Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top 10 SEIU Bloopers 2009 Part II

5. Threatening California's Progressives. Pretty soon after rolling in from DC, it became clear to Dave Regan et al. that California's labor and political leadership was not prepared to be SEIU's lapdog. Well, that did NOT sit well with SEIU who made these (among other) threats this year: threatening to leave the SF Labor Council over UNITE HERE Pres. Mike Casey's support of NUHW (b/t/w, SEIU also threated to leave 3 other labor councils, too); threatening to organize teachers at charter schools if NUHW held a fundraiser at the United Teachers of Los Angeles union hall (SEIU can't and won't raid the UTLA's jurisdiction: no staff, no will, no plan); threatening to cut off funding to the California Democratic Party because Party Chair John Burton was one of the sponsors of a NUHW fundraising event - this, even though hundreds of thousands of California's public-sector workers are members of SEIU and the Democratic Party controls both houses of the state legislature (not done yet, and probably an empty threat.)

4. Attacking Unite/Here. Not only is SEIU losing on every front of their "war" with Unite/Here (legally, politically, financially and with the workers) but now everyone in the whole labor movement hates SEIU! Oops! John Wilhelm called it "real widespread revulsion" at SEIU's approach to other unions. Andy, save everyone the trouble and pass out the Fund for Union Democracy donation envelopes everywhere you go, k?

Calling Academics "Not really High Value Targets." Potentially the most hilarious blooper of '09. The labor academics of the US sent SEIU a letter expressing concern about the SEIU v Unite/Here fight. SEIU sent a bunch of emails around internally basically saying: we should email these people, and by the way aren't they all such a bunch of out of touch losers? And then attached those internal emails to the SEIU? Tasty can't do it any more justice than Perez Stern did!

Removal of 90% of UHW Stewards. Human Nature, SEIU. You know what people don't like? When you say: Hey elect people to represent you. And then when they do, you say: Nope, not them. And then effectively fire them.

and Drumroll, please...

Underestimating the members of SEIU-UHW. Without a doubt the number one error SEIU has, is and will make is underestimating the resolve of UHW health care workers.

They thought we were confused when we signed those decertification petitons. They thought we would buckle under SEIU's lawsuits, ULPs, election delays, threats, elimination of our stewards, smear campaign and countless misleading emails, phone calls, flyers and mailers. They were wrong. Each day the majority of us are more and more sure that NUHW is our future and we are ready to leave those Zombies in the past.

And so, to all of you out there, Happy 2010. May this be the year that California's health care workers take back the power over their union.

Top 10 SEIU Bloopers, 2009 Part I

10. SRMH election. 13 votes? Dozens of staff, truckloads of glossy mailers... and 13 votes? And Dave Regan still gets a Christmas bonus? This fiasco is not unlike the Crothall/Tarzana Med Center election where SEIU reportedly sent in 21 staff for the 54 workers, and then had to ask for SEIU's name to be taken off the ballot for fear of not getting even a single vote!

9. Ruining EFCA for the whole Labor Movement. The boss tactics, the bullshit legal challenges, firing leaders, threatening loss of benefits if workers vote for the union--a cornucopia of violations. It would merely be embarrassing if it weren't about to play a starring role in 2010's national debate on labor law reform. You think the Chamber of Commerce hasn't already cut some ads on this? Andy, Tasty hopes you are smarter than you appear and there is a super secret plan at work on this one!

Fresno! Vote for us or we'll call ICE. While SEIU is holding on to a slim victory for the moment, the Fresno vote was a disaster for them from start to finish. Dave Regan's threatening speech, Rebecca Malberg's ineptitude, and the Ten Million Dollar price tag pale in comparison to the lowest of all SEIU tactics: If workers were not voting for the Zombies their immigration status was threatened.

Agreeing to Kaiser Layoffs and Pension cuts, and then pretending that they didn't agree. Ever do something so stupid that when you are called on it you have to be like: nuh-uh? Yeah, well SEIU did that with the Kaiser layoffs. The failure would be laughable, unless you are one of the laid off or soon to retire members who got screwed by SEIU.

The Quality of Staff that SEIU has in California. If you run a huge union with literally thousands of smart well trained well paid staff and then you pick a huge fight with one of your largest locals and the turf becomes a war zone--what do you do? If you are Andy Stern you lay off loads of staff, fire all of the staff at the local in question (even the ones who aren't really that against you,) and then send every loser from every under performing local in the country in to run thing. Major FAIL! (Oh, yeah, and you have the least talented communications staff ever!)

...more tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Boss files objections to SRMH election.

Gosh, SEIU is so busy being union busters that Tasty nearly forgot about the Boss! (Tasty wishes it were SEIU and the useless NLRB we could forget about, and go back to winning for workers against employers, but oh well!)

Well, at SRMH the boss has filed objections in an attempt to overturn the NUHW victory in the SRMH election.

Detailed coverage on Sonoma County's Red Revolt here and here.

Terri Fernandez screams at Kaiser RNs!

On Christmas Eve, Terri Fernandez, UHW Zombie and rep with a reported history of being aggressive towards members, was at Kaiser Sunset doing her job as rep-i.e. eating lunch in the cafeteria.

One of the Sunset RNs saw Terri's purple shirt and decided to introduce herself and say, "I'm one of the RNs and I pay your salary and I just thought you'd like to see the union that we're voting for." She then showed Terri a leaflet that had dozens of RNs pictured on it.

Terri was NOT amused by this and grabbed the leaflet and ripped it in half said "I don't want anything that you have. You're a thief."

Some other RNs attracted by the ruckus came over and they were also treated to the Fernandez warmth-Terri proceeded to stamp, point her fingers at both of them and repeat, "Thief, thief!"

The RN's, who remain unclear why their rep would call them thieves, turned to their Kaiser co-workers who are still waiting for a decert election from the board and pointed out that the lady in question was not an errant psych patient, but the woman who was supposed to represent them for the union.

Terri, Tasty thinks it sounds stressful out there, maybe it's time to go back to your old standby: medical leave! It worked for the 2 years before the Trusteeship!

Friday, December 25, 2009

I need your help, readers.

I am working on a TOP 10 Biggest SEIU Bloopers of 2009, and I am looking for your favorite SEIU FAILs.

email me to help

Merry Christmas

Betting that Santa brought Andy a big bag of coal for his stocking!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

SEIU's Lilly Vallee to Kaiser RNs: If you hate us we will help you join some other union! Anything to make you vote for us!

Lilly Vallee, a long time SEIU healthcare organizer, is in LA desperately trying to woo Kaiser RNs to support Zombie UHW. She and the president of the SEIU Nurse Alliance entered Kaiser Sunset yesterday with the express goal of meeting particular RN leaders and stewards, especially the former chapter president of the AFN, an ICU RN.

Kaiser RNs were members of AFN, an RN chapter of SEIU Local 535. Those nurses were moved into UHW through Andy Stern's reorganization of California SEIU locals in 2007. They previously had their own internal organization and leadership structure.

After exchanging pleasantries, Lilly said that SEIU was there to "really find out what you want." (Whoa! Tasty can not remember a time when SEIU cared about what the members want! If that were true, it would be an actual Christmas miracle.)

Then things took a turn for the strange: Lilly actually offered to facilitate a move to the CNA, UNAC, and/or an independent union-if only the RNs would vote for Zombie UHW in this election. That's right, Lilly basically said 'If you hate us, that's cool, we will give you to anyone you want except NUHW.'

At this point the former chapter President said, "Our relationship with SEIU is like a domestic violence situation. Every time after we get abused and start to leave, the spouse swears he'll be different and that he's changed. Then the cycle starts all over again. We've been doing this for 20 years and it's time to do what one should always do in these situations, it's time to end the relationship."

The cracks were visible, if only for a few seconds, in Lilly's plastic smile, but she recovered quickly and encouraged the nurses to call if anything changed or they "had any questions."

This is potentially the most pathetic ploy the Zombies have used yet.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Zombies botch their own fake news!

To distract us from all the bad news, Zombie UHW put out a press release touting their fine negotiating skills, entitled "SEIU-UHW Members' Wage Increases Far Exceed the National Average."

The release contained this gem: "3% [negotiated increases] at John Muir Medical Centers in Brentwood, Concord, and Walnut Creek"

If you're going to pay money to distribute your own fake news item on the PRNewswire, you might as well try to get your fake news right: UHW does not represent the workers at John Muir Medical Center in Brentwood or in Walnut Creek. Only the Concord campus is in UHW.

This is a press release apparently written by someone in UHW who knows so stunningly little about the hospitals they're writing about (and the epic 10+ year campaign to attempt to organize the Walnut Creek and Brentwood campuses) that they probably just looked up "John Muir Medical Center" on the web to find the names of their campuses, and vapidly typed them into the press release.

What's worse, no one in the Zombie UHW among the many whom must have reviewed the release -- including Trustee Overlord Dave Regan, who was quoted in the release -- noticed the error... ...for they have not a clue in the world.

Not mentioned in the (disingenuous) paid self promotion piece (which no media outlet has seen fit to publish), is the fact that these "wage gains" ...

A. Are less than what had been achieved per year in UHW represented hospitals prior to the trusteeship, and

B. Came, in many cases, as the result of GIVE BACKS, which evidently didn't pass the SEIU Communications Department's focus group test for "evoking pride," and so, therefore, were not mentioned.

Example: They didn't mention that at Alameda Hospital, the wage increase was traded for health insurance give backs so major, that the employer crowed over their precedent setting victory in the press. They also failed to mention that Alameda Hospital is now asking UHW for a mid-contract 5% wage give-back.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"The nurses call to complain about SEIU, and SEIU calls to complain about NUHW."

The Zombie Team invaded Kaiser Sunset last week. While in a nurses break room, head Zombie Dave Regan, an NUHW organizer and several nurses had a bit of "situation."

The nurses called security to get Regan and team out of the breakroom. Security did come and asked Regan to leave; after his protests, security declared: "None of you should be in this break room (referring to both unions), as I've gotten lots of complaints."

The NUHW organizer asked exactly who was making these complaints, security replied (verbatim:) "The nurses call to complain about SEIU, and SEIU calls to complain about NUHW."

When security again asked Regan to leave, he stormed out and told security "I don't need to take this crap."

Dave apparently thinks that he is so much better than a Kaiser security guard. Lets not forget that Kaiser security guards are SEIU members! That person pays your inflated salary!

PS Its not just Dave's resume and ego that have been padded. Reports from a number of sources say that Dave has gained 40-50 lbs. Dave, you're in California! Have a fruit salad!


Check me out on Facebook for more ways to send me info and keep up to date on the scoop!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blind item...

Sources report that very high level SEIU staffers in DC are saying that SEIU is going to lose the Kaiser Pro election.

Behind the scenes the word is, "...there is no way to win this election. The workers simply won't talk to us."

Tasty doesn't know if that is true, but it seems like DC doesn't have much confidence in the Trusteeship Team.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

LA Times: "The result was a crushing defeat for the SEIU"

Tasty could not have said it better!

Lots of great reading this morning:

LA Times

Labor Notes

Press Democrat


Empire Report



Friday, December 18, 2009

SRMH vote results--NUHW beats SEIU by a landslide!

283 NUHW
263 No Union

17 additional challenge ballots. These ballots are challenged based on hire date eligibility, i.e. were the workers there long enough to be able to vote. The hospital has agreed to share payroll records to settle the matter, SEIU has refused to move forward, as to stop the tally from being finalized tonight.

At this time, we do not know if NUHW wins with or without a runoff. But NUHW has kicked SEIU's ass seriously.

As of now, NUHW beats SEIU by 270 votes!

Alameda Hospital WAGE CUTS

Remember in April that SEIU bragged that they had bargained a great contract for the workers at Alameda Hospital?

And remember when the hospital's administrator (Kerry Easthope) bragged in the San Jose Mercury News: "It also requires employees to pay health care contributions for their spouses and children, which Easthope said is a groundbreaking concession for a hospital to gain in the Bay Area?"

Well it turns out that the boss is going to have more to brag about! The employer is asking the union to take a 5% wage cut because the hospital lost a contract with Kaiser.

Today's article in the Oakland tribune stated:

"A spokeswoman for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers, which recently secured an 18 percent wage hike (over three years) for the 180 hospital employees they represent in exchange for concessions on health benefits, said her members are willing to talk to management.

Doesn't look good for those members who are now contributing to healthcare, losing their raises and facing a dues increase.

And here Tasty thought that SEIU had the inside track with Kaiser! Were they too busy union busting at SRMH to protect the Kaiser contract with Alameda Hospital?

Dues increase at UHW!

The boss at Olympia Medical Center in LA put out a leaflet announcing a dues increase at Zombie UHW.

The workers had not heard about this from their union, as had been the practice before the trusteeship. But when they called the Zombie UHW office the increase was confirmed.

Minimum Dues will go from $29/month to $30/month.
Maximum Dues will go from $98/month to $102/month.

Tasty guess that it costs big money to keep the trustees living in style.

Can members confirm that this is true? Check with your rep, or call Zombie UHW at (877) 734-8399 or (510) 251-1250. And let me know what you find out:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Election Updates

Just to keep you up to date, there is an election today and tomorrow at SRMH in Santa Rosa, and there is the upcoming de-certification vote beginning in early January for Kaiser Professionals in Southern California.

Remember, SRMH is a new unit, not a decert. So the boss and SEIU's anti-union messaging could confuse and intimidate workers into voting NO UNION. This would mean SEIU would have effectively screwed workers who have been working to organize here for 6 years. SEIU could have had an organizing agreement with SRMH pre-Trusteeship and refused it, so that the former UHW (current NUHW) leaders would not get credit for a victory.

It's outrageous. SEIU would much rather keep workers out of a union, than lose to NUHW. It's about SEIU, not about healthcare workers. There is no question.

Check out the current news articles, listen to the KPFA clip to hear from SRMH workers talk about the boss and SEIU's actions:

Los Angeles Times, "Hospital vote pits upstart union against colossus," 12-17-09

In These Times, "SEIU's Civil War," 12-16-09

Press Democrat

Labor Notes, "Finally, NUHW Squares Off Against SEIU in Two Hospital Elections," 12-16-09

Catholic San Francisco, "Santa Rosa election tests Catholic health care labor-management relations," 12-15-09

KPFA Radio

You can keep your money, SEIU.

Check out this video of SRMH workers watching the SEIU staff picket line from last week.

The workers who were laid off after Zombie UHW took over/shut down the campaign are featured. They don't seem too impressed.

Get out there and vote NUHW!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thank you, Scott Silber, Thank you for this.

Gosh! Don't you just love it when Zombie UHW's staff is wacky? Tasty sure does.

Let's think back on just a few of our old faves:

Alex Espinoza
Rebecca Mahlberg
The Tyrone and Monica Show
Michelle Ringuette
Miles Granderson
Lisa Gude
Hal Ruddick
Mary Kay Henry

Now let's meet a new one. Scott Silber. We learned about him yesterday, when he was busy patrolling Kaiser's halls for 'unfair labor practices."

Tasty got a TON of emails about Scott. Here are some fun facts!

  • Scott Silber was an activist in college and has an FBI file! Tasty hopes the the FBI will take note that Scott is now on the side of law and order and hall monitoring.
  • Scott has an extensive online resume and bio--favorite fact: "Today, Scott Silber performs in the “organic theater” group “The Romero Troupe” and studies the therapeutic role of storytelling and ancient indigenous spiritual wisdom & music." Kumbaya!
  • Scott sees an organizers role as a self-healer. "Silber argues that this is a function of many movement’s organizers’ and activists’ tendency to work towards the healing of others before focusing on their own healing needs, inviting an eventual “recipe for disaster that damages those enrolled in their movements and in their own lives with the power of so much unhealed hurt inside these movement's own organizers.”" Yes, that's why we pay dues. Exactly.
  • Scott used to work on justice issues with many progressive groups, including our brothers and sisters at HERE in Texas. Yes, the same union that SEIU is currently trying to raid. Scott--when did you lose your way, brother?
Tasty urges all Zombie UHW staff to put up on-line bios that are this entertaining.

Kaiser Election Details.

So Cal Professional Unit will vote as follows:

Ballots will be mailed to homes on January 4, 2010

RN Unit: election will be held at the hospital on Wednesday, January 6 and Thursday January 7: 6am to 8pm both days

Ballots for all units will be counted on January 26 at 9am at Region 21.

Go Get 'em NUHW!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Zombie UHW's Hall Monitor reports for duty at Kaiser West LA.

Word has it that at West LA Kaiser yesterday a group of professionals were holding a meeting to discuss NUHW's upcoming election. Management came to the meeting and advised the workers that is was fine to hold the meeting, but no one from the "outside"---non employees could attend. As long as members were talking to members, they could go ahead.

Oakland based, UHW newbie Scott Silber (?) was there as the new UHW rep campaigning for the Zombie Team. After management left, the workers told Scott that he needed to leave and that they just wanted to meet on their own to discuss the issues.

Since SEIU staff have never considered that workers might be able to make their own choices, without the guidance of an SEIU staff member, Scott refused to leave. Finally, after more than five minutes of professional members telling him that he needed to leave and to stop taking up their time, he came up with the reason he needed to stay.

"I may have a legal obligation to be here because there may be possible unfair labor practices committed."

What? Members having an honest conversation with each other about their choices could constitute an "unfair labor practice?" Maybe Scott should learn a little more about unions and the law.

He told the workers finally that he would, leave, but MIGHT come back. Scotty, then stood outside for a while patrolling for "possible unfair labor violators."

The pros report a great meeting, full of good conversation and free of unfair labor practices.

Can anyone confirm that Scott Silber is indeed from SEIU 105 in Colorado?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


A right-wing website has posted an internal SEIU language "tip-sheet" with suggestions about how to discuss EFCA. No huge revelations here, although it once again underscores the huge contradictions of SEIU's support for "free choice" even as SEIU blocks NLRB elections for tens of thousands of workers, bullies and intimidates homecare workers in Fresno, and refuses to negotiate fair election ground rules in Santa Rosa.

Tasty thinks some "tips" SEIU officials should have are the following:

  • Do not threaten immigrant members of SEIU with deportation if they fail to vote for SEIU in a government-supervised union election.

  • Do not instruct staff to take voters' secret-ballots from their mailboxes and mark them for SEIU against voters' clear wishes.

  • Do not use violent language towards workers who are simply exercising their right to a democratic vote in government-supervised union elections. For example, do not say: "We need to drive a stake through their hearts," "We need to give them an ass-whipping they will never forget," or "We need to bury them in the ground."

  • Do not use the same election-delay tactics employed by corporations, such as filing bogus charges that block workers from participating in union elections for nearly a year. If the public learns that one of the nation's largest unions is carrying out the exact same "boss" tactics that labor unions have criticized for decades, this will undermine the public's support for EFCA.

Send in any "tips" you have for

Friday, December 11, 2009

Andy says: Let them eat cake!

Check out the cakes that were delivered into numerous SRMH locations during the "picket" that SEIU staged outside. Word on the street says that SEIU bussed in 200 staff and supporters, but not one single SRMH worker came out to join them.

Not one? How many votes they lookin' to get? Oh, right. They just want to make sure that SRMH workers don't have any union!

Out of Africa...back to Kaiser

Jason Campbell, long time SoCal Kaiser Professionals rep for UHW, is returning from his new gig in AFRICA, just to help the workers win a new union with NUHW.

Here is his letter to the members... It is long, but worth sharing.

Also, rumor has it the election will be scheduled right around the new year...


Hello, leaders and members of the professional chapters in southern California.

As many of you know, I have been working in Africa the last few months supporting various organizing drives in Nigeria, collective bargaining campaigns in Liberia, health and safety initiatives in the oil and gas sector, and budget advocacy work in the volatile Niger Delta. With great excitement, however, I am returning to southern California to assist in your efforts to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers!

I was honored and privileged to be your union representative for about three years up until the so-called “trusteeship” of our union on January 27, 2009. Despite the undemocratic takeover of our union, I had hoped to stay on and continue our efforts at advancing the professional practice issues of the chapters. That, however, was not an interest of the trustees. Instead, they demanded that I remove elected stewards and officers who failed to “move the trustee’s program”. I, of course, could not do that. Union staff should be accountable to members not the other way around. I, therefore, had no choice but to resign. But now we have the opportunity to take our union back!

Labor unions should be democratic organizations, accountable to their members, and where members play an active role in the crucial decisions that affect them. As Elaine Bernard, the Executive Director of the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program, writes, “Organizing is important, but it also needs to be more than signing up new members. Rather, the future of unions and their power rests with informed, committed membership who understands that they are the union and that the power of the union rests with them.” (Bernard, Elaine. “The State of US Labor & Building Union Power,” Democratic Left, Fall 2008). I became acquainted with Dr. Bernard and developed an understanding of the importance of union governance while earning my master’s degree at Harvard University. A body of research shows that top-down, corporate governance structures will not bring about sustainable gains for workers. Instead, unions need bottom-up, democratic governance structures that engage and empower workers to improve their lives and workplaces.

Our experience with SEIU since the trusteeship is a case in point. At Kaiser, stewards and officers were removed, our chapter funds were seized, and the membership did not get to vote on agreements. The result: SEIU “trustees” agreed to cuts in our pension, eroded the employment and income security agreement, and severely damaged the state of the partnership (recall the Day of Learnings where SEIU staffers Beka Langen and Stewart Kocivar tried to block providers from participating in discussions about patient care issues).

We now, however, have the opportunity to take our union back by certifying NUHW. We will overcome SEIU’s campaign of misinformation and fear-mongering. Our victory will show Kaiser that we demand a real partnership, where frontline employees are actively involved in efforts to improve patient care and raise the standards of our contracts – rather than being a passive revenue source to a corporate union where “partnership” means top-down, backroom deals that erode our standards, limit our voice, disrespect our professions, and harm our patients.

In certifying NUHW, we will protect the wages and benefits we fought to win and our autonomy as professional chapters will be restored. We will once again work with experienced negotiators that bargained with Kaiser for years and helped us win what we have now, and accountability will be returned with elected members at the table and membership votes on agreements.

I feel honored and privileged to be involved with these efforts and working with you all again.


Jason Campbell
Volunteer Organizer
National Union of Healthcare Workers

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Get your SternBurger T-Shirt!

Check out the new face of our blog...the man who inspired it in the first place, Michael Rivera.

Michael is a former UHW e-board member and works at Tarzana Medical Center.

By the way, if you want to get in on this action, Michael will send you a shirt, and all proceeds will go to the Fund for Union Democracy!

email him for the details:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This should actually be criminal.

Fred Ross, Jr. is a long-time organizer and is deeply respected amongst organizers, workers and our supporters here in California. His father, an organizer with a religiously affiliated community group recruited a man named Cesar Chavez to be involved in migrant issues, and together they started the United Farm Workers.

Fred worked for SEIU for the last 10 years of his 40-year career, most recently working on the Saint Joseph Health System/Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital fight. He quit this last spring out of disgust with what SEIU was doing in California. Fred had been pretty vague in his disgust, but in light of SEIU's union busting at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, he has written a letter to the workers, featured in Beyond Chron.

So what exactly did SEIU do? Check out this except:

"Last February, SEIU leaders from Washington took over its California healthcare local, SEIU-UHW. The campaign was suspended (SRMH). Days later, over 200 SRMH workers were informed of impending layoffs. I offered to fight the layoffs alongside an experienced organizer who had spent two years on the campaign. However, this organizer was told by the new SEIU-UHW leadership, installed by Andy Stern, that SRMH workers were no longer a priority.

"Several days later, a national leader of SEIU told me that SEIU could probably get a free and fair election agreement from SJHS by that June. I was shocked by what he admitted next: that the international union made a decision in August 2008 no longer to support workers at SJHS or put pressure on the system, because they did not want you to have the opportunity to vote for a union led by Sal Rosselli."

Yes, you read that right. A nationally ranked leader of SEIU told Fred that the workers could have a deal with the employer to have a fair election, but not if it would look good for the then leadership of UHW. 21,000 workers lost the opportunity to vote in a fair election to be union members, just so Sal Rosselli would not be associated with the victory? Twenty One Thousand.

According to sources, the genius that told Fred about the potential victory that SEIU killed?

Scott Courtney.

Who is on the Naughty List?

Every year Jobs with Justice puts out a poll where you can vote for the "Scrooge of the Year." This award recognizes the greediest, most cold-hearted company or person of the year.

This year the choices are:

Bank of America
US Chamber of Commerce
Hyatt Hotels
Publix Supermarkets
Student Local Lenders Sallie Mae & Citibank

Of course, you can also write someone in...I guess what Tasty is saying is that if Tasty were writing anyone in, Tasty is writing in Mr. Andrew L. Stern. Who is certainly has shown his greedy cold hearted side this past year.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Meet Scott Courtney. Do As He Says, Not As He Does.

Oh, SEIU staff. Why would any real organizer, researcher or any other staff come to California when everyone else in the labor movement says that the trusteeship is bad for workers, for EFCA and for the image of the labor movement?

Sure, 10% national unemployment and layoffs in the union certainly make some feel that coming to California is simply a decision to keep their jobs and put food on the table. But for some SEIU staff who specialize in organizing health care workers the answer is Scott Courtney.

Courtney, former organizing director at 1199WOK, is all too familiar with Dave Regan’s frequent testosterone tantrums and had been admired by many staff for rolling his eyes at Andy Stern’s latest gimmicks to organize a million workers with a new website, mail in contest or iPhone app. Courtney would say that he often agreed with the original UHW leaders about organizing strategy and many who were turned off by Andy and Anna’s shtick believed that Courtney was sincere.

Reportedly, he also made one thing clear to many staff: he would never work on the Trusteeship.

So, why is Scott in California? Well, first he said that he was angry at former UHW staff, who he believed tipped the California Nurse Association off that 1199WOK was running elections at several Ohio Hospitals. The CNA then intervened, and the elections were called off. CNA claimed SEIU was making a 'sweetheart deal' with employers and SEIU claimed that CNA was union busting because they were jealous rivals. Scott was furious that those workers would not have a union because of the ruined elections.

So did former UHW staff blow up the Ohio elections? The facts say NO. Among the reasons: there was press done about the elections BEFORE the elections, most likely the way that CNA found out about the elections. Also, workers know how to use the phone, perhaps one of them called CNA?!

After the election, Scott and his pal Dave Regan teamed up to infiltrate the 2008 Labor Notes Conference, Where CNA’s Executive Director Roseanne DeMoro was scheduled to speak-and it went just about as well as the Trusteeship is going!

Fast forward a year and find all of these same players signing organizing deals that potentially cover thousands of more workers, with Roseanne. I guess Ohio wasn’t such a deal breaker after all.

Your friend SternBurger might stop to marvel at this hypocrisy… BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MORE!

Not only is Scott inking deals with his former ‘enemies,’ but he is also working on the Trusteeship here in California. But most offensive of all: He brought a boatload of former Ohio staff to undermine the efforts of workers at a Catholic Hospital System that is trying to organize a union!

Sound familiar? Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital was prepared to sign an election agreement and refrain from negative campaigning. But it seems that Scott and his posse haven’t been able to get workers to dump NUHW and support SEIU. So instead of agreeing to allow workers to vote without employer and union negative campaigns, SEIU has rejected the agreement and allowed management to attack both SEIU and NUHW.

Some might say that SEIU’s behavior is unbelievable for an organization that purports to be a union. But Dave Regan is too easy of a target.

More notable is the rapid descent of Scott. When he thought Ohio workers had a chance to vote for HIS union, he told CNN Money/Fortune magazine that fair elections agreements were the way to go:

"I think we found something that is smack in the middle," Courtney said. "That really does say [management and union are] both going to trust the employees to vote, we're going to live by the results, and we're going to hold ourselves to a standard much higher than and much greater than what the law says."

So Scott, why can't we keep holding ourselves to this higher standard and let workers vote? Think carefully about your answer and remember—Andy Stern isn’t the only one whose credibility is on the line.

Trading Pink Sheets for Pink Slips: Worker's United Staff

SternBurger is hearing reports of massive layoffs at SEIU's Workers United. According to sources, SEIU officials are sending pink slips to about 40% of Workers United's staff because of SEIU's deepening financial problems. Meanwhile, other unions across the US are reporting that they're getting a flurry of job applications from the laid-off staffers.

Readers might recall that, earlier this year, Andy Stern laid off scores of SEIU staff amid reports of a serious financial shortfalls that caused SEIU to run to the bank for $25 million in new loans.

Sounds like SEIU's wars are beginning to bleed the union dry. SternBurger wonders when Andy will share the pain by taking a cut in his $275,000-a-year paycheck funded by SEIU members. When will Dave Regan take a cut in his quarter-million dollar salary?

In all fairness, it seems like SEIU's top officials, who have led SEIU's members into a series of disastrous and costly wars, should be the first ones to go out the door...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SEIU Drives Yet Another Ally Away

In May 2009 SEIU held a prayer breakfast and lobbying event on behalf of an important goal the Employee Free Choice Act, with an organization called "Faith Leaders for Workplace Support." This organization, purportedly started by SEIU, included the respected organization Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice.

See their website about the event.

But Today, that same group came out against the actions of the boss at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital AND SEIU's ACTIONS!

Here is the text of the letter (emphasis original):

December 3, 2009

Mr. Kevin A. Klockenga

President and Chief Executive Officer

St. Joseph Health System Sonoma County

Sent Via Email

Dear Mr. Klockenga,

In your letter of Oct. 5, 2009 to Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice you explained that “SRMH leadership was scheduled to meet with NUHW officials to attempt to reach mutually agreed-upon ground rules for a future election.” We in CSWJ rejoiced in this statement since it demonstrated a new openness on the part of SJHS to improve labor relations and it was the first concrete application of the joint USCCB, CHA, and labor union document, “Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Healthcare and Unions.”

We have followed developments in this matter and are disappointed that SEIU refused to attend a meeting with SJHS and NUHW to decide upon ground rules for an election. We believe, however, that you still had a moral obligation to meet with NUHW since the interests of the workers should not be held hostage to one party who refuses to attend a meeting. Simply meeting with a union to discuss ground rules in no way constitutes an endorsement of that union by SJHS. In the name of the common good, we urge you to meet at the earliest possible moment with NUHW to discuss ground rules for the last two weeks of the campaign. SEIU should, of course, be invited but it they refuse to attend we urge you to schedule the meeting anyway.

In addition, we are deeply alarmed at reports that SJHS has reverted to an earlier form of behavior and is actively seeking to bust the union movement at Santa Rosa. It is a violation of Catholic Social Teaching on workers’ rights for an employer to demonstrate anti-union sentiments. The decision for or against a union is rooted in the natural right of free association and the employer may under no circumstances violate or denigrate this right through actions or conversations with workers that have a clear anti-union prejudice. Accordingly, we call upon Saint Joseph Health System to cease its anti-union campaign and to follow the norms that are set forth in Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Healthcare and Unions.

Sincerely yours,


Chairperson, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice

Kaiser Clips...

See press about the NLRB's decision to finally allow 2,300 workers in Kaiser's Southern California professional units to hold union-representation elections.

(1) NBC: “Trouble in Paradise for SEIU - Kaiser Permanente employees could skip out on union”

(2) LA Daily News: “Healthcare workers could join breakaway union”

(3) Sacramento Business Journal: “NLRB gives huge victory to National Union of Healthcare Workers

(4) San Francisco Business Times: “NLRB decision could open door to new health care union”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The NLRB finally ordered a de-certification vote for three units of Kaiser professionals in Southern California (approx 2,300 workers in total). Workers first filed their petitions requesting a vote back in February of this year. SEIU and Kaiser management objected, claiming that a
contract bar prohibits workers from holding an election and, secondly, that NUHW is not an actual union.

The NLRB finally conducted a hearing on the issue and today, the NLRB Regional Director threw out both of SEIU's objections and ordered an election.

It appears that SEIU and/or Kaiser management could try to appeal the region's decision to a higher level within the NLRB.

Which, lets be real, they will do unless people push back on them. Fight Back Kaiser Pros!!!