Kangaroo Court

A week ago Willie Saw and I appeared before an illegal “District Hearing & Appeals Board” at the District Office of 1199NW in Renton.  What was being addressed was the following:

in May of 2014 the District Office had the 1199NW Organizers that illegally ran the Election Board (unilaterally and without any form of member hearing) invalidate the Western State Hospital Chapter election.  Organizers in 1199NW are hired employees that do the bidding of the President of 1199NW or they are subject to termination of employment.  Organizers within 1199NW belong to their own labor union and negotiate their own contract with 1199NW, included in this contract is a grievance process…  A grievance process that applies to Orgnizers of 1199NW only and does NOT apply to 1199NW membership.  Because the President of 1199NW (since inception) has prevented compliance with the unions’ own bylaws…  1199NW members have never had a democratic process in place to hear and file grievances against the union.  Nor did members have the ability to contest District Officer decisions or actions, or file charges of misconduct against union officers because of the President prevented the Bylaws from being followed.  Paid employees of 1199NW (Organizers), in violation of the bylaws, headed election boards as well as other committees.  1199NW had no form of member based chain of command or oversight.  1199NW imposed upon Chapters its own arbitrary decisions regarding structure and operations of the Chapter without ever having hearings or consultations with Chapter officers or membership.  In the case of Western State Hospital, the illegal Election Board took all of its actions without a single hearing and had all of its actions enforced by the President of 1199NW.  In other words, the Presidents’ paid lieutenants (Organizers) did the bidding of the President and proclaimed themselves as a legal body and organizers as “members in good standing,” and proclaimed that the organizer chaired election board could render all decisions without any form of member input or hearing with the absolute authority of the President.  Does this sound like a dictatorship?  It is.  1199NW has NOT been a democratic union since inception as a result of the actions of the 1199NW President.

The latest hearing constituted the third time that I had taken action which resulted in the putting together of an illegal District Hearing & Appeals Board.  The first occasion occurred several decades ago.  Even after that event, the President failed to assure that the District Delegate Assembly elected a District Hearing & Appeals Board to two year terms as is required by the Bylaws.  The actions taken by the President were deliberate and knowing actions.  This was presented to the kangaroo court for their contemplation.  The kangaroo court presented to us that they had been “legally” appointed by the Executive Board, even though the Executive Board does NOT have the authority to appoint two year terms or lesser time terms for a District Hearing & Appeals Board.  We presented that the kangaroo court was not legitimate at the first hearing when they had rendered a prior ruling that supported an illegal Election Board unilateral (hearing free) decision prior to being “officially” [illegally] appointed by the Executive Board and that they remain an illegal body as the Executive Board has no authority to make a District Hearing & Appeals Board appointment in the first place…  Especially to hear charges against the President when the President had addressed the body at an Executive Board meeting making statements regarding Paul Vilja and Willie Saw to the Executive Board members that were appointed to be members of the illegal District Hearing & Appeals Board (by essentially the President or her employed and paid organizers).  

The ruling by the kangaroo court is pending…  But decades of history indicate that 1199NW will NEVER establish democratic oversight as is required by the bylaws…  In fact, even SEIU International may have never created a democratic union itself by electing an Hearing & Appeals Board.  In effect, (if true) 1199NW and SEIU are not true labor unions, they are political action committees.  

As I have been a “Delegate” for 1199NW, I cannot ethically continue performing duties FOR 1199NW.  I have given my notice to 1199NW that I will no longer continue to perform 1199NW related duties effective January 1, 2015.  After that date, I can present to DSHS nurses an alternative to 1199NW.  I will present this alternative in detail so that propaganda and misinformation will not be effective.

You will hear from our group soon.  We have much to discuss.  Our options present a strong future with decreased union dues and increased incomes.  At that time, DSHS overtime eligible RN’s will no longer work eight more days a year (in time worked - off the books) than all other overtime eligible employees within DSHS.  The future is bright.  It is time for a dramatic change in representation.  

© Paul Vilja 2017