An Oregon labor group is demanding the resignation of a union contract negotiator after he accused his employer of failing to pay the pensions of unionized employees.
Union members and other supporters of the National Education Association’s (NEA) pension plan staged a walkout Tuesday to demand that the union negotiate a new agreement with the union.
The walkout came after SEIU announced in February that the SEIU’s new contract would include provisions for mandatory pension payments to all members.
A federal judge in Portland granted an injunction last week blocking the union from forcing members to contribute to the pension plans.
A federal appeals court later struck down the injunction.
The SEIU said in a statement Wednesday that the walkout was part of a campaign to shut down the union and prevent SEIU from being able to continue negotiating for SEIU pension benefits.
“The union, and not SEIU, should have the final say in what SEIU pays its members and how they pay their pensions,” SEIU President Karen Lewis said in the statement.
“SEIU has made millions of dollars of concessions to its members in the last decade, yet the union refuses to negotiate on their behalf.
This latest step by the union will only be successful if SEIU can be forced to negotiate for the benefits of all its members.”
The union has been the subject of scrutiny over pensions and pensions negotiations in the past.
The SEIU recently reached an agreement with its labor partners to increase the minimum annual salary for unionized teachers from $30,000 to $45,000.
SEIU also has been negotiating with SEIU and the University of Washington, but the union has not reached a contract.