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Wrong Jane McAlevey?

Jane F. McAlevey

Executive Director

SEIU

HQ Phone:  (617) 924-8509

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SEIU

400 Talcott Avenue Bldg 131 2Nd Fl

Watertown, Massachusetts,02472

United States

Company Description

SEIU Local 221 is a diverse, member-driven organization working in many occupations to make our counties a safe and healthy place to live, work, and raise our families. We represent public sector employees in San Diego and Imperial counties who work for county... more.

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Web References(110 Total References)


Who Will Lead the U.S. Working Class? by Michael D. Yates | Monthly Review

monthlyreview.org [cached]

This article is based upon an interrogation of two books: Gregg Shotwell, Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012), 200 pages, $17.00, paperback; and Jane McAlevey with Bob Ostertag, Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting For the Labor Movement (New York: Verso Books, 2012), 318 pages, $25.95, hardcover.
Gregg Shotwell writes about the United Auto Workers (UAW), and Jane McAlevey the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Unlike Shotwell, Jane McAlevey was never a rank-and-file worker. She was appointed to various union staff positions after working in a number of social-change organizations. Most of her book describes her tenure as executive director of a large local of public and private sector workers in Las Vegas. She tells readers that Raising Expectations is about organizing; it is, but it is also a memoir centering on herself and her wars with the SEIU's top leadership. Nonetheless, she has much of interest to say about both how successfully to help workers organize unions and negotiate good collective bargaining agreements and why most unions do neither. Jane McAlevey's account of her labor union work begins during the exciting early days of John Sweeney's New Voice team, which took charge of the AFL-CIO in 1995. The quantitative part of the PSA was conducted by professionals, hired by McAlevey, while the second was done by the members themselves. Not only was the PSA important as a descriptive device, pinpointing who had power, but it also served as an educational tool. With it, McAlevey taught workers about power and showed them how to increase and use their own strength. McAlevey was an unusually talented organizer. So, even though she frequently ran afoul of union turf wars, she always managed to have powerful allies who sought out her skills. In 2004, she was appointed Executive Director of SEIU Local 1107 in Las Vegas. Her four years there were tumultuous. McAlevey's ability to think and act creatively is graphically and humorously portrayed in her description of her first bargaining session with a large private hospital. Nothing that McAlevey did was new, but she often writes as if it was. She makes it appear that she invented Power Structure Analysis, at least its adaptation to labor organizing, when in fact such techniques have often been used by labor unions. McAlevey also often fails to see that building a labor movement is a collective effort. She makes much of her isolation in the right-to-work state of Nevada. However, Las Vegas is not an isolated town in the nonunion South. It is home to a strong labor movement, with a vital and large union of culinary workers, and considerable political muscle. Furthermore, California, with strong unions facing the same employers she did, was just across the border. Private-sector hospitals in California had been organized, with workers winning superior wages, benefits, working conditions, and patient protections. She would not have been able to win good contracts with the private hospital corporations in Las Vegas without the prior success of her California counterparts. Yet, she gives them no credit and seems to go out of her way to say that they did not help her at all, which, I have learned since reading her book, is not true. Finally, a reasonable reader might question the depth of her commitment to rank-and-file workers. She frequently denigrated the local's officers, but instead of doing a PSA of the local to find out how they could be won over to her vision, she illegally tried to overthrow them. She argues that a modern union needs a paid professional staff, presumably comprised of people like her, recruited from outside of the local union. But it seems not to have occurred to her that the rank-and-file members could be trained to be professionals, to do anything she could do, and with the advantage of having performed the work of the members they represented.


Who Will Lead the U.S. Working Class? by Michael D. Yates • Monthly Review

monthlyreview.org [cached]

This article is based upon an interrogation of two books: Gregg Shotwell, Autoworkers Under the Gun: A Shop-Floor View of the End of the American Dream (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012), 200 pages, $17.00, paperback; and Jane McAlevey with Bob Ostertag, Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting For the Labor Movement (New York: Verso Books, 2012), 318 pages, $25.95, hardcover.
Gregg Shotwell writes about the United Auto Workers (UAW), and Jane McAlevey the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Unlike Shotwell, Jane McAlevey was never a rank-and-file worker. She was appointed to various union staff positions after working in a number of social-change organizations. Most of her book describes her tenure as executive director of a large local of public and private sector workers in Las Vegas. She tells readers that Raising Expectations is about organizing; it is, but it is also a memoir centering on herself and her wars with the SEIU's top leadership. Nonetheless, she has much of interest to say about both how successfully to help workers organize unions and negotiate good collective bargaining agreements and why most unions do neither. Jane McAlevey's account of her labor union work begins during the exciting early days of John Sweeney's New Voice team, which took charge of the AFL-CIO in 1995. The quantitative part of the PSA was conducted by professionals, hired by McAlevey, while the second was done by the members themselves. Not only was the PSA important as a descriptive device, pinpointing who had power, but it also served as an educational tool. With it, McAlevey taught workers about power and showed them how to increase and use their own strength. McAlevey was an unusually talented organizer. So, even though she frequently ran afoul of union turf wars, she always managed to have powerful allies who sought out her skills. In 2004, she was appointed Executive Director of SEIU Local 1107 in Las Vegas. Her four years there were tumultuous. McAlevey's ability to think and act creatively is graphically and humorously portrayed in her description of her first bargaining session with a large private hospital. Nothing that McAlevey did was new, but she often writes as if it was. She makes it appear that she invented Power Structure Analysis, at least its adaptation to labor organizing, when in fact such techniques have often been used by labor unions. McAlevey also often fails to see that building a labor movement is a collective effort. She makes much of her isolation in the right-to-work state of Nevada. However, Las Vegas is not an isolated town in the nonunion South. It is home to a strong labor movement, with a vital and large union of culinary workers, and considerable political muscle. Furthermore, California, with strong unions facing the same employers she did, was just across the border. Private-sector hospitals in California had been organized, with workers winning superior wages, benefits, working conditions, and patient protections. She would not have been able to win good contracts with the private hospital corporations in Las Vegas without the prior success of her California counterparts. Yet, she gives them no credit and seems to go out of her way to say that they did not help her at all, which, I have learned since reading her book, is not true. Finally, a reasonable reader might question the depth of her commitment to rank-and-file workers. She frequently denigrated the local's officers, but instead of doing a PSA of the local to find out how they could be won over to her vision, she illegally tried to overthrow them. She argues that a modern union needs a paid professional staff, presumably comprised of people like her, recruited from outside of the local union. But it seems not to have occurred to her that the rank-and-file members could be trained to be professionals, to do anything she could do, and with the advantage of having performed the work of the members they represented.


CSJ -» Community Newsletter

www.socialjustice.org [cached]

A talk by Jane McAlevey, former Executive Director of SEIU Nevada and author of Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement (Verso).
Jane McAlevey is an organizer, author and scholar. Her first book, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell), published by Verso Press, was named the "most valuable book of 2012" by The Nation magazine. She has served as Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for a union local, as National Deputy Director for Strategic Campaigns of the Healthcare Division for SEIU, and she was the Campaign Director of the one of the only successful multi-union, multi-year, geographic organizing campaigns for the national AFL-CIO. She has led power structure analyses and strategic planning trainings for a wide range of union and community organizations and has had extensive involvement in globalization and global environmental issues. She worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center as an educator (and as Deputy Director) in her early 20's. McAlevey is currently a PhD candidate at the City University of New York's Graduate Center and is a contributing writer at The Nation magazine. Jane McAlevey A discussion with author and labour organizer Jane McAlevey Join Sam Gindin in a discussion with Jane McAlevey about her book Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell). In her book, McAlevey describes her experiences in the labour movement organizing bold, large scale campaigns in right to work Nevada and elsewhere in the U.S., drawing lessons about the potential for rebuilding the labour movement into a movement that can win. McAlevey's experiences organizing in the student, environmental justice and union movement reflect her central belief that meaningful change can only come with "whole-worker organizing" that puts ordinary people at the center of their own struggle, in their workplaces and in their communities. Jane McAlevey is an organizer, author and scholar. Her first book, Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell), published by Verso Press, was named the "most valuable book of 2012" by The Nation magazine. She has served as Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for a union local, as National Deputy Director for Strategic Campaigns of the Healthcare Division for SEIU, and she was the Campaign Director of the one of the only successful multi-union, multi-year, geographic organizing campaigns for the national AFL-CIO. She has led Power Structure Analyses and strategic planning trainings for a wide range of union and community organizations and has had extensive involvement in globalization and global environmental issues. She worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center as an educator (and as Deputy Director) in her early 20s. McAlevey is currently a PhD candidate at the City University of New York's Graduate Center and is a contributing writer at The Nation magazine.


New Ground 150 -- Chicago Democratic Socialists of America

www.chicagodsa.org [cached]

Possibly for that reason, three weeks later Uetricht posed the question to a panel consisting of " Peter Olney, organizing director of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and a former SEIU organizer; Jane McAlevey , former SEIU national deputy director of strategic campaigns and SEIU Nevada ex- ecutive director, who chronicled her experiences in Raising Expectations (And Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement (Verso); and Trish Kahle , a worker at Whole Foods and a member of the SEIU-backed Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago, a new union that is leading the Fight for 15 campaign.
While Olney and McAlevey have something to contribute, Trish Kahle provides most of the illumination HERE .


SEIU Member Activists for Reform Today: uhw

www.seiusmart.org [cached]

Or former foundation official and environmentalist Jane McAlevey, whose brief reign as appointed director of SEIU Local 1107 in Nevada was so dysfunctional that she was forced out last June, while retaining her seat on the SEIU board.


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