Electioneering, the SCSU edition

Never should it be said that SEIU will let a straightforward state law get in the way of a little old-fashioned electioneering for the right cause. And promoting an unconstitutional union organizing election certainly fits the SEIU’s definition of the right cause. A frequent reader of LFR sent me this email. I’ve removed the names to protect them from union retribution:

One of the organizations (SEIU Healthcare MN), which presenting a panel at this year’s Global Goes Local Conference April 7 and 8th, asked me to pass on this near term job opportunity to SCSU faculty to let any students who might be interested to know about:


JOB POSTING: Temporary Home Care Organizer

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is hiring organizers to help Home Care workers win the biggest Union election in the history of Minnesota. These organizers will knock on doors and talk to Home Care workers, supporting them in taking collective action and building their Union. When they win their election, Homecare Workers will have the power to pull themselves out of poverty, and to make real improvements not just in their own lives but in the lives of the thousands of seniors and people with disabilities they serve.

Communicate with workers through house-visits and phone calls.
Identify and recruit leaders among Homecare workers, getting them actively involved in the campaign to form their Union and win improvements for themselves and their clients.
Work effectively both as part of a large team and on your own.
Take and give constructive feedback.
Establish rapport with workers from diverse ethnic, social and economic groups, and experiences of disability.
Visit Home Care workers in their homes in every type of neighborhood in Minnesota.
Be flexible.
Be passionate about the fight to organize Home Care workers and support them in winning a contract that pulls them out of poverty.
Any other responsibilities needed to build Home Care workers’ power.

Minimum Qualifications

Excellent listening skills, especially the ability to draw out people’s individual stories by asking open-ended questions in direct conversations and phone calls.
Strong organizational skills, including the ability to record accurate information on each conversation with a Home Care worker.
Experience working on your own, managing your time and being accountable for results of your independent efforts.
Strong communication skills, especially the ability to paint a clear picture of the union difference and to provide constructive feedback to coworkers.
Ability to communicate clearly with people from widely varying ethnic, social and economic groups, and experiences of disability.
Ability to recruit strong leaders to take action as part of the Home Care workers’ campaign.
Positive attitude.
Strong work ethic.
Must have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle in good working condition. Must have proof of auto insurance.
High school diploma or GED required. Higher education preferred.
Experience with election campaigns preferred.
Experience with union organizing preferred.
Experience working with people with disabilities preferred.
Fluency in a second language – especially Somali, Hmong, or Spanish – preferred.

This is a temporary position with a weekly salary of $600. Work will begin with training on February 28, 2014, and we expect this phase of the campaign to continue into May.

Work hours include evenings and weekends.

The position will require a lot of driving, to talk with Home Care workers. Mileage will be reimbursed at the federal rate (currently 56 cents per mile).

Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

This is illegal since the email was sent from an SCSU email address. First, using MnSCU IT equipment for such purposes violates MnSCU policies, specifically this policy:

System-owned property or services, including the e-mail system, may not be used for political activities, fund-raising, campaigning for union office, union organizing activities, or solicitation of employees for union membership.

Simply put, that’s about as direct of a violation as you’ll likely find. In some instances, there’s room for interpretation. I call those situations ‘On the one hand, on the other hand’ situations. This doesn’t fit into that category. This fits into the ‘Yeah, they screwed that up bigtime, didn’t they?’ category.