Saturday, July 30, 2011

Concessions in Cali -- SEIU-style

It’s been quite a couple of weeks! About 1,000 Canadian healthcare workers won three stunning election victories after a two-year struggle against SEIU. And California workers scored a giant legal victory to re-run two elections for 44,000 Kaiser workers.
To top it off, check out this late-breaking story that helps explain why workers are struggling so hard to leave SEIU.
In Southern California, SEIU represents 6,800 Registered Nurses and professionals through SEIU Local 121. At Providence Tarzana Medical Center, SEIU just accepted a two-year wage freeze for its 600 members without even letting its members vote on the issue… and without organizing any kind of fightback against the hospital.
SEIU – led by SEIU staffer Judy Serlin – has spent the last year trying to negotiate a successor contract with the hospital.
What’s up next for the RNs and professionals at Providence Tarzana? SEIU is considering a 6% cut to its members’ wage scales. Check out this leaflet that SEIU is distributing to its members. It contains crazy clip art (see above) and jewels like these:
Our team has already agreed to freeze wages for two years.
What this means is that Tarzana RNs and Professionals won’t receive any raises – no wage increases and no step increases. It also means that our wage scale that we fought so hard for over the years will be reduced by a total of 6 percent by 2012.
So, in a couple of years when you’re sitting down to lunch with your nursing school buddies who work at other hospitals, make sure it’s their treat because they’ll be making a lot more than you will.
And if that’s not pathetic enough, SEIU’s leaflet actually quotes the BOSS, allowing him to explain to SEIU members why they should accept a 6% wage cut. (Tasty is not kidding.)
“The realities are, the nurses are very well paid here,” said Providence Attorney and Lead Negotiator Doug Hart during Thursday’s bargaining.
After SEIU distributed the leaflet to its members, someone ran into SEIU Negotiator Judy Serlin and asked: “Judy, what’s going on?” Judy’s response: “I don’t know. I was in the Alps…”
In the Alps? Was Judy on a juicy junket to Davos with SEIU President Emeritus Andy Stern? Is Judy simply trying to dodge the blame for SEIU’s total ineffectiveness at fighting for its members? Or did Judy simply stop taking her meds? Tasty wants to know… Tarzana workers??