August 14, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – The Service Employees International Union announced Aug. 3 that it was putting Chicago Local 73 into an emergency trusteeship and ousting six top officials because their “incessant infighting” had “seriously disrupted” its operations and functioning.
The ousted officials included Local 73 President Christine Boardman and Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Brandon. Brandon claims that Boardman had retired but decided not to step down after the members had elected him to succeed her, and then illegally suspended him. The trustee, Eliseo Medina, said that the national union “cannot take sides in this dispute,” but that Brandon and Boardman’s competing claims to the local’s presidency had caused “democratic self-governance to break down completely.” Local 73 represents about 28,000 workers in Illinois and Northwest Indiana, including crossing guards, school cafeteria workers, and workers in publicly funded jobs in social service agencies, and has begun organizing nontenured faculty at private Chicago universities. It clashed with the national union last year, when it endorsed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election and sued SEIU Health Care to try to get it to stop funding his opponent. Read more