Friday, February 12, 2016

More E-mails Describe Terms of SEIU-UHW Dave Regan's Secret Deal with California Hospital Association

SEIU-UHW's Bruce Harland
Here are more e-mails exchanged by SEIU-UHW and the California Hospital Association (CHA) during the course of their arm-breaking legal battles.

In the first e-mail, a CHA attorney -- Curt Kirshner of the Jones Day law firm -- reports that the CHA "has filed three arbitration complaints against UHW which should be scheduled for hearings."

According to the CHA, SEIU-UHW violated three separate provisions of a secret gag clause that prohibit SEIU-UHW from suing hospital corporations, supporting legislation that's "adverse to the interests of the hospital industry," and saying "derogatory" things about hospital corporations and their bosses. The gag clause was signed by SEIU-UHW's President, Dave Regan.

Regan's gag clause is so far-reaching that SEIU-UHW apparently violated the no-derogatory-comments rule when it called CHA CEO Duane Dauner a "saboteur."

The second e-mail is a response from SEIU-UHW's hack attorney, Bruce Harland, who works at the Weinberg, Rogers and Rosenfeld law firm. In 2014, Harland worked hand-in-hand with Regan to write the secret deal with the CHA -- aka the "Code of Conduct" -- including its gag clause.

In this e-mail, Harland acknowledges that SEIU-UHW is bound by the deal's gag clause and arbitration clause. He also makes a final, pathetic plea to the hospital bosses to cough up 30,000 non-union workers to SEIU-UHW.

In so doing, Harland reaffirms the "centerpiece" of Regan's dirty deal with hospital bosses: a "money-for-members" quid pro quo in which Regan agreed to deliver $6 billion in public Medicaid funds to hospital CEOs in exchange for the right to unionize up to 60,000 California hospital workers without employer opposition.

Here's an excerpt from Harland's e-mail. A full copy of the two e-mails is below.

Second, with respect to the first two complaints filed by CHA, UHW is willing to arbitrate these disputes, under the Code of Conduct, so long as CHA and the hospital signatories meet the obligations that they are required to satisfy, under the Code of Conduct, by January 1, 2016. These obligations require, among other things, that "[b]y "January 1, 2016, various hospitals and health systems in California execute a conditional agreement providing access rights to the Union at acute care hospitals in California for at least 30,000 (30,000) non-union, non-supervisory employees." Sec. D(2)  If the hospitals or health systems fail to execute such agreements, then "the Union shall be released from all further obligations under this Agreement..." Id . CHA has already announced to CEOs that it will not satisfy this obligation, and Mr. Dauner has expressed to UHW’s President that the likelihood of CHA and the signatory hospitals executing such an agreement is "highly remote." In addition, despite the Union's best efforts, CHA and the signatory hospitals have failed to agree to a conditional access agreement. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Breaking: SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Reportedly Arrested after Breaking the Arm of Hospital Association's Process Server

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan
Sources report that SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan was arrested after breaking the arm of a process server who served legal documents, authored by the California Hospital Association (CHA), on Regan at his home in Kensington, California.

According to a reliable source, the Kensington Police Department will soon forward Regan's arrest records to the District Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.

Four sources have corroborated the incident. Here's what they say.

The process server reportedly attempted to serve the legal documents when Regan answered his front door on Beloit Avenue.

Regan, rather than accept the documents, violently pushed the process server down the stairs, breaking his arm. When the police arrived at the scene, say sources, Regan got into an altercation with the police and was arrested.

According to court records, the CHA recently served a variety of legal motions on SEIU-UHW officials in response to Regan’s November 2015 lawsuit against the CHA.

On January 25, for example, a CHA process server delivered legal motions to SEIU-UHW's attorney, Eduardo Roy of Prometheus Partners, at the firm's a law firm in San Francisco. Those documents sought the court's permission for the CHA to formally intervene in Regan's lawsuit.

On January 26, the CHA filed its own lawsuit against SEIU-UHW alleging that Regan violated a gag clause contained in his secret partnership deal with CHA officials.

For those familiar with Dave Regan’s history, the reports of his arm-breaking assault will not be surprising. Regan reportedly has a history of violent encounters, including fistfights at SEIU events, some of which were reportedly fueled by alcohol.

In 2008, Regan led busloads of SEIU staffers and supporters in an attack against a national conference held by "Labor Notes," a network of union activists seeking to democratize and reform US labor unions. Regan's troops violently forced their way into the conference in Dearborn, Michigan, where they reportedly punched, kicked and knocked participants to the floor.
Regan's troops assaulting the Labor Notes conference: 2008

One female conference attendee was sent to the hospital with cuts and other injuries to her head.

Tragically, one of the members of Regan's union at the time, SEIU 1199 West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, died during Regan's assault from a heart attack.

John Sweeney (then President of the AFL-CIO) denounced Regan's attack on the conference, stating: "There is no justification -- none -- for the violent attack orchestrated by SEIU," according to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

When Regan parachuted into California in 2009, sources say he schooled SEIU-UHW's staff in his "old school ways," including the use of threats and intimidation against the union's members and its critics.

During a 2009 election among homecare workers in Fresno County, SEIU staffers reportedly threatened immigrant home care workers with deportation unless they voted for SEIU-UHW, according to TV news coverage and video-taped testimonials of workers and SEIU staff.

During NLRB elections at Kaiser Permanente, SEIU-UHW employed a "World War III" strategy designed to intimidate its members by employing, for example, violent "shout downs" against union members.

In one infamous incident inside a hospital cafeteria, SEIU-UHW staffer Tiffany Ford issued death threats against Kaiser employees… for which a Los Angeles Superior Court judge imposed a restraining order on her.

Another SEIU-UHW staffer, Liz Castillo, became a YouTube sensation (88,000 views) for her violent assault in a hospital cafeteria captured on videotape.

SEIU-UHW -- including staffer Angela Hewett -- even threatened and intimidated 80-year-old labor legend Dolores Huerta, who co-founded of the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez. In one incident, SEIU-UHW representatives shamefully screamed at Ms. Huerta to "go back to the fields."

All of which raises important questions:

Why did SEIU officials -- including Andy Stern and Mary Kay Henry -- install a man with a history of violence to head a union of healthcare workers in California?

And why have Henry and SEIU's International Executive Board allowed Regan to remain in his seat atop one of SEIU's largest local unions in the nation despite his repeated acts of intimidation and violence -- including his latest assault against a processor, who good just as easily be a union member?

Are SEIU presidents and officers permitted to break the arms of court workers without being held accountable?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hospital Association's Lawsuit Details SEIU-UHW Dave Regan's Dirty Deal with CEOs

SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan
Here's the lawsuit that the California Hospital Association (CHA) filed against SEIU-UHW on January 26, 2016 in Sacramento Superior Court.

In the 11-page suit, the CHA asks a judge to toss out SEIU-UHW’s November 2015 lawsuit and to force SEIU-UHW into binding arbitration per the terms of their secret "partnership" agreement.

The lawsuit discusses the "money-for-members" quid pro quo in which SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan agreed to deliver $6 billion in public Medicaid funds to hospital CEOs in exchange for the right to unionize up to 60,000 California hospital workers without employer opposition.

The lawsuit also offers new details about the massive gag clause that Regan wrote into his secret deal with CEOs. 

In addition to the terms of the gag clause already detailed in previous posts (e.g., no "anti-employer activities," no "derogatory" comments about corporations and CEOs, no regulatory complaints or legal actions against hospital corporations, etc.), we learn that Regan also agreed to block SEIU-UHW from "raising concerns about... executive compensation in health care."

What does this mean?

For at least the past two years, Regan has blocked SEIU-UHW from writing leaflets, issuing press releases, or even talking to legislators, journalists and the public about hospital CEOs' excessively fat paychecks.

So much for speaking out against the CEOs who’ve created the worst wealth inequality crisis in the United States since the 1930s. It turns out that SEIU -- a company union that's for sale to the highest bidder -- is bought and paid for by the CEOs.

For SEIU-UHW's members, Regan's secret gag clause will help explain why their union hasn't issued a single leaflet criticizing their bosses' multi-million dollar paycheck… even as they try to ram pay and benefit cuts down their throat.

Finally, here are some excerpts from the lawsuit. A full copy is below.

On May 5, 2014, CHA, UHW, and a number of California hospitals and health systems entered into an agreement entitled the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct sought to "create a new model for labor relations that is based on cooperation rather than confrontation," including by laying out "a labor-management relationship as reflected in the code of conduct" and ensuring that "every opportunity will be taken to resolve differences quickly and in a professional and non-confrontational manner." (p. 2)

UHW agreed that it would not engage in "reputation or economic attacks; personal attacks; or instigating or supporting... litigation" that was "directed at or with respect to CHA... and any of [its] officers, directors, managers or shareholders." UHW also specifically agreed that it would not "sponsor or support legislation, initiatives, or regulatory action adverse to the California hospital industry during the terms of this Agreement." (p. 3)
The Second Complaint addresses UHW’s efforts to qualify California Initiative 15-0111, "Hospital Executive Compensation Act of 2016" ("Compensation Initiative") for placement on the 2016 California ballot. As CHA explained to UHW in its November 30, 2015 complaint, the Union's decision to sponsor the Compensation Initiative violated Sections I(B) and II(C) of the Code of Conduct, and in particular UHW’s agreement not to "sponsor or support... initiatives adverse to the California hospital industry" or make comments "raising concerns about... executive compensation in health care." (p. 6)

Upon learning of the [UHW] lawsuit [filed in November 2015], CHA notified UHW that it viewed the litigation as a violation of Section I(B) the of the Code of Conduct, which prohibits "instigating or supporting... litigation" that is "directed at or with respect to CHA or signatory hospitals or health systems and any of their officers, directors, managers or shareholders." The CHA also noted that the inflammatory language UHW had used in its complaint -- labeling [CHA CEO Duane] Dauner a "saboteur" and accusing him of "corrupt acts," for example -- constituted a separate violation of the Union's duties to refrain from "reputation... attacks" or "personal attacks" directed at CHA and its officers and to avoid "derogatory comments" about CHA. (pp. 7-8) 

The Code of Conduct anticipated that signatory hospitals might choose to execute "Conditional Access Agreements," which would provide UHW access rights at California acute care hospitals in the event of "the achievement of a legislative or political solution that meets the previously agreed upon goal of obtaining full Medi-Cal funding and payments to hospitals for services rendered to Medi-Cal December 31, 2016." … The parties agreed that "[i]n the event that, by January 1, 2016, an insufficient number of hospitals or health systems execute Conditional Access Agreements to meet the requirement of [UHW access to] thirty thousand (30,000) non-union, non-supervisory employees..., the Union [would] be released from all further obligations under this Agreement and this Agreement shall terminate." Upon such termination, "all of [the Code of Conduct's] terms are terminated with respect to all signatories." (pp. 3-4) 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Email from Dauner to Regan: "You can't call me 'sabateur'"

Regan and Dauner
Here's an e-mail from Duane Dauner to Dave Regan that helps explain the legal battle that's raging between SEIU-UHW and the California Hospital Association.

It highlights a gag clause that Regan wrote into his secret "partnership" deal with the hospital industry. 

According to Dauner, the gag clause is so far-reaching that it blocks SEIU-UHW from supporting legislation, taking legal action, and even exercising free speech.

On November 24, 2015, SEIU-UHW filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court calling Dauner "corrupt" and a "saboteur." It alleges that Dauner (CEO of the California Hospital Association) and two other executives violated their responsibilities to a joint "partnership" committee by entering into an agreement with the SEIU California State Council to sponsor a statewide revenue-generating ballot initiative that competes with Regan's preferred initiative.

Two weeks later, on December 7, Dauner sent the following e-mail to Regan (SEIU-UHW's President) notifying him that SEIU-UHW's lawsuit violates the gag clause in Regan's secret deal with the CHA (aka, the "Code of Conduct").

Under the gag clause, SEIU-UHW is prohibited from calling Dauner a "saboteur." Why? Regan's gag clause prohibits SEIU-UHW from making "derogatory" comments about bosses.

Furthermore, the gag clause blocks SEIU-UHW from filing a lawsuit or taking any legal action against the CHA… or against any of "the officers, directors, managers or shareholders" of the corporations that signed Regan's deal.

Oh... and SEIU-UHW can’t initiate or support any regulatory action or legislation -- including ballot initiatives -- unless it first gets the approval of the hospital industry's bosses.

Regan's gag clause is so broad, in fact, that it bans SEIU-UHW from carrying out any "anti-employer activities" whatsoever!

In the end, we'll likely see that Regan's sell-out gag clause is the source of his own undoing -- a sort of self-administered guillotine blow to the cervical region.

Here are some excerpts from Duane’s e-mail to Dave (full text is below):
CHA hereby gives notice of its complaint that SEIU-UHW's litigation against C. Duane Dauner, Gregory A. Adams, Mark R. Laret, James R. Holmes, and Caring for Californians, LLC (collectively, "the Defendants") violates provisions of the Code of Conduct, including Subsections I(B) and II(C)...
In particular, under Section I.B of the Code of Conduct, SEIU-UHW is prohibited from "carry[ing] out or engage[ing] in any ‘Anti--Employer Activities,’" which are defined to include "instigating or supporting... litigation" that is "directed at or with respect to CHA or signatory hospitals or health systems and any of their officers, directors, managers or shareholders." The Union's decision to file a lawsuit against CHA's President and three of its officers is a clear violation of this provision.
Furthermore, the inflammatory language SEIU-UHW uses in its complaints -- labeling Mr. Dauner as a "saboteur" and accusing him of "corrupt acts," for example -- constitutes a separate violation of the Union's duties to refrain from "reputation... attacks" or "personal attacks" directed at CHA and its officers and to avoid "derogatory comments" about CHA. (Sec. I.B.1 and I.B.2)
These recent actions make clear that SEIU-UHW has abandoned any pretense of compliance with the Code's requirement that it address differences with CHA through "cooperation rather than confrontation" and "in a positive manner." (Preamble, Sec. I.B.1) The CHA therefore intends to bring this complaint to Arbitrator Ahearn promptly, seeking an order requiring SEIU-UHW to immediately withdraw both lawsuits and prohibiting SEIU-UHW from filing similar litigation in the future.

Friday, February 5, 2016

More Implosions Hit SEIU-UHW Dave Regan's Secret Deal with the California Hospital Association... and Expose Hidden Documents

More ear-splitting implosions are rocking Dave Regan's "groundbreaking" partnership with the California Hospital Association… quickly transforming it into a pile of twisted, smoking rubble.

Here's what's happening.

In recent weeks, the CHA has filed two counter-lawsuits against SEIU-UHW in response to Regan's November 2015 lawsuit against the CHA.

One of the CHA's suits -- filed last week -- says SEIU-UHW's original lawsuit should be tossed out because Regan, in his secret deal with the CHA, signed an "arbitration clause" that prohibits him from taking disputes to the courts. It also asserts that Regan violated the deal's "gag clause," which SEIU-UHW famously denied even existed.

So, in a stroke of poetic justice, the CHA has been forced to hand over a copy of Regan's secret deal in order to prove its case! A source snatched copies from the court and sent them to Tasty.

For nearly two years, Regan has stubbornly refused to allow journalists and the public to even catch a glimpse of the deal. In fact, he refused to show it to SEIU-UHW's members and even its "Executive Board," the union's top governing body.

Last year, NUHW filed a complaint with California Attorney General Kamala Harris over Regan's gag clause. That complaint was based on an unsigned version of the deal that was leaked to NUHW. At the time of the complaint, SEIU-UHW officials vigorously challenged the authenticity of the unsigned version.

Now… we have a SIGNED version of the deal with Dave's "John Henry" at the bottom! (See a full copy below.)

The CHA lawsuit also contains a trove of previously unseen documents…  including a one-page "Side Letter" signed by Regan and the CHA's Duane Dauner on May 5, 2014.

The documents detail the deal's corrupt "money-for-members" quid pro quo in which Regan agreed to deliver $6 billion in public Medicaid funds to hospital CEOs in exchange for the right to unionize 60,000 California hospital workers without employer opposition.  

Regan agreed to force the newly unionized workers into cheap, pre-negotiated labor contracts with substandard wages and benefits, a gag clause, and a ban on strikes.

Regan’s newly outed "Side Letter" also details the creation of a $100 million political slush fund -- using $20 million of SEIU-UHW members' dues money -- to help hospital CEOs boost their profits at taxpayer expense. 

Here are the two documents. More to follow in the days ahead.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top SEIU-UHW Staffer, Leon Chow, Departs amidst Reported Connections to Man Convicted of 162 Criminal Counts

SEIU-UHW's Leon Chow -- a top staffer for Dave Regan whose brief political career exploded in flames in 2012 -- is getting attention for his alleged connections to an ex-con recently found guilty of more than 150 criminal counts following a multi-year FBI probe.

Chow is no longer employed by SEIU-UHW, where he was paid approximately $120,000 per year.

According to an article in the SF Weekly, Chow has connections to Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow (no relation), who on January 8 was found guilty on 162 counts of racketeering, murder, money-laundering, and dealing in stolen liquor and cigarettes.

During a sentencing hearing in March, Shrimp Boy will face a mandatory life term, according to the Los Angeles Times ("Raymond 'Shrimp Boy' Chow found guilty of 162 counts in massive corruption case," 1-8-16). The FBI investigation involved raids that detained more than 20 people including former State Senator Leland Yee.

What's Leon Chow’s connection to Shrimp Boy?

According to the SF Weekly, Chow is an "associate" of Shrimp Boy.

Shrimp Boy, after completing an earlier jail term, rose to the top of a Chinatown fraternal organization called the Ghee Kung Tong group, which was attempting to manage a night market in San Francisco's Chinatown with city funding.

Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow
When city officials "balked at handing over the market to a shady character like [Shrimp Boy] Chow," says the Weekly, "Shrimp Boy had an associate who did take over the market — a Chinatown advocate and union organizer named Leon Chow."

According to the Weekly, "Chow secured a permit for the night market in 2010 on behalf of his union, Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (why home healthcare workers were interested is still unclear, but the union accepted a $5,000 check from Pius Lee to do it)."

The article, entitled "Shrimp Boy Associate Is Helping Julie Christensen," continues:
[Leon Chow’s] tenure with the market was brief: the night market ran for a full season in 2010 but for only two Saturdays in 2011 before closing. Chow, too, would soon drop off the scene. He mounted a brief campaign for city supervisor in 2012, running against incumbent progressive John Avalos in the Excelsior District. That effort ended after it was revealed that Chow lived in Walnut Creek, not the Excelsior; having committed the same offense that landed disgraced former Supervisor Ed Jew in federal prison (lying about his residence on a voter registration form) it seemed Chow's political career was over.
(Fyi -- Leon Chow’s earlier brushes with the law are detailed in various posts.)

Last fall, SEIU-UHW's Leon Chow reappeared in Chinatown to work on behalf of a business-dominated association attempting to elect a business-friendly candidate, Julie Christensen, to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors.

San Francisco's progressives -- including most of its labor unions -- backed candidate Aaron Peskin, who won the November 2015 election.

The business-dominated association -- called the "San Francisco Alliance for Jobs and Sustainable Growth" -- was founded by Regan after he parachuted into California in 2009. Regan teamed up with leaders of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to create the Alliance, which has attempted to exert a rightward pull on the city's politics.
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Regan -- who’s made his name as the Boss's best friend at the bargaining table -- has extended his alliance with corporate CEOs to the terrain of electoral politics by forming such political alliances. Regan's Alliance includes multiple business associations and other conservative elements of the labor movement, such as the Police Officers Association.

Last year, SEIU-UHW and Regan’s so-called "business-labor alliance" threw their full support behind AirBnB and real estate developers, who campaigned aggressively against a pair of affordable housing and anti-gentrification ballot measures that were championed by neighborhood groups, tenants and progressives.

Where's Leon now?

Stay tuned!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Source: SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan is on His Way Out

At SEIU-UHW's Executive Board meeting last month, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan announced he will not run for reelection when his three-year term ends next year, say sources.

Let Tasty be the first to wish Dave a hearty "GTFO." 

So, why is Regan leaving?

Some observers point to his repeated losses and failures, which have certainly taken their toll -- for example, his failed battle with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, his deepening isolation inside SEIU, his mega-failures in California, etc. 

In the Golden State, Regan has single-handedly led SEIU-UHW through a period in which the union lost half of its membership, destroyed the pensions and workplace standards for tens of thousands of California hospital workers, and flushed an estimated $25-30 million of union members' dues money down the toilet in Regan's failed pursuit of a so-called partnership with the California Hospital Association.

Other sources offer a different explanation for his departure. They say Regan is jumping ship because he's concluded he can’t win reelection next year. Here's what these sources say.

During SEIU-UHW's officer elections in 2011 and 2014, Regan was able to corral little more than 7,000 votes from the union's 140,000 members.

In 2011, Sophia Sims -- a rank-and-file Kaiser worker with few resources -- came within several thousand votes of defeating Regan, who collected only 7,000 votes that year. Not an impressive showing when you consider that Regan massively outspent Sims and also used the union's entire institutional machinery to push his candidacy onto the membership.

The elections were also marred by allegations of vote-rigging by Regan, which were detailed in a complaint to the US Department of Labor and a February 2011 lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Dave's hand-picked successor? Chokri Bensaid
After the 2011 election, Regan looked for opportunities to knock Sims out of contention in future elections. 

In 2012, he accused her of "gross disloyalty or conduct unbecoming a member" and ordered her to be subjected to an SEIU-UHW show trial. In 2013, Regan's hand-picked kangaroo court found Sims "guilty" and banned her from competing in SEIU-UHW's elections for seven years.

In other words, Regan is vulnerable to internal challenges.

What's more, he’d face an even bigger challenge if he were to run in 2017. 

In the union's 2011 and 2014 elections, Regan relied heavily on SEIU-UHW's homecare workers as his main source of votes. Homecare workers are very isolated from one another (each worker is employed in a separate client's home) and are aggressively targeted for votes by Regan's staff, who serve up heavy doses of misinformation and threats to harvest their votes.

Last June, Mary Kay Henry and the SEIU International Executive Board stripped Regan of his electoral base when they transferred 60,000 SEIU-UHW homecare workers to Laphonza Butler’s SEIU Local 2015.

That means Regan, in 2017, would have to campaign among SEIU-UHW's remaining membership -- hospital workers -- where he faces outright hostility from thousands of workers. Why?

At Dignity Health, Regan gave away 15,000 workers' defined-benefit pension and accepted a wage freeze even though the company was pocketing giant profits… and then he lied to workers about the cuts.

At the Daughters of Charity Health System, Regan has twice used ramrod ratification votes to force massive benefit cuts down the throats of approximately 3,000 workers. In recent months, he agreed to strip hundreds of part-time workers of all their benefits.

So, just how vulnerable is Regan to defeat in the newly changed electoral landscape of SEIU-UHW's shrinking membership?

At Kaiser hospitals alone, Regan's critics turned out 13,000 votes for NUHW in the most recent NLRB decertification election -- nearly double the total number of votes that Regan received in SEIU-UHW's officer elections of 2011 and 2014.

With Diamond Dave headed for retirement next year, who will Regan annoint as his replacement? 

Not Stan Lyles, his current Vice President. 

According to Tasty's sources, Regan told attendees of last month’s Executive Board meeting he’s backing the union's Kaiser Division Director, Chokri Bensaid.  

Bensaid – who works alongside Kaiser’s fatcat executives to sell the "partnership" to workers -- has also built up some level of recognition among Kaiser workers, who’ll now become the largest bloc of voters in the union's officer elections.

As for Regan's departure… good riddance. And GTFO.