What is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? - April 2, 2015 | Webster University

What is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? - April 2, 2015

To the Webster University Community:

Whether or not to allow the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to be your sole representative with Webster University on all matters concerning your employment is an important decision for you and your colleagues. We understand.

While we don’t believe it is in the best interest of our Adjunct Faculty or Webster University to unionize, we do know that it is important that you vote – and hopefully vote no.

To that end, we believe it is important for all Adjunct Faculty be informed about many of the issues involved. As a result, we intend to provide open and transparent information about a number of these issues in the weeks ahead.

Please consider the following concerning the SEIU and its operations:

SIZE AND STRUCTURE – SEIU is one of the country’s largest labor unions and represent 1.8 million members across the country who work in the building services and healthcare industries, among others.  The Union is comprised of an International organization in Washington D.C. and then various regional offices across the country known as “Locals.”  If the SEIU unionizes Webster University, our Adjunct Faculty would be represented by Local 1, which is based in Chicago.

FUNDING – This Union is big business.  In 2013, the International Union collected almost $300 million dollars in revenue, while Local 1 collected more than $24 million from just their members (In its latest report covering 2014, Local 1 reported it collected $28.7 million from its members). Both organizations spent almost every cent they collected. Moreover, all Union Locals must pay a per capita tax to the International before it can spend any money on benefits for any of its Local members. That means, for example, the Local must pay the International before it can even hire an attorney to represent an employee in arbitration.

In addition to membership dues, Local 1 collected $298,740 in fines from employees who violated Union rules, which are set forth in its Constitution and Bylaws.

EXPENSES – Membership dues are essential for the International and Local 1 to pay the salaries and benefits of Union employees. In addition, SEIU International spent over $51 million on political causes in just 2013 alone.

The point should be clear. The Union survives by adding new, dues-paying members. New membership is the sole source of growth – and revenue – for the Union. It is also why the Union has come to Webster University.

In anticipation of questions about this communication, we’ve prepared some FAQs on this subject, which follow. They will also be posted on webster.edu/wuafi, our informational website. Feel free to direct any questions you may have to AdjunctQuestions@webster.edu