Falling short of standards
As a recap of Andy Stern’s 14-year tenure as president of the Service Employees International Union, the nation’s largest healthcare union, (“A Stern farewell,” April 19, p. 10) fell rather short of the journalistic standards we’ve come to expect from Modern Healthcare.
On the heels of the successful campaign SEIU helped lead to pass historic healthcare reform and despite a 14-year span during which 1.2 million workers joined SEIU to make improvements in their jobs, the reporter chose instead to dwell on a salacious story about the so-called NUHW—a splinter group led by dissident leaders who broke away from SEIU’s largest California local union barely one year ago and does not even have a single bargaining unit under contract.
In stark contrast to Modern Healthcare’s usual even-handed reporting, the reporter relied heavily on commentary from highly-partisan SEIU critics and supporters of NUHW — including its top leader who, along with others, were just found liable by a federal jury for conspiring to sabotage the SEIU local.
Stern’s departure will be an enormous loss for SEIU, and his announcement that he is retiring was deeply disappointing to SEIU leaders from coast to coast. For 14 years, Stern’s leadership has had a profound impact on our ability to raise living and working standards in America.
We can only hope a more relevant and insightful portrayal of his accomplishments will appear in Modern Healthcare sometime in the future.
Mary Kay Henry Executive vice president Service Employees International Union Washington