Thursday, June 22, 2017

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Continues His Losing Streak against California Hospital Association

Dave Regan has apparently lost yet another round of his legal battle against the California Hospital Association (CHA), according to court records.

On June 14, 2017, Regan’s lawyers submitted a formal notice to the Sacramento County (Calif.) Superior Court announcing that Regan is dropping his personal lawsuit against the CHA. A copy of the notice is posted below.

Why is he dropping his lawsuit?

Regan was likely forced to do so by an outside arbitrator, who was ordered by a Superior Court judge to examine whether Regan’s personal lawsuit violates a provision of Regan’s secret deal with the Hospital Association. As part of the deal, Regan signed a far-reaching “gag clause” and arbitration provision that blocks him and SEIU-UHW members from criticizing hospitals execs, supporting legislation contrary to execs’ interests, suing hospital corporations, or even mentioning hospital executives’ gold-plated salaries in public.

Here’s what happened:

In late 2015, Regan’s “partnership” deal with the CHA collapsed in flames.

Under the 2014 partnership deal, Regan agreed to use SEIU’s political power to deliver $6 billion a year in new Medicaid revenues to California’s hospital corporations. In exchange for the cash, hospital CEOs would push 60,000 of their employees into Regan’s union. Regan sweetened the deal for the bosses by agreeing to ban workers from striking and forcing SEIU-UHW members into pre-negotiated labor contracts with stripped down wages and benefits.

Soon after the collapse of his secret deal, Ragin’ Dave Regan angrily sued Duane Dauner and three other top CHA officials. Regan also re-filed a statewide ballot initiative to target CHA’s members.  

The CHA quickly filed a counter-suit against Regan, arguing that his actions were prohibited by the “gag clause” that Regan himself had signed on behalf of SEIU-UHW.

In June of 2016, a judge agreed with the CHA and ordered SEIU-UHW to withdraw the ballot initiative after Regan had spent millions of dollars of SEIU-UHW members’ dues money to collect signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot.
SEIU-UHW's Dave Kieffer
Next, the CHA asked the court to force Regan to drop his lawsuit against Dauner and three other top CHA officials. The CHA argued that the suit also violated Regan’s gag clause. In January 2017, a judge ordered the issue to be resolved by an outside arbitrator.

Last week, Regan’s lawyers informed the court that Regan is dropping his lawsuit against Dauner and three other CHA officials, including Kaiser Permanente’s Greg Adams. Regan likely dropped the suit as a result the arbitrator’s decision, which is not available to the public.

This latest developments represent yet another stinging defeat for Regan and SEIU-UHW. 

When Regan announced his secret deal with the CHA in 2014, Regan borrowed a page from Donald Trump and famously called it an "audacious new proposal to save the labor movement" …even though it violated every value held dear by the labor movement.

Way to go, Dave!

Several important questions remain unresolved:
  • Did the arbitrator also order Regan to pay all of the CHA’s legal costs? That could total millions of dollars.
  • Who will pay all of millions of dollars of legal bills connected to Regan’s disastrous lawsuit, including the fancy lawyers hired by Regan? Since the suit was filed in Regan’s personal name, shouldn’t he pay for it? Regan will undoubtedly try to push the costs of his bone-headed lawsuit onto SEIU-UHW’s members.
  • What about the $34 million that Regan squirreled away inside a secret “partnership” organization? The CHA has demanded that Regan return the money. Their demands are part of legal claims filed with the Superior Court.

Stay tuned.