Saturday, February 28, 2015

Worker: SEIU-UHW Deployed "Purple Clown" Strategy during NLRB Election


Remember SEIU-UHW’s loss in last month’s NLRB election at Mission Hospital in Orange County, Calif.?

SEIU-UHW was blown out in the election despite collusion from the hospital’s management as a result of SEIU-UHW’s sweetheart deal with the California Hospital Association.

Well, an employee at Mission Hospital sent along the following report about workers’ experience with SEIU:
The union organizers (sometimes 20+) completely took over our cafeteria every day for at least 2 weeks, sometimes with large purple union posters, while providing trays of free food, fish tacos, and stale purple cupcakes during lunch. The UNAC organizers also provided a "show" of verbal confrontations with CNA organizers in the parking lot.  The entire experience was so incredibly unprofessional.  Yup, they also had a purple clown in the cafeteria one day, and a purple cheerleader in the parking lot. It was shocking.
A purple clown? And purple cheerleader? Are you kidding?

Nope.

SEIU organizer at Mission Hospital
It turns out that SEIU-UHW actually dressed up its organizers as clowns and cheerleaders to, uhh, recruit support for the union. 

Apparently, in Dave Regan’s mind, ER Techs, Phlebotomists, EVS Aides, Surgical Assistants and other hospital workers actually prefer to be treated as six-year-olds.

One hospital staffer sent this blurry photo of SEIU-UHW’s purple clown as he paraded through the hospital. 

Does anyone know the identity of this bozo?

Of course, SEIU-UHW’s reliance on costumed child gimmicks shouldn't surprise us. Remember… this is the same union that dressed up its organizers as a Purple Barney and an Easter Bunny during earlier NLRB elections in Northern California.
 
Cass Gualvez, SEIU
So, which staffer devised SEIU-UHW’s genius cheerleader/clown strategy? 

It reportedly was Cass Gualvez, who is a "Staff Director" at SEIU-UHW and was also appointed by Regan to SEIU-UHW’s "Executive Committee," the union's its top governing body. In 2013, Gualvez was paid $140,757. 

In 2009, Gualvez conspired with executives at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center to fire a 31-year hospital employee and union member, which was later documented in a 50-page ruling by an NLRB Administrative Law Judge.

Gualvez, whose brain apparently approximates that of a six-year-old, is quite clueless. In fact, she’s so clueless she thought SEIU-UHW was headed towards a landslide election victory at Mission Hospital last month.
 
SEIU organizer at St. Louise Hospital
Here's what an employee at Mission Hospital reports:

SEIU also had a large purple RV parked down the road.  They planned to drive it to our campus parking lot for staff to gather for some sort of celebration when they won (we called it the "Barney Mobile"). SEIU was really expecting to win, but instead they had to drive it home!  
SEIU organizer at California Pacific Medical Center in 2010

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Who Butters Dave Regan's Buiscuits?


John Nelson, Kaiser's VP of Public Relations
Today, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan suffered a smackdown that leaves little doubt about who butters his biscuits.

Two months ago, as 3,500 Kaiser employees prepared for a weeklong strike to protest the understaffing of Kaiser's mental health clinics across California, Regan took the unprecedented step of teaming up with John Nelson (Kaiser Permanente's Vice President of Public Relations and Communications) to launch a coordinated P.R. attack against the workers.

An article in "Modern Healthcare" featured matching quotes from Regan and Nelson dismissing clinicians’ claims about the understaffing. 
Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers are accusing healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente of understaffing its mental-health services, and they're threatening to strike if their issues aren't resolved… But Dave Regan, president of the SEIU-UHW, which represents 45,000 Kaiser employees across the state, dismissed NUHW's concerns, saying that the staffing problem “was a limited one and is completely solved.” (Modern Healthcare, “Kaiser Mental-Health Staffing under Fire Again,” December 4, 2014)
 “Completely solved."

Hmmmm.

This morning, government investigators released a 33-page report detailing the results of their months-long investigation into Kaiser's mental health services. They cited Kaiser for multiple violations of state law, including understaffing its mental health clinics and forcing patients to endure lengthy, illegal waits for care. Investigators are contemplating additional fines against Kaiser – that’s on top of the $4 million fine that Kaiser already paid last September.
 
Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW
In an article published today by the Los Angeles Times, Shelley Rouillard (the Director of California’s Department of Managed Health Care) directly refuted Regan's earlier statement:
For the second time in two years, California regulators have faulted HMO giant Kaiser Permanente for causing mental health patients to endure long delays to get treatment… In Northern California, patients didn’t get initial or follow-up appointments within the required time frame of 10 to 15 business days in 22% of the records reviewed… “That is not a good performance,” Rouillard said. “Fundamentally it comes down to there are not enough providers in the Kaiser system to serve everyone who needs mental health services." (Los Angeles Times, “State again faults Kaiser Permanente for mental health treatment delays,” February 24, 2015)
So… Regan not only pimps for the Boss, he knowingly lies for the Boss, and gladly throws patients and healthcare workers under the bus. 

Hmmm. 

If you're a member of SEIU-UHW, wouldn't that make you a bit nervous?

Friday, February 20, 2015

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Suffers Defeat as Union Members, Attorney General, and SEIU Locals Run the Other Way


Today, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan suffered a thumping defeat when the California Attorney General approved the sale of six hospitals owned by the Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare. The AG rejected SEIU-UHW’s bid to transfer the hospitals to Blue Wolf Capital Partners, a private equity firm in New York City.

For many months, Regan has waged an all-out effort to block the sale to Prime after that company refused to sign Regan's sweetheart unionization deal with the California Hospital Association. During a tape-recorded SEIU conference call last May, Regan famously announced he would wage a campaign to bring Prime "to heel,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Last fall, Regan launched an expensive political, PR, and "Astroturf” campaign to block Prime from buying the hospitals. The campaign included buying TV ads and busing hundreds of purple-shirted homecare workers from three counties away to fill the chairs in the Attorney General's public hearings that were intended to gather input from the local community.

Regan was forced to bus in the homecare workers because his position was wildly unpopular among SEIU-UHW’s 1,600 members at the six hospitals. Without the sale, the hospitals would likely go bankrupt and put the 1,600 workers’ jobs and pensions in jeopardy. 

Midway through the process, workers also learned that Regan had secretly signed a backroom deal with Blue Wolf Capital to cut workers' pay and benefits by 15% if Blue Wolf got ahold of the hospitals.

When the Attorney General finally conducted hearings on the proposed sale, SEIU-UHW’s own members stood at the microphone and voiced their opposition to Regan. They also delivered petitions signed by more than half of SEIU-UHW’s members opposing Regan's position. 

At O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. nearly half of SEIU-UHW’s shop stewards resigned their positions to protest Regan's decision to ignore the membership and their livelihoods.

Below, check out a 30-second video of a former SEIU-UHW Chief Shop Steward who describes how SEIU used its members as "pawns" in its own political game. He says: “I'm ashamed to say that I'm an SEIU member because they're not looking out for their own members.”


That's not all. 

After losing the support of his own members, Regan also lost the support of other SEIU unions in California. For example, both SEIU Local 121 and SEIU Local 87 publicly supported the sale of the hospitals to Prime, and formally opposed Regan's position.

Here's the video:



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SEIU-UHW’s Private Equity Partnership Produces Rebellion from Workers


Dave Regan’s partnership with Blue Wolf Capital Partners isn’t quite producing "dividends," according to observers.

SEIU-UHW officials famously backed the New York private equity fund in its attempt to take over a chain of six California hospitals called the Daughters of Charity Health System. But even as SEIU-UHW staffers parade around in blue shirts bearing the private equity firm’s name, workers are running the other way.   
Here's what's happening.

SEIU-UHW’s 1,600 members at the six hospitals have reportedly responded with outrage that Regan signed a secret deal with Blue Wolf to cut their pay by 15% and is putting their jobs at risk by pushing the hospital chain towards a possible bankruptcy.

At O'Connor Hospital, a majority of SEIU-UHW members signed petitions opposing SEIU-UHW’s stance on the hospital sale.

And nearly half of SEIU-UHW’s shop stewards at O'Connor Hospital have resigned their positions to protest Regan's actions. Other workers have decided to stop paying dues to SEIU-UHW.

SEIU-UHW responded by dispatching Val Tagawa and other purple staffers to the hospital. One worker writes:
Since the [Attorney General's] hearing at OCH, we have had a concerted effort from SEIU (Val Tagawa and others) to harass folks about the issue. They have been generally met with "Don't bother me" type responses from workers, and on one occasion security was called and ended up escorting the SEIU stooges from the Cafeteria after employees complained to security.
Tagawa has reportedly been busy scouting for the best local bar and is well known around the hospital for the not-so-fragrant bouquet of her breath.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle have editorialized against SEIU-UHW’s position. The California Attorney General, who's responsible for approving or rejecting the proposed sale of the six hospitals, is supposed to make a decision by February 20.

One more note: Tasty earlier mentioned that SEIU-UHW officials have connections to Blue Wolf Capital. It turns out that the connections are multiple.
 
Mike Musuraca, Blue Wolf Man
First, Mike Musuraca (the Managing Director of Blue Wolf Capital) reportedly has connections to Gerry Hudson and Tom Woodruff (Vice Presidents of SEIU International) as well as other top SEIU officials. Musuraca has worked as an advisor for SEIU’s Change to Win. He formerly served as an Assistant Director in the Department of Research and Negotiations at AFSCME District Council 37 in New York City and was a trustee of the New York City Employees Retirement System.


In addition, it appears that David Miller, a staffer at SEIU-UHW, played a role in SEIU-UHW’s nefarious backdoor deal with Blue Wolf. Miller also comes from New York, where he formerly served as the Research Director at SEIU’s 1199 New York. After parachuting into California, he has assumed the over-inflated job title of “Assistant to the President for Strategic Campaigns” at SEIU-UHW ...presumably with an over-inflated salary. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breaking: Another member of SEIU’s IEB goes down in corruption scandal


Yesterday, Dana Cope -- a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) and the Executive Director of SEIU’s State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) -- stepped down after a North Carolina district attorney requested a criminal investigation into his alleged financial corruption, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

According to the newspaper:
Cope faces an inquiry from the State Bureau of Investigation for his handling of SEANC finances. The national union with which SEANC is affiliated, the Service Employees International Union, said it is taking the allegations of financial misconduct seriously.
Cope resigned just two days after the News and Observer published an article about his alleged financial corruption.  SEANC, which is known as “SEIU Local 2008,” represents approximately 55,000 current and retired North Carolina State employees.  

Cope is an example of SEIU’s so-called “21st century unionism.” Just like Andy Stern and Dave Regan, Cope is way more "business" than "labor." For example, Cope was a Vice-President of the Texas Future Business Leaders and has carefully transformed SEANC into an insurance company that only masquerades as a union.

In fact, Cope’s corruption scandal was uncovered by a union member who criticized one of Cope’s latest schemes, whereby union members purchase consumer electronics by paycheck deduction at elevated prices.

In an earlier post, Tasty revealed an internal SEIU memo that reports that SEANC’s "primary function" is "selling insurance." The memo notes that SEANC’s staff consists of 14 insurance salespeople… and only 3 union representatives for its 55,000 members.

As far as the breaking news about Cope's corruption scandal... 
Cope is one of SEIU's 21st Century labor leaders


According to an investigation published earlier this week by the News and Observer, Cope improperly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the union's bank account into his own pocket by using a creative maneuver. He hired construction and landscaping companies to renovate his home, and then instructed union staffers to hire the exact same companies and pay them more than $350,000 for apparently no-show projects.

There were also phony invoices. “One check for nearly $19,000 was justified by a phony invoice and was made out to a defunct computer company,” according to the News and Observer, which also reports the following:
Cope and SEANC’s general counsel admit the memo is phony but will not explain beyond saying it’s a personnel matter.
Oh, and there's also the personal flying lessons. It turns out that Cope really likes flying planes. So… Cope had SEIU members pay $21,000 for his flight school, according to the News and Observer.

So why were SEIU members paying for Cope’s flying lessons? Cope told the News and Observer ‘it allows him to fly with a flight instructor and to travel cheaply and efficiently on SEANC business.’ That's some serious bullsh*t, right?

And it sounds like more skeletons will soon come tumbling out of Cope's overcrowded closet.
Cope charged SEIU members for flying lessons

According to the News and Observer, SEIU allowed Cope "to put thousands of dollars of personal spending each year on SEANC credit cards. Cope has given contradictory accounts about how much of the money he has repaid…”  

One of the expenses that Cope charged to the union's credit card is "eyebrow waxing," according to the News and Observer.
 
Meanwhile, Cope has a history of problems with credit cards. Like buying too much sh*t with them. The newspaper reports that, in 2011, Cope filed for personal bankruptcy to wipe out $109,000 in credit-card debt.

As the scandal unfolded in the press this week, Cope vigorously defended his home repairs, flying lessons, credit card bills, etc. as harmless and above-board. However, once the district attorney asked the State Bureau of Investigation to launch a criminal inquiry into his spending, Cope decided to throw in the towel.

Yesterday, he held a 90-second press conference and all but admitted his guilt, saying:
“In recent days, I’ve come to realize that in carrying out the duties of my job, I have blurred the line between my personal life and my professional life.”


Cope has close ties to SEIU’s top officials.

Not only has he served on SEIU’s IEB for seven years with the likes of “Diamond" Dave Regan and David “See you at the races” Holway, but he reportedly worked with Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Tom Woodruff and Mary Kay Henry to negotiate SEANC’s 2008 merger with SEIU.

At SEIU’s International Convention in 2008, Andy Stern used a ridiculous gimmick to announce that the merger with 55,000-member SEANC had helped boost SEIU’s membership to more than 2 million members.

Which SEIU has kindly memorialized in a YouTube video.

Monday, February 9, 2015

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Loses Another NLRB Election


Remember Dave Regan’s recent election defeat at Mission Hospital in Orange County, California?

That's where SEIU-UHW lost an NLRB election for approximately 1,000 workers on January 29th despite having the Boss's support through Regan's sweetheart deal with the California Hospital Association (CHA).

Well… Tasty learned that SEIU-UHW lost an NLRB election at another hospital on the same exact day.

The second election was for a small “residual” unit of workers at Southern California Hospital in Culver City, a 420-bed hospital that used to be called Brotman Medical Center.

Many of the hospital's workers have been members of SEIU-UHW for a long time. On January 29th, SEIU-UHW tried to unionize the hospital's stationary engineers, biomedical engineers and others. It's unclear whether Regan triggered this election under his backroom deal with the Hospital Association.

Whatever the case, the workers said, “No thanks.” Apparently, they did their research on SEIU-UHW and voted to reject SEIU-UHW by a 3-to-1 margin.


Here's a copy of the ballot:



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Source: SEIU's Mary Kay Henry Moves to Transfer Homecare Workers Out of SEIU-UHW


What happened at last month’s meeting of SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) in Puerto Rico?

According to Tasty's sources, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry backed the transfer of SEIU-UHW’s homecare workers to SEIU Local 521, which currently represents approximately 55,000 homecare workers, municipal employees, and county workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California.

Local 521 is headed by CEO Luisa Bluewho’s an ally of Mary Kay Henry. Btw, "CEO stands for “Chief Elected Officer.” (Pathetic, right?) 

Tasty hears that when the news first reached him, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan lost control of his bowels.

Why?

First of all, it's well known that Regan is plotting to seize Mary Kay Henry’s position at the Purple Palace. A transfer of homecare workers means Regan will lose the "delegated votes" of these 60,000 homecare members during future elections inside SEIU. (In SEIU, rank-and-file union members don't get to vote for SEIU’s president and International Executive Board -- instead, members' votes are assigned or "delegated" to local SEIU officials, who then cast the votes of tens of thousands of rank-and-file workers.)

Secondly, a transfer of the homecare workers means less dues money for "Wall Street" Dave.

Thirdly, it changes the political equation inside SEIU-UHW. Regan has relied on the votes of homecare workers to win SEIU-UHW’s internal elections. Without their votes, he’ll become more vulnerable to challengers.

So what’s Dave gonna do?

His first move appears to be to stall Mary Kay Henry’s plan. He reportedly requested that Henry put the transfer on hold for six months because, says Regan, the loss of the public-sector homecare workers will somehow diminish the "bargaining strength" of SEIU-UHW’s Kaiser workers, who are set to begin negotiations for a new contract in April.

Not exactly a persuasive argument, right? It's especially lame because SEIU-UHW’s upcoming contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente are so tightly rigged that SEIU officials have already calendared the precise day in June when they will stand arm-in-arm with Kaiser execs and announce an "historic contract settlement." In fact, Regan and Kaiser’s executives have already scheduled the exact dates for SEIU-UHW workers' contract ratification votes. (More on this in a future post.)


What will happen if Regan resists the transfer of the homecare workers?

Tasty hopes that Mary Kay Henry and the IEB are busily preparing the legal papers to impose an emergency trusteeship on Regan. Of course, once the trusteeship is implemented, Mary Kay Henry can simply ignore the order to transfer the homecare workers for, uhh, at least a decade.


Remember, this is SEIU… where workers are pawns on a purple Monopoly board that’s shamelessly used by SEIU officials to pursue their personal quests for power, fame and money.