Thursday, November 17, 2011

CA Hospital Freezes Pay and Slashes Benefits for 1,200 SEIU-UHW Members

Remember SEIU's concessionary caravan?  Well, check out the latest news from El Camino Hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area... 

On Tuesday, hospital officials made deep cuts to the health insurance, retirement and other benefits for 1,200 members of SEIU-UHW. The cuts (see memo below) include...

“Implementation of 10 percent employee contribution toward health and dental premiums” (workers’ coverage used to be fully paid by the hospital); cutting retirement benefits for workers with 15-20 years of service; freezing wages for one year; cutting PTO accrual; cutting the maximum allowable PTO bank; eliminating workers’ education and training benefits; cutting holiday premium pay; and cutting per diem wage differentials.

Earlier this year, Dave Regan reportedly made a back-room deal that let management cut workers' benefits and freeze their pay in exchange for allowing SEIU-UHW to add hundreds more employees onto the union’s dues rolls.

Workers, of course, were none too happy when they started paying dues to SEIU at the same time that management and SEIU prepared to slash their pay and benefits. As one worker told the press: "What am I getting for my money? I'm getting absolutely zero."

That's why 500 of the hospital's workers filed petitions to decertify SEIU-UHW last month.  SEIU-UHW quickly deployed its attorneys to try to stop the decert election. And SEIU-UHW launched a fake “campaign” intended to show they were somehow fighting the cuts that Regan had already agreed to.

Meanwhile, hospital executives were itching to cash-in on their back-room deal with Dave Regan. Tasty guesses that the phone call went kinda like this: "Hey Dave," says the Boss. "We gave you tens of thousands of new dues dollars from our employees. It's time for you to deliver... Give us the pay freeze and benefits cuts."

So, according to a one-page announcement from management (see below), the hospital implemented the cuts on the 1,200 workers on Tuesday. Management's announcement starts this way:
“Last night, Tuesday, November 15, 2011, the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors declared impasse and voted to implement the Hospital’s last, best and final offer to SEIU/UHW-West (“SEIU”)…  SEIU has maintained that negotiations have not reached impasse despite the fact that they have offered no significant counterproposals to the Hospital...”
And all this... despite the fact that the hospital made $70 million in profits during the past two years. Looks like SEIU official are taking their campaign of crookin’ and concessions to a whole new level of criminality.