SEIU Names Commission on Ethics and Standards

SEIU Names Commission on Ethics and Standards

Published 4:48 PM Eastern - Thursday, October 9, 2008

Independent Panel of Academics, Clergy, Ethicists and Union Leaders to Lead Model Ethics Initiative

WASHINGTON DC--The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today named the members of the SEIU Commission on Standards and Ethics, which was announced last month. The Commission is comprised of a nationally respected panel of academics, clergy, ethicists and SEIU representatives with a 90-day charge of improving union-wide ethics guidelines, practices, enforcement and education efforts. The fifteen member Commission will be comprised of an independent chair, independent and SEIU vice-chairs, and a combined panel of outside experts and union representatives


In approximately four all-day meetings between October and January 2009, the Commission will hear from a broad range of outside experts, review existing rules, examine the best practices of other unions and organizations and develop proposals that are both principled and practical. In January, the Commission will deliver a comprehensive package of recommendations to the International to ensure that the Union's leadership is held accountable to the members at all levels.

"We are committed to leading a reform movement within labor, and to that end, we've assembled some of the best minds in America to develop and define an ethical gold standard for our union," said SEIU President Andy Stern. "This unprecedented commission is further evidence that SEIU continues to lead the way in uniting workers in an ethical and reformed labor movement. We represent millions of low-wage workers seeking fairness in their workplaces, and we must continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of honesty and integrity."

Those serving on the Commission are:

§ James Brudney, Professor of Law, Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law; UAW Public Review Board

§ Maria Casteneda, Secretary-Treasurer, UHE 1199, New York, International Vice President

§ Alice Dale, President, Local 49, Portland, Oregon, International Vice President

§ Mike Fishman, President, Local 32BJ, New York. International Vice President

§ Catherine Fisk, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine School of Law

§ Brother John Gutierrez, Member, Local 521, San Jose, California

§ Reverend Nelson Johnson, Pastor, Faith Community Church; HERE Public

Review Board

§ Judge Abner Mikva, Former chief Judge of the U.S.Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia

§ Eliseo Medina, SEIU Executive Vice President

§ Javier Morillo, President, Local 26, Minneapolis, Minnesota, International Executive Board

§ Dian Palmer, President, Local 1199 Wisconsin, International Vice President

§ Russell Pearce, Faculty Director, Institute on Religion, Law & Lawyer's Work, Fordham Law School

§ Ben Sachs, Associate Professor, Harvard Law School

§ Linda Klebe Treviño, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Ethics, Pennsylvania State University

§ Justice James R. Zazzali, retired New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice

Retired New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice James R. Zazzali will serve as independent chairman of the Commission with Former US Appeals Court Chief Judge Abner Mikva and SEIU Executive Vice-President Eliseo Medina serving as vice-chairs.

James R. Zazzali

Justice Zazzali previously served as Associate Justice and Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. He also served as Chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor; Chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation; and New Jersey Attorney General. Justice Zazzali is also a former Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall Law School, where he taught alternative dispute resolution and arbitration. He has served at the request of the United States State Department on multiple delegations to the United Nations conferences. He is currently practicing law in New Jersey.

Abner J. Mikva

Vice-chair Judge Abner Mikva served as Judge and Chief Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia from 1979 to 1994 and has held a variety of pubic positions in a lifetime of service. Mikva served ten years in the Illinois House of Representatives and two separate stints in the United States Congress, from 1969-73 and 1975-79. He has taught law at Northwestern University and at the University of Chicago, where he was Schwarz Lecturer and senior director of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic. Mikva has also served as White House Counsel during the Clinton Administration, as co-chairman of the Constitution Project's bipartisan Constitutional Amendments Committee and as chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

Eliseo Medina

Vice-chair Eliseo Medina, described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most successful labor organizers in the country," has served as international executive vice president since 1996, when he made history by becoming the first Mexican American elected to a top post at the 2 million-member SEIU. A life-long veteran of the labor movement, Medina's career as a labor activist began in 1965 when, as a 19-year-old grape-picker, he participated in the historic United Farm Workers' strike in Delano, California and eventually rose through the ranks to serve as the United Farm Workers' national vice president. He currently is leading SEIU's efforts to help workers in 17 states in the southern and southwestern United States--including Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia--unite in SEIU so they will have the strength to improve their jobs and the services they provide in their communities.

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