After months of hostile public wrangling, the Service Employees International Union has removed the entire leadership of a 150,000-member healthcare local based in Oakland, Calif., in response to administrative and financial emergencies that SEIU officials said threatened the local units continued existence.
Effective as of 5 p.m. ET Jan. 27, the Washington-based parent union said it has removed United Healthcare Workers-West President Sal Rosselli from his post and suspended the local unions constitution and bylaws. In their place, the Washington-based international appointed Trustees Eliseo Medina and David Regan and a slate of deputy trustees to make all leadership decisions.
United Healthcare Workers-West represents healthcare workers at dozens of California hospitals with owners such as Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Healthcare West, HCA and Tenet Healthcare Corp. United Healthcare Workers-West Vice President John Borsos said the local was rejecting the trusteeship, but a board decision was still forthcoming as to how.
The trusteeship came on the recommendation of former Labor Secretary Ray Marshall, who was appointed by SEIU leaders to gather testimony last year and render a final recommendation. Marshall concluded Jan. 22 that Rosselli and his leadership team committed serious financial misconduct by setting up an off-the-books fund into which they diverted $3 million in local union dues. United Healthcare Workers-West officials disputed that characterization in a federal lawsuit, but they returned the money anyway.