Southeast Alaska United Conservation Council Moves On to Election Process Despite Appeal Made by SEACC Leadership

Courtesy of United SEACC

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – SEACC United first applied to be voluntarily recognized by SEACC Leadership on December 12. They did not receive that recognition.

The Labor Board’s Feb. 13 decision dismissed SEACC’s “numerous novel arguments” and asserted that “the Board has broad jurisdiction over nearly all types of private employers, large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit,” to quote the NLRB.

SEACC Executive Director Meredith Trainor provided a comment via email regarding her appeal of that decision.

“The NLRB’s recent hearing was the first interaction we’ve had with the National Labor Relations Board since this whole process began: This Request for Review is the next step in a multi-step decision-making process by the NLRB. NLRB We want our employees to be able to work with leadership to make the changes they need to have substantial and extensive processes that allow us and them to do that We have some concerns that a large national union might try to influence the decision of public policy decisions that occurs in a small, independent, grassroots advocacy nonprofit like SEACC This request for review will give the NLRB an opportunity to further consider these and other risks that are unique to a small, nonprofit organization. information defense non-profits like SEACC”.

He also gave an example of how policy influence affects SEACC leadership.

Lauren Cusimano, communication leader for SEACC and a member of the SEACC Union, said they began the formal union election process after the NLRB decided on Monday, February 13, that they had jurisdiction over the nonprofit.

The most recent update was last Friday, February 17, when SEACC leadership appealed the jurisdiction decision made by the NLRB.

Ballots were mailed Thursday, February 23, to the six non-management employees despite the appeal.

Cusimano shared his thoughts with the News of the North on the appeal made by the SEACC leadership to oppose the jurisdiction of the NLRB.

“We thought that they did not want to recognize us voluntarily, now we are going to a hearing. Then when we heard last Monday that the hearing more or less ruled in our favor, we were excited to go ahead and start the voting process. and start looking at the negotiation process after the fact,” she said. “All we’ve been told is that SEACC leaders only respect a voting process. They respect the way politics works and all the steps of an electoral process and they would respect the result. Appealing that, after making all those claims is where we have to start asking ourselves why they are deciding to spend more money representing a law firm to fight that very decision. Where does this money come from? How come they don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars and how come some of that doesn’t donate dollars right now? There’s really no more coverage for that.”

Cusimano said that SEACC United is moving forward, following the advice of its attorney, just as he imagines SEACC Leadership is following the advice of its attorney.

“The vote will be counted once we return our ballots on March 30. We are told that this will in no way affect our vote or our ballots being counted next month or anything like that.”

SEACC United was formed by a large public majority of non-management employees on December 9, 2022, pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act.

The union submitted an application to SEACC leaders for voluntary recognition on December 12.

When SEACC refused to recognize its democratically established labor union by a December 16 deadline, the union filed an election petition with the NLRB, absent a good faith request for more time.

SEACC United has refused to share its list of demands with the public.

“We agree that the decision to appeal is disappointing but not surprising. We remain committed to each other and to the future of SEACC United, and we are listening to supporters more than ever,” said Heather Evoy, SEACC climate organizer.

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is a non-profit organization based in Juneau with employees in Juneau, Haines, Sitka and Prince of Wales Island.