In California, the first few weeks of September have offered an interesting glimpse at the radically different approaches of NUHW and SEIU-UHW.
On September 8th, NUHW scored a huge victory by literally wrestling Kaiser Permanente to the ground and forcing it to pay $4 million in fines for forcing patients to wait weeks and months for mental health treatment. Kaiser not only forced patients to undergo massive appointment delays, it also falsified patients' records to conceal these illegal waits from government regulators.
Kaiser's appointment scandal -- now linked to the suicides of Kaiser patients -- was uncovered by NUHW and its 2,500 psychologists, therapists and social workers who staff Kaiser's mental health clinics in California.
Earlier this month, Kaiser tried to wriggle out of the government's $4 million fine by deploying a team of high-powered lawyers and pressure on the Governor's office to intervene on Kaiser's behalf to secure a behind-closed-doors settlement agreement with government officials.
However, NUHW won the day with numerous Kaiser patients and frontline whistleblowers prepared to testify against the giant HMO during a month-long legal hearing. Here's a link to some of the press coverage.
So... that’s NUHW.
Then there's SEIU-UHW…
Just days before NUHW’s victory, SEIU-UHW held a "Leadership Assembly" where Dave Regan paraded onstage with CEOs and boasted about his partnership with the California Hospital Association.
The partnership sells out healthcare workers by lowering job standards and also sells out patients by gagging SEIU-UHW’s members from criticizing hospitals in the media, the courts… and even with government regulatory agencies!
At the "Leadership Assembly," Regan attempted to get buy-in from workers by dressing up his sellout deal in colorful clothes and purple lipstick. For example, SEIU-UHW’s “Leadership Assembly" was titled: "Courage to Lead for a Healthy California."
And that's not all.
Regan even brought out a marching band to try to rally workers behind his backroom deal with the Bosses. Check out this photo from SEIU-UHW's "Leadership Assembly."
Does that make you feel courageous?