Trusteeship Frequently Asked Questions

What is a trusteeship?

Under the SEIU Constitution and federal law, the International Union has the authority to place a local union in trusteeship under limited and serious circumstances. Locals may be placed into trusteeship for purposes of correcting corruption or financial malpractice, restoring democratic procedures, assuring that collective bargaining agreements are properly maintained and enforced, carrying out other duties related to representing members in the workplace, and otherwise carrying out the legitimate goals of the International Union.

Once appointed, trustees immediately begin to run the day-to-day operations of the union and the local’s officers, executive board members, and anyone else elected or appointed to represent the local or related entities in an official capacity are removed immediately. Local union staff and stewards are not automatically removed when a trusteeship is imposed, but the trustees have the authority to do so if needed.

These measures ensure that the trustees can determine the status of the local’s operations, representation of members and begin to restore the proper functioning of the local as quickly as possible.

Is my contract in place?

Yes. Nothing in a trusteeship changes your rights under your contract. The trustees will work with stewards and staff to ensure that employers live up to their obligations under your contract. Please work with your steward if you have questions or call the union at 866.734.8466.

What about my steward and SEIU Healthcare Michigan staff?

SEIU Healthcare Michigan trustees want to make sure that members have strong and reliable representation. Your steward remains in his or her position and will continue to work with members on important workplace and community issues.

The emergency trusteeship and the appointment of trustees—who run the affairs of the local in place of local union officers—automatically removes the local union’s officers and executive board members, but does not automatically remove staff or stewards. The trustees will work with staff to ensure that we continue the important work of SEIU Healthcare Michigan, including bargaining contracts, representing members in the workplace and engaging in important policy issues that affect members, our families and communities.

Who are the trustees?

Tom Balanoff is President of both SEIU Local 1 and the SEIU Illinois State Council.  SEIU Local 1 represents 50,000 property service workers across the Midwest, including in Detroit.

Ed Burke has more than 40 years experience in the labor movement, including 15 years at SEIU helping working people join together and form unions.

Inga Skippings has worked with SEIU for more than a decade on organizing campaigns, in communications, government relations, and most recently as the SEIU International Chief of Staff.

How will I get updates about what is happening with the trusteeship?

We will update members via mail, email, the SEIU Healthcare Michigan web site and social media accounts. Soon the trustees will begin to visit members and worksites and convene membership meetings to answer questions and provide updates.

Will we have our regular membership meetings?

In the near future we will convene meetings to update members and answer questions.

When and how will we elect new leadership?

One of the most important functions of the trusteeship is to put a plan in place to restore the local to democratic self-governance. Once the trustees have resolved the issues that necessitated the trusteeship and operations have been stabilized, the trustees will create a process to involve members in revising the local constitution and electing new officers and executive board members.

What if I have more questions?

You can contact the local at 866.734.8466.

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