Francisco," said the nonprofit agencies' political consultant, Robert Barnes.
San Francisco Treat
The Examiner reports that the city "relies on nonprofit groups to deliver 60% of its public health and social services and spends tens of millions of dollars a year on these pacts" which provide care for many of San Francisco's poorest residents, many of which have AIDS. The nonprofit businesses argued that SEIU's legislation would have driven up the cost of nonprofit care, "resulting in diminished quality and heavier taxes to pay bills." SEIU, however, "counters that it is merely trying to improve the living standards of non-union workers who are paid comparatively less, and to give employees a voice in how services are delivered" (Finnie, 2/19).