- The Washington Times - Monday, April 26, 2010

If F. Vincent Vernuccio had called us before running his inaccurate column on the financial health of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU),he might have saved himself some embarrassment (Andy Stern’s debts,” Commentary, Friday).

Mr. Vernuccio’s misuse of LM-2 figures misleads readers and misses the facts. SEIU, the nation’s fastest-growing union, both grew and improved its financial standing during a period of global economic insecurity.In 2009, SEIU grew by 7 percent, doubled its net assets, decreased its debt as a proportion of overall assets by 22 percent and reduced non-real-estate debt by more than 60 percent. While our pension funds - like all pension and retirement funds - took a hit last year when the market collapsed, our outside investment managers have developed a plan to address those challenges within the parameters of the Pension Protection Act. And in contrast to retirees with gutted 401(k) plans, all SEIU beneficiaries are whole by law - no one has lost a dime.

SEIU is in strong fiscal health, but you don’t have to take our word for it.Moody’s, a well-known outside credit-rating agency, recently upheld SEIU’s A2 rating, citing the union’s significantly improving financial condition, more-than-adequate debt-coverage position, strong real estate position and improving liquidity.

SEIU is widely credited for helping elect President Obama and pro-worker candidates up and down the ticket. Our union played a critical role in the passage of the historic Health Care Reform Act of 2010. We are leading efforts to hold Wall Street and the politicians who break promises to working families accountable. We are the leading advocate for working people who want to build better lives for themselves and their families.

ANNA BURGER

Secretary-Treasurer, SEIU

Washington