Union Leaders’ Dispute Could Shake Health Care Sector in California
On Monday, the president of the Service Employees International Union sent a letter to the president of United Healthcare Workers West, an SEIU affiliate, alleging a number of cases of misconduct that could have "a seismic impact in the health care industry," the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Andy Stern, president of SEIU, alleges that Sal Rosselli, president of UHWW, breached his fiduciary duty, interfered with collective bargaining rights, had financial irregularities and unethical conduct. The charges could be the basis for Rosselli's removal under federal labor law.
Stern and Rosselli have clashed in the past over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) failed health reform effort, with Stern rallying labor support for the plan and Rosselli opposing it. Stern and Rosselli also have disagreed over bargaining tactics with hospitals, nursing homes and other employers.
Stern's letter alleges that Rosselli:
- Created a shadow entity in 2007 and diverted funds from it to evade union scrutiny;
- Conducted a deceptive and fake mail-in election in February that aimed to intimidate some of his union's long-term care workers from joining a new union created by Stern; and
- Colluded with the California Nurses Association to attempt to form an independent union separate from SEIU.
Rosselli responded that the shadow entity was a 501(c)3, unanimously approved by the union's executive board, which educated members and the public about health care issues. He also said the mail-in election was approved by the board and found that 99% of nursing home workers and 96% of home care workers did not want to leave his union.
According to the Chronicle, Rosselli dismissed Stern's charge that he colluded with CNA (Coile, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/27). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.