SEIU 1000, which represents nearly 100,000 state workers throughout California, has long been mired in controversy. However, a new lawsuit threatens to expose a scandal potent enough to eclipse all the union’s other shady dealings.
Filed on behalf of SEIU 1000 vice presidents, the lawsuit alleges SEIU 1000 President Yvonne Walker has consolidated power in her own position while stripping authority from other elected union officials.
More specifically, the Vice Presidents allege Walker’s actions violated the California Corporation Code and SEIU 1000 bylaws regarding the delegation of authority.
In so doing, they allege Walker has failed the duties assigned to her role as president.
The letter, linked here, was originally circulated among the union board but has since been made publicly available.
While this may appear to be a routine attempt by union officials to circumvent those pesky democratic norms they claim to love so much, the real story is a war between two internal factions.
You see, SEIU 1000 is so large that there are breaks within its rank and file about which direction is best for the union. While Walker has her supporters inside the union, there are many who believe her actions have done enormous damage to the union.
This could help explain why thousands of SEIU 1000 members have already left their union, using the Freedom Foundation’s website www.optouttoday.com.
Then again, it could be our canvassing and outreach activities. More than 5,000 SEIU 1000 dues-payers have already opted-out on our website, costing the union more than $4 million every single year.
Every three years, rank-and-file members are given the opportunity to vote for new leadership. A splinter group, calling itself “Members for Transparency and Change,” ran against Walkers’ camp and was successful in capturing all three of the vice president positions.
However, they were unable to flip the presidency.
Since this change in leadership, the vice presidents have claimed that they have been locked out of decision-making, meetings and access to internal documents. Their union leave time — the practice of a union reimbursing state for employees performing union business during normal working hours — has also allegedly been reduced.
From the Freedom Foundation’s perspective, Yvonne Walker has been a godsend. Her corrupt machinations have done more to expose SEIU 1000’s seamy underbelly and send its members scurrying for the exits than anything we could ever have conceived of.
But after the recent outrage around her handling of potential budget cuts to state employees, her days could be numbered.