Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Article: Dave Regan’s sexual harassment was constant; SEIU-UHW’s president made drunken requests to sniff women’s panties at union events

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan

Today, a journalist published a jaw-dropping article detailing the alleged sexual harassment and assaults carried out by multiple top SEIU officials.

Half of the alleged offenders are top officers at SEIU-UHW, including President Dave Regan and Vice President Stan Lyles.

In preparing the article, Mike Elk at PayDay Report reportedly conducted exclusive interviews with dozens of union staffers and reviewed hundreds of pages of court documents. (Mike Elk, “SEIU Prez Knew of Sexual Misconduct and Personally Promoted Staffer Anyhow,” PayDay Report, December 11, 2019)

What did he find?

The term “jaw-dropping” doesn’t do it justice. 

Check out the following excerpts from Elk’s reporting on just one of the six officials, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan. (Regan also serves as a Vice President of DC-based SEIU and is a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board). More to follow in Tasty’s next posts.

Regan… stands accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. Indeed, SEIU has even permitted Regan to use his union’s funds to defend himself against sexual misconduct allegations.

…Interviews with scores of SEIU staffers, past and present, and sworn testimony obtained by Payday Report, accused Regan of making it clear that he would promote women from the rank-and-file of the union who were willing to engage in sexual relationships with him.

Veronica Lowery, a contract specialist at UHW, said she once was at a conference when she overheard Regan and others talk about the physical appearance of a rank-and-file member walking by them.

“‘The only way she is getting a job [with SEIU-UHW] is if she sucks my dick,’” Lowery recalls Regan said in an affidavit obtained by Payday Report.

At a training in October of 2017, Regan is reported to have shown up drunk to a meeting and asked women if he could smell their panties.

“I was at a gathering of some of the other women contract specialists, and Mr. Regan went around asking the women if he could sniff their panties,” said contract specialist Carla Grossman in an affidavit obtained by Payday Report. “At one point, another woman’s cell phone rang, and it was that woman’s husband. Mr. Regan took the phone from her and said, ‘I’II smell your panties, too,’ or words to that effect into the cell phone.”

Women like Mindy Sturge say that the sexual harassment from Regan was constant. In one meeting, Sturge says that Regan asked her if “Does the carpet match the drapes?”  in reference to her pubic hair.

In another meeting with others present, Sturge says that Regan asked her, “What would you do for some jewelry?”; an advance that she took as a sexual proposition. Sturge says it appeared that Regan was drunk.

Scores of SEIU-UHW staffers interviewed by Payday Report say that Regan was frequently seen drunk in the office and at union events. Regan was known for getting drunk at union conferences or outings where there was dancing and “grinding” on a woman’s backside on the dance floor. At one union conference, he “grinded” on Sturge in a way that she felt was sexually inappropriate.

“It was embarrassing,” said Sturge.

With so many men at the top of SEIU-UHW creating a workplace of sexual misconduct, some men, who had gotten in trouble at other SEIU locals, found ease in getting employment with SEIU-UHW.

 More to follow.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Lawyers Drop Bombshell in Suit against SEIU-UHW and Dave Regan

Dave Regan

Here’s the latest from the lawsuit filed by a former staffer who alleges that SEIU-UHW president Dave Regan and other top officials created a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination that led to an assault against a women staffer.  

The case, known as Sturge vs. SEIU-UHW, is being heard in Alameda County Superior Court.

In a recent court filing, Sturge’s lawyers dropped a bombshell.

Remember Chokri BenSaid?

He’s Regan’s right-hand man and at one point was rumored to be Regan’s heir apparent. Regan placed him on SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board and Executive Committee, and also appointed him to direct the union’s Hospital Division.  

Well, witnesses testified in sworn depositions that he’s a vicious stalker and harasser of women, according to records filed by Sturge's attorneys.

And it gets worse.

Top SEIU-UHW officials hired him just weeks after he was fired by SEIU for sexual harassment, according to court records.

Which SEIU-UHW officials knew about BenSaid's history of sexual harassment?  

General Counsel (Bruce Harland) and Regan’s Deputy Chief of Staff (Triana Silton), according to court records.

Why is this bad for Regan and SEIU-UHW?

Sturge’s lawyers allege that Regan and Co. fostered a workplace culture of sexual harassment and discrimination against women. Obviously, it doesn’t look too good if Regan and Co. hired, and then promoted to one of the union's highest positions, a person with a known track record of sexually harassing women.

What did BenSaid allegedly do to women at SEIU-UHW?

According to sworn testimony, he propositioned them, stalked them, retaliated against them, harassed them…

For example, one person testified he referred to a woman co-worker as a “whore” and a “bitch,” stalked her, and caused her to resign her job. He allegedly exchanged texts with a co-worker like:  “I think I might want to f*ck Georgette first.” “Just like to spin her on my d*ck lol.” Another testified that he propositioned an SEIU-UHW organizer and when she turned him down, he called her a bitch and told her to “f*ck off.” And he allegedly had inappropriate photos of women on his cell phone.

Given the broader social awareness brought by the MeToo movement, it's hard to imagine that SEIU-UHW's hiring, promotion and treatment of BenSaid will not look devastatingly bad to a jury.

What’s next in the case?

It’s heading to a trial. Last Friday, the judge scheduled the start of the trial for January 27, 2020.  Stay tuned.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Lawsuit Testimony: SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and Stan Lyles Propositioned, Groped and Demeaned Women

More shocking news is emerging from legal proceedings surrounding allegations of sexual harassment by SEIU-UHW officials (Sturge vs. SEIU-UHW).

Recently, the lawyers representing a former SEIU-UHW staffer filed documents in Alameda County Superior Court containing excerpts from sworn testimony delivered by a variety of SEIU-UHW staffers during court depositions. The staffers include Regan’s Deputy Chief of Staff Triana Silton and former Kaiser Director Marcus Hatcher.

The details are stomach-churningly revolting. Regan has apparently decided to model himself after Donald Trump. Here are some details from staffers’ sworn testimony:
One staffer testified that, “Regan asked a group of women if he could sniff their panties.”
SEIU-UHW Vice President Stan Lyles “sent photos of his penis to a UHW member, cornered and propositioned her in a hotel room.”
“Lyles groped a member’s breast.”
“Regan and Lyles discussed picking up ho’s while on business in Arizona, and commented that the ho’s in UHW’s office ‘were ugly.’”
“Regan is a notorious ‘boob gazer’ who would comment to attractive women (‘you’re lucky I’m a married man’).”
"Directors Bensaid and Hatcher texted lewd remarks about women coworkers ('I think I might want to f*ck Georgette first'; 'Just like to spin her on my d*ck lol.')"
More details are below in a two-page excerpt from the court filing. Tasty blanked out the names of some of those who testified in order to protect their identities.

The lawsuit is about to get more interesting. Trial is set to begin on November 25. And Regan reportedly has been deposed by the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Controversy Brews over Allegations of a Stealth “Partnership Tax” by SEIU-UHW

Controversy is still brewing over SEIU-UHW’s tentative agreement with Kaiser Permanente. Membership votes to ratify the agreement are underway and will continue next week.

What’s the controversy?

As Tasty reported earlier, SEIU-UHW president Dave Regan was pushing to impose a new 25-cents-per-hour-worked “partnership tax” on SEIU-UHW’s members at Kaiser. All of the tax revenues -- approximately $26 million per year – would have helped fund a new training academy controlled by Regan, which his internal critics called a “slush fund.”

In response to workers’ criticism of the new “partnership tax,” Regan pulled a “switcheroo” on SEIU-UHW’s members, according to internal critics.

In the final version of the tentative agreement, Regan removed the partnership tax and allegedly replaced it with a stealth funding mechanism that nonetheless requires SEIU-UHW members to foot the bill. According to critics, Regan agreed to have SEIU-UHW members forgo 2% in wage increases offered by Kaiser so those funds could instead be steered into Regan’s training fund. Tasty doesn’t have access to sufficient information to independently corroborate these allegations.

See more details in the leaflet below, which comes from John Duff, a retired Kaiser worker who formerly served on SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Coalition of Kaiser Unions Reaches TA as Controversy Brews over Dave Regan’s New “Partnership Tax”

On Wednesday, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions announced it reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with Kaiser. Details on the deal are still sketchy at this point.

Meanwhile, anger is brewing among SEIU-UHW members over Dave Regan’s effort to jam a 25-cent-per-hour tax down workers’ throats. 


According to SEIU-UHW members, Regan is trying to fold the tax into the contract ratification vote rather than letting workers vote on the tax as a separate item. See this earlier post for more details. 

During a recent negotiating session with Kaiser, Regan reportedly attacked a member of SEIU-UHW’s Bargaining Committee, according to a retired Kaiser worker who formerly served on SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board. In a leaflet circulated among SEIU-UHW members, John Duff writes:
“At the last bargaining session, Dave Regan ended up screaming at Vallejo member, and long-time leader, Ollie Allen. What was Ollie’s crime? He had the nerve to ask for a separate vote on the 25 cent tax.”

Regan reportedly opposes a separate vote on the tax because he knows that workers would vote it down. The tax would cost each full-time SEIU-UHW member an estimated $1,020 per year.

Duff’s leaflet -- along with three others (see below) -- were circulated among Kaiser workers before SEIU-UHW reached a tentative agreement with Kaiser earlier this week. 

The leaflets refer to Regan as “Takeaway Dave Regan” and “the Donald Trump of union leaders” -- apparently due to Regan’s reported bullying of union members for requesting a separate vote on the tax. Duff says the tax will generate millions of dollars a year that will be steered into a “slush fund” controlled by Regan.

Here are the leaflets:

Friday, September 13, 2019

Dave Regan Is Pushing a New “Partnership Tax” on SEIU-UHW’s Members at Kaiser

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan is facing criticism from rank-and-file members at Kaiser for pushing a new “partnership tax” on SEIU-UHW members at Kaiser. Regan is trying to slip the new tax into a contract he’s negotiating with Kaiser.

How much is the tax?

Beaucoup bucks. 

Each SEIU-UHW member would be taxed 25 cents for every hour worked, according to a description issued by SEIU-UHW (see below). 

For a full-time worker (2,080 hours a year), that translates into $520 per year. Together,  SEIU-UHW's members at Kaiser would pay an estimated $26 million per year in taxes.

In response, SEIU-UHW members at Kaiser are circulating this leaflet:

Of course, the new proposed tax would come on top of SEIU-UHW’s current “partnership tax,” which is approximately 9 cents per hour worked. (SEIU-UHW and Kaiser officials reportedly boosted the tax during their last contract negotiations.) 

Some SEIU-UHW members are asking: 
Why are we even paying the current tax to fund our 'partnership' with Kaiser even though Kaiser is forcing us to go out on strike? 

Not a bad question. 

See below for SEIU-UHW’s effort to win support for its proposed new partnership tax.

In Tasty's humble opinion, SEIU-UHW’s arguments don’t make much sense. 

For example, SEIU-UHW says that by expanding California’s workforce of trained health care workers by 10,000 workers per year, it will improve current union members’ power to win better wages, benefits and retirement.

But that doesn’t follow the logic of supply and demand in labor markets, right?

For example, if there’s a shortage of Respiratory Therapists or Rad Techs in California, those workers have greater power to command higher wages. In fact, hospitals often negotiate mid-contract wage increases designed to prevent these high-in-demand workers from leaving to take jobs elsewhere.

How will expanding the supply of trained workers by 10,000 per year improve the power of SEIU-UHW members at the bargaining table?

And here's another question that deserves attention: Who pays and who benefits?

Kaiser stands to benefit from having a steady supply of newly trained workers.

But under Regan's proposal, Kaiser would only pay half the costs, with SEIU-UHW's members picking up the other half. Why not let Kaiser pay the full cost of training its own workforce? 

Plus, Kaiser pocketed $5.2 billion in profits during the first six months of this year. Kaiser should pay, not workers.

Interestingly, as far as the tax proposal, there's one person who wouldn't pay any taxes under the proposal: Dave Regan.

Sounds like someone is selling snake oil.

Friday, September 6, 2019

SEIU Local 73 Must Re-Run Officer Election after Feds Find Fault

Next month, SEIU Local 73 will re-run last year’s internal officer election after a federal investigation found that SEIU-backed candidates improperly used union resources during the campaigning. The “re-run” election will be conducted under government supervision.

SEIU Local 73, which represents approximately 25,000 public-sector workers in Illinois and northwestern Indiana, entered into a “voluntary compliance agreement” with the feds to re-run the election, according to the federal Office of Labor Management Standards:
OLMS entered into a voluntary compliance agreement with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 (located in Chicago, Ill.), concerning its October 23, 2018 election of officers.  The union agreed to conduct new nominations, a new election, and installation for the offices of president, secretary-treasurer, two executive board vice presidents, five vice presidents, and [8] executive board members under OLMS supervision on or before November 22, 2019.  The investigation disclosed that union resources were used when a candidate obtained the union’s membership list and used it to purchase members’ phone numbers to campaign via phone bank.  The agreement follows an investigation by the OLMS Chicago District Office.

The announcement was cheered by the “Members leading Members” slate, whose complaint prompted the government investigation.

Last year’s election came after a two-year trusteeship imposed by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry as well as a 2017 court battle launched by Local 73 members to bring an end to the trusteeship. SEIU’s trusteeship featured a cast of well-known characters, including Eliseo Medina.

SEIU’s trustee, Dian Palmer, won last year’s election for president of Local 73 by just 375 votes. The “Members leading Members” slate, which campaigned on returning control of the union to its members, won eight of 30 seats on the union’s Executive Board.

Since the election, SEIU leaders have faced a variety of criticisms over salary increases for top officials, changes to the union’s constitution that eliminated four annual membership meetings, and the arrest of the local’s former president, Christine Boardman, for allegedly “trespassing” when she attended a membership meeting and handed out a leaflet. Boardman said she had a right to attend the meeting since she’s a retiree.

Next month’s elections will be conducted by mail.