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: 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Workers: "SEIU-UHW Cut Backroom Deal with California Hospital Chain"


SEIU-UHW officials have cut another dirty backroom deal with hospital bosses, according to workers at four California hospitals.

Here’s what’s going on:

Two years ago, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan made a backroom deal with a New York hedge fund that bought the Daughters of Charity Health System, a chain of six California hospitals in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.

As BlueMountain Capital was negotiating to buy the chain in 2014, Regan met privately with its execs and agreed to accept massive benefit cuts for SEIU-UHW’s 2,000 members, according to documents later obtained from the California Attorney General.

Next, SEIU-UHW officials used ramrod ratification votes in 2015 to jam a new three-year contract down the throats of SEIU-UHW members at four of the chain’s six hospitals. In addition to containing a freeze on workers’ pay scales and other cuts, Regan’s new contract stripped hundreds of members of basic benefits -- such as health insurance, vacation, sick pay, and retirement benefits -- by gutting workers’ longtime benefit-eligibility standards. See this post for more details.

Several months later, NUHW negotiated with the same hedge fund for a contract covering 650 workers at the chain’s two remaining hospitals, Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside Hospital. NUHW successfully fended off all of the cuts swallowed by Regan and also won increases of 3% per year to workers’ wage scales and one-time “equity” pay increases of up to 12%.

Last month, SEIU-UHW’s members got their latest surprise.

Under SEIU-UHW’s current labor contract, which expires in late 2018, SEIU-UHW is required to do mid-contract negotiations with the company to implement a new health plan that that “reduces costs for the employer.” Article 25 of SEIU-UHW’s contract reads:
"In order to reduce costs, the Employer and Union will work together as soon as possible to find a new health plan to take effect for 2017 through the term of the contract that maximizes Employee benefits while reducing costs of providing health coverage to the Employer." 

Last month, SEIU-UHW officials gathered a bargaining committee to negotiate over the health plan… but SEIU-UHW officials quickly pulled a giant switcheroo on workers.

Greg Pullman, Regan’s “Chief of Staff,” appeared as SEIU-UHW’s negotiator, and told the bargaining committee he planned to negotiate a quick three-year extension to SEIU-UHW’s piss-poor contract -- the same contract that has stripped hundreds of workers of basic benefits. Pullman said he wanted to roll over SEIU-UHW’s current contract with 3% pay increases for the next years.

What about fighting to restore workers’ benefits so they at least equal those enjoyed by NUHW members? Naaaah… forget it, said Pullman.
 
Dave Regan
Workers cried foul. But Pullman pushed the deal through a full year and a half before the contract will expire on October 31, 2018.

Now, SEIU-UHW’s 2,000 members are stuck until 2021 with a contract that gives its members second-class benefits compared to NUHW members who work for the same employer, Verity Health System.

SEIU-UHW’s members are stuck, that is, unless they exercise their right to dump SEIU-UHW in a decertification vote just like the workers did at Seton Medical Center and Seton Coastside Hospital.