Thursday, June 20, 2024

SECU Breaching Long Held Covenants with Members And Employees? 

 An agreement, an understandinga contract between people.

The SECU Board and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) seem to believe that they may "change the rules of the game" willy-nilly. That attitude does not appear to be in keeping with "the foundation documents" - the organizational charter, the by-laws, nor the statutory requirements - of SECU as a member-owned cooperative.  And, a one-sided breach of a covenant is always a breach of trust.

Willy-nilly isn't working! Financially at SECU over the last "new/new" years, growth has stalled, assets have declined, operating costs are leaping, lending savvy appears marginal. The "new/new" track record is strewn with questionable leadership hires, an embarrassing RBL about-face, non-market rates on most member savings, and a disturbing demoralization of staff - through missteps in organizational restructuring, operational snafus, and short-sighted changes in recruitment, benefit, and career advancement practices. A decline in the quality of service has not gone unnoticed by long-term members. 

Now the proposed capping of retiree health care benefits has raised yet another red flag concerning employee covenants vs. Board attitude [see post - "We" Board Foolin' Around?] and [post - "Capping Retiree Health Care..."]   Take particular note of the comments. It also needs to be made very clear that any capping of retiree health care benefits will affect current longer term employees, also.

Folks who have been around North Carolina state government for a few years have witnessed how a breach in employee benefit covenants plays out in the real world and in our State courts. The State of North Carolina attempted to change retirement [The "Bailey" Case] and health care [The "Justice Lake" Case] benefits for North Carolina state employees in the 1990/2000's.

Extended, expensive lawsuits followed. The results were two rulings by the N.C. Supreme Court which ruled in favor of state employees. The State of North Carolina, as an employer, was told it could not unilaterally breach a covenant on employee retirement and health benefits. Those Supreme Court decisions cost the State over a billion dollars in restitution and legal fees.

If in fact, "employees are our greatest asset", then the SECU Board and ELT should take their words to heart. 

A one-sided breach of an employee covenant is always a breach of trust.


Especially when most of the current SECU Board members are personally benefiting from those hard fought Bailey/Lake employee benefit lawsuits!