To:       SCIF employees
From:    Yvonne Walker, SEIU Local 1000 President
Re:       CASE Lawsuit
Date:     April 20, 2009


There’s a lot of discussion about the CASE lawsuit.  Our lawyers have been and are still tracking all of the details carefully. The court’s recent announcement leaves more leaves more questions than answers. Once the court releases the entire decision, we will have more information. But here are the main points:

  • In the lawsuit, SCIF argued that it is not a state agency and that only SCIF management should decide the furlough days of employees because it is independent and must be allowed to operate like a private insurance carrier.

  • SCIF’s so-called independence for decisions about furlough signals a dangerous tone and could do long term damage to the civil service protections enjoyed by SCIF employees.

  • Just a couple years back SCIF made these same arguments to the State Personnel Board when it tried to claim that this independence exempted it from SPB review of its outsourcing contracts.  Local 1000 had brought a major challenge against SCIF’s outsourcing of payroll, clerical and claims adjusting work.  The union won its case at SPB.  It took a court action to get SCIF to finally end those illegal contracts and ensure that SCIF employees did not lose their jobs.

  • We cannot afford to lose the civil service job protections and contract guarantees that will be lost should SCIF convince a court that they are not a state agency.

  • If SCIF is not a state agency, then SCIF employees are not state employees and they will loose the protections guaranteed under the entire Local 1000 contract including:

    • Outsourcings protections - The Local 1000 contract protects SCIF employees from outsourcing. Any contracting out by the state must comply with the process governed by the State Personnel Board (SPB). Local 1000 attorneys and members frequently challenge private contracts – winning more than 80 percent of challenges

    • Job security - SCIF employees have bumping rights and transfer guarantees should layoffs occur.

    • Health care benefits - Although takeaways are occurring in both the public and private sector, Local 1000 was able to secure continued state contributions for health insurance benefits through 2010.

    • Retirement - SCIF employees are guaranteed a defined retirement benefit that is superior to the private sector.

  • Other state unions, including CASE, have not been able to get the protections we won in our new contract.

Local 1000 will continue to fight for the rights of all employees we represent, including every SCIF employee.