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Open Hearings, Fact-Finding Today by SEIU Long Term Care Workers Continues Democratic Process Begun in 2006
Date:5/7/2008

UHW-W Claims Increasingly Out of Touch with Reality

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A democratic process involving several SEIU local unions that began in 2006 continues today with open hearings and fact-finding in California. SEIU members in California are in the process of examining how homecare and nursing home workers in the long term care profession should organize themselves in order to have the greatest strength to win for their families and the clients they serve.

"SEIU long term care workers in California believe our state faces major challenges as we prepare to meet the needs of seniors and other people who will need long term care and support services," said SEIU Spokesperson Carter Wright. "The voices of the people who provide these services are being heard to make sure quality care and services are available for all. Today's hearing was the next step in a thorough, open, and democratic discussion involving multiple SEIU local unions about what concrete steps our union should take to make sure that California long term care workers have an effective voice on the job to improve quality care and working conditions."

The democratic process in this matter includes:

-- Open hearings where members, leaders, and staff can speak and submit

written evidence

-- A report from an independent fact-finder

-- A report by an elected hearing officer

-- A democratic decision on whether or not to approve the hearing

officers' report by the SEIU International Executive Board, which

includes 57 local leaders whose unions represent 87 percent of all SEIU

members

-- A vote by all affected members.

Facts About UHW-W Criticisms

The process UHW-W now criticizes is similar to the process that led to the formation of UHW-W itself in 2005 and a 2006 process that led to more hospital workers joining UHW-W. After criticizing two earlier candidates for hearing officer in this specific process, UHW-W did not object to the selection of SEIU local leader Merle Cuttitta as hearing officer for this process.

"The fact is, UHW-W is afraid to let members have a real vote on this issue. This is part of a growing pattern of UHW-W sitting out the democratic process in SEIU," said SEIU spokesperson Carter Wright. "UHW-W is reaching. Their claims are increasingly out of touch with reality."

This past weekend in New York, the SEIU International Executive Board met to debate proposals to determine the direction and strategies of SEIU for the next four years. UHW-W chose not to attend. With UHW-W on the sidelines, the International Executive Board voted unanimously for a bold new plan called "Justice for All - Pass It On," which will be voted on by delegates at the SEIU convention in June.

Wright added, "Instead of participating with other local leaders in a critical debate about the direction of the union, UHW-W left an empty chair."

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. Focused on uniting workers in three sectors to improve their lives and the services they provide, SEIU is the largest healthcare union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.

CONTACT: Andrew McDonald, SEIU

202-256-5990

Andrew.mcdonald@seiu.org


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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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