Open Email to Our Membership

From: Paul Vilja 
Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM
To: Margaret Cary <>, Diane Sosne <>
Cc: beng saw 
Subject: District Appointment of New WSH Chapter Officers

Today at 3:15 PM a union meeting began at WSH.  The CBA negotiations were discussed.  It was stated that there was no change in the language within the contract for comp time.  The wage increase structure was discussed with minimal details.  It was stated that the new contract was approved by membership.  When asked when membership can be provided with a copy of the new approved contract, it was stated that it would be “months.”

The next topic was staffing.  It was stated that members needed to get together and support a staffing proposal for a float pool that was put together by the contract negotiation team.  It was discussed that the Joint Nurse Staffing Committee was drafting a proposal based on all statistical data derived from WSH for the past eight months and that the proposal included drastically more staffing.  I asked what metrics the other proposal used for its numbers.  The conversation ended with “we could debate this for days.”

The next topic included Margaret Cary stating that the election board had issued a ruling.  I stated that an appeal had been filed immediately.  Margaret Cary stated that an appeal had been filed.  Margaret Cary stated that the District Office has now changed the leadership of Western State Hospital officers.  I responded that I would not participate in a process that was undemocratic.  I exited the meeting at that time.

The District Office has imposed upon Western State Hospital a structure that exists in no other Chapter and is markedly different than the structure of WSH for the past many years as well as markedly different than the structure of the original election.  With an appeal pending on this point (among many other issues) including the fact that the body that issued the ruling was not a legal body elected by the District Delegate Assembly and Chaired by a member and the fact that 1199NW has no legitimate District Hearing & Appeals Board elected by the District Delegate Assembly (which rendered the original appeal decision)…   The District Office has picked an odd way to announce that it has chosen to act on its own to appoint officers of its choice to run Western State Hospital EXCLUSIVE of a full fair election or legitimate Appeals Board ruling.  Because 1199NW did not have a legitimate District Hearing & Appeals Board, Willie Saw and I could not be provided with a timely Appeal, rather the District Office imposed an reelection to occur PRIOR to an appeal being heard.  Under these circumstances Willie Saw and I could not participate in what we consider an illegal process which prevented due process (the Appeal) from being heard prior to a reelection which drastically changed the organization and structure of WSH exclusive it its membership which in and of itself was a component of the grounds for Appeal.  We do not view the “reelection” as being valid or binding as the elected officers were excluded from participating without compromising the pending Appeal.   

As I have not received official written notification of Western State Hospital officer structure change, please confirm in writing that the District Office has removed myself from performing my functions within 1199NW independent of a legitimate Hearings Board or Election Board.

Please provide a rapid written reply.

Paul Vilja

© Paul Vilja 2017