By Doug Cunningham, June 27, 2016
SEIU-UHW's Executive Board meets Tuesday to decide whether to appeal a judge's ruling that a ballot initiative set for November must be withdrawn. Sacramento Superior Court Judge David Brown upheld an arbitrator's ruling ordering SEIU-UHW to withdraw the ballot initiative capping CEO salaries at $450,000 a year at not-for-profit hospitals. A clause in the existing collective bargaining agreement with the California Hospitals Association said SEIU wouldn't file any ballot initiatives "adverse" to the hospitals. SEIU-UHW spokesman Steve Trossman says CEO's at not-for-profit hospitals make as much as $10 million and voters should decide whether that's acceptable at not-for-profit companies.
[Steve Trossman]: "We just think it's outrageous. We think that money should go to health care. Because at the same time these guys have doubled their salaries over the last five years health care costs have continued to rise and these guys are padding their salaries and perks and club memberships and all that kinda stuff. At the same time every time we go to negotiations they want to cut people's salaries, they wanna take away their health care, they want to take away their pensions. But when it comes to themselves, the sky's the limit. And it's just wrong. This is a business of giving people health care, it shouldn't be a business that people enrich themselves."
About 650,000 signatures were collected to get SEIU's ballot intiative on the November statewide ballot in California. June 30th is the deadline to withdraw the initiative. Trossman says these not-for-profit hospital CEO salaries are excessive and he believes Californians would support limiting executive salaries for not-for-profits.
[Steve Trossman]: "And people are paying for these out-ofcontrol salaries and it's just wrong and should stop. And we pegged ours to say that you can't make more than the salary and expense account of the President of the United States - which is $450,000 a year - on the theory that running a country of 330 million people and being the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces is harder than running a hospital."
Trossman says if SEIU-UHW's Executive Board does decide to pull the ballot initiative set for November rather than appeal the judge's ruling that's not the end of the effort to get this ballot initiative passed.
[Steve Trossman]: "We have to make a decision, but if we decide to pull it, it's a temporary setback. It's not a permanent setback. This is not the end of it. We will come back in 2018 and this will be on the ballot in California."