Thursday, June 28, 2012

SEIU-UHW Officials Push Concessions on 14,000 Workers at Dignity Health

Tasty hears that SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan has negotiated another concessionary contract in California. This one affects 14,000 workers at 31 hospitals operated by Dignity Health, which recently changed its name from “Catholic Healthcare West.”

Sources describe it as the worst contract in SEIU’s history of bargaining with the company. Why?

Well… during the past two years, Dignity made more than $1.4 billion in profits. Nonetheless, last week Regan accepted a one-year freeze on workers’ pay scales! And during the second year of the contract, workers will receive only a 2% pay increase.

And that’s not all. Regan negotiated more cuts to workers’ stripped-down retirement benefits. In 2009, SEIU’s Hal Ruddick famously allowed company officials to eliminate workers’ defined-benefit pension plan and then replace it with a cheap 401(k)-like plan. This massive concession produced a $217 million windfall for the company, according to the company’s financial records.

And there are even more concessions inside last week’s recent deal with Dignity Health. Regan and Ruddick also allowed Dignity officials to…
  • Cut healthcare coverage for workers’ dependents
  • Stop making contributions to workers’ training fund
  • Create a system of two-tiered retirement benefits at Dignity’s hospitals in San Francisco that’ll force newly hired workers into cheaper benefits, and
  • Implement a wellness program.
Just like at Kaiser Permanente, Dignity will now begin to track workers’ “biometric indicators” such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body-mass index (BMI) and smoking rates. And a “Dignity Health-SEIU Health and Wellness Committee” will help implement the company’s wellness program. Here’s an excerpt from SEIU’s agreement:

In an earlier post, Tasty provided an audio recording of Dignity’s executives talking about their “productive” relationship with their “partners” at SEIU-UHW. 

Well, Tasty hears that Dave Regan is best buddies with Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean, who pocketed $10 million in pay in 2009, according to tax returns. Dean also collects a fat paycheck for sitting on the board of directors of Wells Fargo Bank and recently was targeted by the Occupy movement for evicting homeowners while Wells Fargo raked in tens of billions of dollars of tax-payer funded bail-outs. Dean also happens to be the chair of San Francisco’s Chamber of Commerce, where he has teamed up with Regan to run pro-business candidates to take control of city hall. Dean also happens to sit on the "Let's Get Healthy California Task Force."

Quite a "productive" relationship, as they say. It looks like "Wall Street Dave" extracted giant concessions from SEIU-UHW's members for his good buddy Lloyd Dean.