SAN FRANCISCO – More than four months after a federal jury levied a $1.57 million judgment against them, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and a number of its leaders are seeking to indefinitely delay payment, saying they do not have the resources and would face “bankruptcy” if they are forced to comply with the award. On August 30th, a federal judge denied NUHW’s request.
In a motion in Federal District Court in San Francisco last week, NUHW says the judgment “is a major percentage of its annual operating budget.” NUHW is also seeking to delay the payment of individual judgments ranging from $31,400 to $77,850 from Sal Rosselli, John Borsos, and 14 other defendants who are now NUHW officials.
“That money doesn’t belong to NUHW. It belongs to hard-working members of SEIU-UHW and it’s past time that they pay us back,” said Alisha Blinks, an Operator in the Kaiser Communications Center in Walnut Creek. “If paying this court-ordered judgment is a hardship for them, they should’ve thought about that before illegally using our dues money for their own purposes.”
The motion says delaying payment would prevent “bankruptcy” for NUHW and would avoid hardship for the individual defendants.
The defendants are the former leaders of the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). They were removed from office in January 2009 for misusing millions in members’ dues money for their own purposes, and went on to start NUHW. On April 9, 2010, a federal jury found the officials and their new organization liable for $1.57 million in damages to SEIU-UHW members.
The federal jury found them guilty of using the resources of SEIU-UHW to form a new union, which is prohibited by state and federal law. The trial also revealed that Rosselli and the others misused members’ dues, canceled members’ contracts without informing them, and deliberately destroyed and stole documents necessary for SEIU-UHW to represent members, including documents critical to bargaining members’ contracts and processing grievances.
- April 9, 2010: Jury finds NUHW & officials liable for $1.57 million–Jury Verdict Form
- April 12, 2010: Judge orders payment–Judgment After Jury Trial
- Aug. 18, 2010: NUHW appeals–Motion to stay execution of Judge’s ruling
- Aug. 30, 2010: Judge says no–Denies request to stay execution