Friday, September 22, 2017

Source: SEIU Officials Secretly Funded Tyrone Freeman's Legal Defense for Crimes against SEIU's Own Members




“What ever happened to Tyrone Freeman?,” asks a reader

In late 2013, Freeman -- a close ally of SEIU President Emeritus Andy Stern -- was sentenced to a 33-month term at a federal prison in Yankton, South Dakota

According to a reliable source, Freeman was eventually released from Yankton and transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach, Calif. 

Tasty’s source provided answers to some of the long-standing mysteries surrounding Freeman’s criminal trial:

  • Who was the secret financier who funded Freeman’s multi-million dollar legal defense?
  • Why didn’t Freeman rat out the higher-up SEIU officials -- including Andy Stern and Eliseo Medina -- who were implicated in the crimes for which Freeman was convicted?

Before Tasty offers up the source’s answers, here’s some quick background:

After Freeman was indicted, a team of million-dollar attorneys from Mayer Brown LLP -- a global law firm with offices in New York, DC, London, Paris, Beijing, Dubai, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, etc -- parachuted into California to defend him.

They included Kelly Kramer, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP who leads the firm’s “White Collar Defense and Compliance Team” and has personally defended former members of the US Congress. According to Super Lawyers, he’s one of the top white-collar defense lawyers in DC.
 
Kelly Kramer, Mayer Brown LLP
After Freeman was convicted, Mayer Brown LLP filed an appeal with the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and parachuted two more attorneys from the East Coast to try to get Freeman out of jail.

They included Dan Himmelfarb, a partner in the firm’s DC offices, who specializes in appeals and has “filed more than 200 merits and petition-stage briefs in the US Supreme Court and has argued… 12 cases in the US Supreme Court...,” according to the firm's website. Before joining the firm, Himmelfarb was an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York and an Assistant to the US Solicitor General.

In other words, these guys charge beaucoup bucks -- likely $2,000-$3,000 an hour.

Who paid for these attorneys?

It sure wasn’t Freeman.

After all, when Freeman's wife appeared in court during Freeman's criminal trial, she was assigned a Public Defender because she couldn’t afford a private attorney.

So who paid Freeman’s legal bills?
 
Dan Himmelfarb, Mayer Brown LLP
Here’s what Tasty’s source says:

When Freeman was first indicted on multiple criminal charges, a clutch of nervous SEIU officials met with him to discuss his options.

Option #1: Freeman could try to beat the rap by pointing the finger at the higher-up SEIU officials who were apparently complicit in the crimes.

‘But don’t do that,’ argued the SEIU officials. ‘We’ll offer you a better option: SEIU will hire you the best attorneys in the whole damn country and we guarantee you’ll never see a day of jail time. But you can't implicate any of us.’

Of course, we all know that Freeman chose Option #2. And that’s why, during the trial, he never ratted out the SEIU higher-ups who, after all, were paying for his lawyers.

In the end, SEIU officials didn’t come through with their end of the deal -- their fancy attorneys didn’t keep Freeman out of jail.

Freeman has gotta feel burnt by his SEIU handlers, right?

Which leads Tasty to wonder whether SEIU officials might now be slipping him some hush money, given that Freeman has stayed silent even after getting out of jail.

Although Tasty’s source has provided answers to some of the long-standing mysteries, others remain unanswered:
Andy Stern, SEIU
  • How much money did SEIU officials pay for Freeman’s defense and appeal?
  • After the Los Angeles Times outed Freeman's corruption scandal, SEIU officials publicly condemned Freeman for stealing from low-paid SEIU members. Why did SEIU officials turn around and secretly fund his criminal defense for crimes committed against SEIU's own members? Isn't this proof that SEIU higher-ups are implicated in Freeman's crimes? After all, why else would they have funded his defense against stealing money from SEIU members?
  • Who authorized SEIU's payments to Freeman's attorneys? What role did Andy Stern, Anna Burger and Mary Kay Henry play?
  • Will Freeman tell his story to the public?
  • Or is SEIU currently paying hush money to keep Freeman silent?



Friday, September 15, 2017

SEIU-UHW and Hospital Corporation to Stand Trial over Illegal Firing of Worker


A federal judge has ordered SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health to stand trial next month over their roles in the allegedly illegal firing of a California hospital worker, according to court records.

On October 17, a federal courtroom in Los Angeles will offer a picture worth a thousand words: SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health sitting side-by-side in the defendants’ box.

Dignity is a multi-billion-dollar hospital corporation that employs approximately 15,000 SEIU-UHW members. Since 2009, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and Dignity CEO Lloyd Dean have repeatedly inked backroom deals to slash SEIU-UHW members’ pensions and health insurance, and even impose wage freezes ... despite Dignity’s healthy profits.

Who’s bringing the lawsuit against SEIU-UHW and Dignity?

Starla Rollins, a former Ward Clerk at a Dignity Health’s Community Hospital of San Bernardino for over 20 years.

She alleges that Dignity illegally fired her in 2012, and that SEIU-UHW (her union) sat on its hands and refused to help her as Dignity pushed her out the door.

Since filing her suit in 2013, Rollins has fought her way through a series of appeals filed by both SEIU-UHW and Dignity. Last October, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in Starla’s favor and ordered SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health officials to stand trial over their alleged violations that cost Starla her job of 20+ years.

The three-judge panel ruled:
“We conclude that… the Hospital has breached the Seniority Agreement and the CBA, and that triable issues of fact exist as to whether the Union breached its duty of fair representation.”

In their ruling, the judges slammed Marcus Hatcher, who then served as SEIU-UHW’s so-called “Director of Representational Excellence.” Later, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan appointed Hatcher as the director of the union’s Kaiser Division.
 
Starla Rollins
As far as the upcoming trial, it looks like SEIU-UHW and its hack attorney Bruce Harland are running scared.

In recent weeks, SEIU-UHW’s attorneys twice requested lengthy delays in the start date of the trial. Harland proposed postponing the start date from October 17, 2017 until January 2018.

The judge’s response?

“DENIED.”

Check out the judge’s handwritten response on SEIU-UHW’s request, which Tasty has posted below.

Stay tuned for more news.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Kaiser's "Partnership Unions" Prepare for Bargaining amid Fireworks


Kaiser CEO at CKPU's conference
The “partnership” unions are beginning to prepare for next year’s negotiations with Kaiser Permanente… which means it’s time for more “instant recesses,” dance-offs, “Contract Buddy,” Team Salad Days, and Zumba.

However, in an interesting new development, Tasty’s sources also report growing tensions between various partnership unions.

Here’s what Tasty knows.

Two weekends ago (August 25-27), the partnership unions -- the “Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions” -- held a three-day conference at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon.

Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson spoke to the conference, which also included multiple “Thrive activities,” Zumba, and “Instant Recesses” to the music of Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars.

Other items on the agenda?

"Reflections on 20 Years of Partnering" and workshops including "The Road to Workplace Wellness," "Projecting Confidence and Credibility," "BMI Boot Camp: Become a Trail Blazer for Health," and "Tag – You’re It."

In 2012, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan famously pushed the partnership unions to implement an invasive “wellness” program” that allows Kaiser officials to monitor employees’ biometric data including their BMI (“Body Mass Index”), blood pressure, smoking rate, and cholesterol level. Instead of strikes, Regan pressed Kaiser workers to wear “purple pedometers” and conduct “wellness walks” to get in shape for their employer.

So what about the tensions between partnership unions?
 
SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan speaking at CKPU conference
Tasty’s sources say those arose on Sunday, when leaders of various partnership unions, including Regan, addressed the conference about next year’s negotiations with Kaiser. 

Apparently, multiple unions successfully banded together to outvote Regan and SEIU-UHW on various issues… which angered Regan.

How to fix it? 

Regan proposed changing the voting rules in order to give Regan and SEIU-UHW more votes… which of course angered the other unions.

According to Tasty’s sources, the tensions burst into the open with Ragin’ Dave Regan literally screaming from the podium and attacking the partnership unions that opposed him.

Here’s how one source put it: “Regan lost it. He was screaming his ass off. I know the dude is a hothead, but I didn’t expect this.”


Stay tuned for more…

Friday, September 1, 2017

More Challenges to SEIU's Trusteeship in Nevada


SEIU is facing a second lawsuit over its trusteeship in Nevada, according to court records.

The latest suit was filed August 9 by SEIU Nevada’s former president, Cherie Mancini, who was removed from her position by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry earlier this year. A union steward from Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital is a co-plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit names SEIU, Mary Kay Henry and Luisa Blue as defendants.

“This is a power grab by the international (union),” Mancini’s lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (“Former SEIU president sues to get her job back,” August 25, 2017). “SEIU comes in and imposes a trusteeship and puts in place the government they want,” Luisa Blue, appointed by Henry as the “trustee” of SEIU Nevada, dismissed the claims in the lawsuit.

Mancini’s attorneys have asked the judge for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against SEIU, according to court records.

Here’s an excerpt from the lawsuit, which summarizes the violations that SEIU allegedly committed. A full copy of the lawsuit is below.
After the emergency trusteeship was imposed by SEIU on Local 1107, Defendants breached the SEIU Constitution in the following ways: Defendants failed to hold a trusteeship hearing within thirty (30) days of imposition of the emergency trusteeship; failed to notice the membership, including Plaintiff Frederick Gustafson, in a timely fashion regarding the trusteeship hearing; failed to properly notice the Local 1107 membership once the emergency trusteeship hearing was set; failed to issue a decision regarding the merits of the trusteeship within sixty (60) days; denied Local 1107 due process via a full and fair hearing on the merits of the emergency trusteeship; failed to establish a sufficient good faith emergency basis for the imposition of the emergency trusteeship; failed to address good cause for not adhering to the reasonable time periods for these procedures; and failed to address the legitimacy and necessity of continuing the trusteeship at the trusteeship hearing held on July 13, 2017, seventy six (76) days after the emergency trusteeship was imposed.


SEIU and Mary Kay Henry are represented by Glenn Rothner (Rothner, Segall, Greenstone and Leheny), a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in imposing trusteeships on local unions.


Friday, August 25, 2017

More Workers Join NUHW


This month, two groups of California healthcare workers voted to join NUHW… including a unit of 100 caregivers who last year declined to join SEIU-UHW.

The 100 caregivers are employed at Dignity Health’s 223-bed Dominican Santa Cruz Hospital in Santa Cruz. They include Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Dietitians, Physiologists, Speech Therapists and others.

One year ago, the same group of workers declined to join SEIU-UHW. Earlier this week, however, they voted by a margin of 78 (NUHW) to 12 (No Union) to join NUHW in an NLRB election. SEIU-UHW did not try to put its name on the ballot.

Dignity Health is one of California’s largest hospital chains and operates more than 30 hospitals across the state. Since 2009, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan has repeatedly made backroom deals with Dignity’s execs to slash SEIU-UHW members’ pensions and health insurance, and impose wage freezes on thousand workers… even as Dignity was pocketing big profits.

Earlier this month, a second group of workers in Santa Cruz, Calif. also voted to join NUHW. They’re employed by an addiction treatment center that includes Treatment Technicians, Intake Referral Specialists, Medical Assessment Specialists, Custodians, Receptionists, Office Assistants and Dietary Staff. The unit of 55 workers at Janus of Santa Cruz voted to join NUHW by a margin of 35 (NUHW), 2 (No Union), and 2 (Voided Ballots).

Here's an article in a local newspaper describing the election outcomes: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Dominican Therapists, Janus Staff Unionize."

Also this month, workers at a small outpatient medical clinic run by the University of Southern California voted to join NUHW, according to NLRB records.


Congrats!

Friday, August 18, 2017

SEIU Inks Anti-Union Deal with Maine's Right-Wing Governor


Maine Gov. Paul LePage
SEIU is getting sharply criticized for cutting a horrible, anti-union deal with Maine’s extreme right-wing governor that’ll severely undermine unions.

Here’s what’s happening.

SEIU’s Maine State Employees Association (SEIU Local 1989) represents 13,000 largely public-sector workers, including more than 9,000 state workers.

Since 2011, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has repeatedly tried -- and failed -- to pass “right-to-work-for-less” legislation in the state’s Republican-controlled legislature. These bills would have eliminated the requirement that state employees who choose not to join a union instead pay a fee to help cover the costs of the union’s collective bargaining and representation services that benefit them. These cost-sharing fees are called “agency fees.”

Gov. LePage -- who has made racist comments and said this week that taking down Confederate statues is equivalent to taking down 9/11 memorials -- called his failure to implement “right-to-work-for-less” laws in Maine as one of his greatest failures as a governor.

Well, Republican lawmakers may have rejected LePage’s anti-union efforts. But that didn’t stop SEIU from accepting the same deal during SEIU’s recent contract negotiations with LePage’s office.

On Monday, the Bangor Daily News (“LePage’s pay raise offer sways biggest state union to accept ‘right to work’ contract language”) reported that SEIU officials, during their contract negotiations with state officials, agreed to eliminate the requirement that workers pay cost-sharing “agency fees” if they choose not to join their union.

What did SEIU get in exchange for this massive concession?

 A 3% pay increase during each of the next two years. 

If SEIU officials had rejected the “right-to-work-for-less” provision, SEIU members would have received 1% pay increases during each of the next two years.

According to the Bangor Daily News, AFSCME -- which also represents some state employees -- rejected a similar deal from LePage’s administration. An AFSCME representative told the newspaper that: “Right to work is designed to cripple unions and take them out of the game.”

How will SEIU’s horrible deal affect workers? Here’s what one reader said in comments posted below the news article:

The union leaders just killed the union for 3% a year for two years. The union will now die of suicide.


Friday, August 11, 2017

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Turns to Ballot Initiatives... Again


Dave Regan
SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan has returned to his ballot-initiative habit once again.

This week, Regan announced two ballot initiatives targeting the kidney dialysis industry in California, where he’s trying to squeeze some kinda deal out of one of the state’s the largest dialysis companies, DaVita Inc.

The two measures -- tentatively titled the “Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Act” and the “Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act” -- must be approved by the California Attorney General before Regan can begin collecting signatures from more than 700,000 California voters to qualify the initiatives for the statewide ballot in November 2018.

Regan has been super un-successful at using ballot initiatives to ink sweetheart deals with hospital CEOs in both California and Arizona. Tasty estimates he’s spent more than $25 million of union members’ dues money on his failed ballot initiatives... and hasn't produced a single organizing victory.

Now… he appears to be turning his ballot-initiative phaser on the kidney dialysis industry.

What’s going on?

Since 2016, Regan has been attempting to organize DaVita workers at kidney dialysis clinics. But he’s been unsuccessful. So he’s now trying his ballot-initiative thang to see if DaVita’s CEO might be open to giving him a special deal... at a really good price!

Of course, that’s the problem with Regan. Once he disappears into a hotel suite with the CEOs, workers will never get to know what kind of deal he makes with his pin-striped pals.

In 2014, he negotiated a secret deal with the California Hospital Association… which Regan then refused to show to the union’s Executive Board, let alone the rank-and-file workers. 

Two years later, a copy of the deal became public as a result of a lawsuit. It turned out that when Regan was alone with the bosses in the hotel suite, he agreed to ban SEIU-UHW members from striking, force workers into pre-negotiated contracts with substandard wages and benefits, and gag union members from filing patient-care complaints against hospitals or even criticizing their CEO’s gold-plated salaries.

So the kidney dialysis workers need to beware. If Wall Street Dave actually succeeds in getting a meeting with DaVita’s CEO, workers better be damned sure they force themselves into the meeting.

Other things to watch:

Will the kidney dialysis industry attempt to enforce a California law that makes it illegal to use ballot initiatives as a bargaining chip?

Will Regan raid SEIU-UHW members' strike fund for the millions of dollars it will cost to pay signature-gatherers to collect the more than 700,000 signatures for the two kidney dialysis ballot measures?


Stay tuned.

Friday, August 4, 2017

SEIU Staffers: “SEIU Nevada’s Deputy Trustee is a professional bully”


Tasty got some interesting news about one of the trustees appointed recently to run SEIU Nevada.

In April, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry imposed an “emergency trusteeship” on the 9,000-member union and appointed two “trustees” to run the union after removing the elected board and officers.

Luisa Blue, one of SEIU International’s Executive Vice Presidents, serves as the “Trustee” of SEIU Nevada.

“Deputy Trustee” Martin Manteca -- who normally works as the Organizing Director of SEIU Local 721 in Los Angeles -- is “a professional bully,” say his co-workers at Local 721. They say he’s “harassed” and retaliated against staffers at Local 721.

In 2016, staffers were so upset by Manteca's bullying that 55 of them signed a letter delivered to SEIU Local 721 President Bob Schoonover. A copy of the petition is below.

An “update” circulated to Local 721 staff accuses Manteca of “a pattern of persistent, repeated mistreatment, and a culture of intimidation, harassment, retaliation, and nepotism.”

After staffers complained about Manteca, a number of the whistleblowers reportedly were targeted with retaliation and fired. In the process, Manteca and other Local 721 managers “destroyed the department,” according to staffers.

Sounds like the perfect person to fix SEIU Nevada, which is riven by internal divisions and conflicts, according to Mary Kay Henry.

One staffer from Local 721 writes:

I feel bad for the folks in Nevada. Martin is a professional bully, and has harassed and pushed out so many great organizers here. There'll be few of them left in Nevada once he's done there.




Friday, July 28, 2017

Latest on SEIU's Trusteeship of SEIU Nevada


The New York-New York Casino
Here’s the latest on SEIU’s trusteeship of SEIU Nevada, a 9,000-member union of public and private-sector workers.

On July 13, SEIU held a five-hour trusteeship hearing at the “New York-New York” Casino in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (“Las Vegas Union Debates Return to Local Control,” July 14, 2017).

SEIU officials were hush-hush about what happened at the hearing, offering only vague statements to the newspaper.

One union member who attended the hearing told the Review-Journal that “about 25” union members were in attendance, including the union’s former president, Cherie Mancini, who was removed from her position by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry on April 28, 2017.

What happens next?

A hearing officer appointed by Mary Kay Henry will prepare a written ruling as to whether or not Mary Kay Henry’s emergency trusteeship should continue for another year or two. Difficult to predict that one, right?

Below is the four-page order that Henry issued on April 28 describing her justification for the emergency trusteeship … including what she describes as “warring factions” on SEIU Nevada’s Executive Board along with “name calling and shouting matches.” 

Sounds a bit like Trump’s White House, right?

Hey, Mary Kay, could you serve up one of your trusteeship orders on The Donald?

Stay tuned for the next purple shindig at a Las Vegas casino near you.



Friday, July 21, 2017

Source: Regan Considers Raid on SEIU-UHW's Strike Fund to Finance More Ballot Initiatives


Dave Regan is reportedly considering a scheme to divert millions of dollars from SEIU-UHW members’ strike fund so he can spend more money on political campaigns, according to an inside source.

Here’s what the source says:

Regan wants money to run more statewide ballot initiatives, which he’s attempted to use (umm, very unsuccessfully) in both California and Arizona.

But ballot initiatives are expensive. 

Regan must hire signature-gatherers to collect millions of signatures from voters to qualify each initiative for the ballot. And then he must launch publicity campaigns to win public support.

In California, Regan reportedly spent upwards of $30 million on failed ballot initiatives targeting the California Hospital Association in hopes of inking a sweetheart partnership agreement with hospital CEOs.

According to Tasty’s source, Regan has considered using another source of money to fund more ballot initiatives -- he thought about boosting SEIU-UHW members’ monthly union dues. However, a dues increase would require a vote of the membership, which Regan and his aides concluded he would lose.

So… Regan reportedly began eyeing SEIU-UHW members’ strike fund.

What’s the strike fund?

SEIU-UHW’s Constitution (Article XV) says the “strike fund is to be used for any and all strikes, strike-related activities, lockouts and to protect the integrity and welfare of the Union as determined by the Executive Board.”

How’s it funded?

One dollar per month is set aside from each member’s union dues to finance the strike fund, according to the union's constitution.

So how can Regan get his hands on the strike fund?

Apparently, he would need to convince the Executive Board that funding ballot initiatives is somehow a “strike-related activity” or is necessary “to protect the integrity and welfare of the Union.”

What a joke, right?

If Executive Board members buy into Regan’s fraudulent scheme, they’ll be leaving the union’s members without a strike fund to defend against hospital corporations trying to slash their wages and benefits.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Document Details More Cuts Affecting SEIU-UHW's Verity Health Workers


A source shared a copy of SEIU-UHW’s recent agreement with Verity Health System, which reveals even more cuts affecting the union’s roughly 2,000 members at four California hospitals.

First, SEIU-UHW failed to address the effects of a three-year wage freeze negotiated by SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan during the union’s prior negotiations. 

In 2015, Regan agreed to freeze SEIU-UHW members’ wage scales for three years and also agreed to block workers from receiving “step increases” based on their years of service at the hospital.

Under the agreement negotiated last month, SEIU-UHW members are supposed to once again start getting paid according to a wage scale. However, SEIU-UHW’s wage scale is now three years out of date due to the freeze negotiated by Regan. And… SEIU-UHW did nothing to fix that problem during last month’s negotiations.

Second, SEIU-UHW failed to reverse many of the cuts to its members’ benefits that Regan negotiated in 2015. For example, SEIU-UHW failed to restore workers’ Extended Sick Leave, a benefit that had been in workers’ contract for many years and which NUHW members at Verity hospitals continue to receive. Here’s the provision that SEIU-UHW negotiated for its members in 2015:
 
Exerpt SEIU-UHW's contract with Verity Health: 2015-18

Third, SEIU-UHW failed to restore benefits for hundreds of its members who lost their health insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, retirement, and other benefits due to cuts negotiated by Regan two years ago. 

In 2015, Regan agreed to radically change workers’ so-called “benefit eligibility standards” so that SEIU-UHW members must regularly work a minimum of 30 hours a week -- instead of 20 hours a week -- in order to qualify for benefits. In contrast, NUHW members at Verity hospitals are eligible for benefits if they work 20 hours a week or more, which is the decades-old standard in California’s healthcare industry.

Why did Regan and Co. refuse to fight for SEIU-UHW's members?

And why did SEIU-UHW officials swallow such a cheap contract in lightning-quick negotiations some 18 months before workers’ current contract is even set to expire?

Important questions, right?

Dave?

Here's a copy of the tentative agreements that were later signed by officials from both SEIU-UHW and Verity: