Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SEIU's Concessionary Caravan

After Tasty posted this story about SEIU pushing concessions on San Diego County workers, readers sent in other stories about cuts that SEIU is negotiating.

In Santa Cruz County, California, SEIU just accepted a two-year contract for 1,500 county workers that includes a two-tiered pension system and furloughs that translate into “a nearly 7 percent pay cut,” according to the San Jose Mercury News.

In Las Vegas, Nevada, 3,000 SEIU members at University Medical Center took a 2% wage cut that’s retroactive back to May. A retroactive pay cut?? Tasty was puzzled, too. It means that workers not only have their wage rates cut by 2% going into the future, but each worker also has to pay back hundreds of dollars to the hospital that they got in their paychecks during the past 3 months. Tasty kinda had the same reaction as this SEIU member, who was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun as saying: “I don’t know if there’s a union in America that’s had to give back what they already had.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area, 1,300 members at SEIU-UHW are facing a whole slew of cuts at El Camino Hospital, according to this bargaining bulletin posted on the hospital’s website. Proposed cuts include eliminating fully employer-paid health and dental coverage (workers would pay 10% of premiums), freezing wages in the first year of the contract, cutting retirement pay, eliminating education & training benefits, cutting shift differentials, etc. The hospital is asking SEIU-UHW to eat the cuts even though the hospital posted $70 million in profits during the past two years.

One of the hospital’s top execs, who recently moved to a nearby hospital, reported that Dave Regan has already accepted the cuts… but kinda forgot to let the workers know. Apparently, Regan signed off on the cuts in exchange for a deal with management that let SEIU add hundreds more of the hospital’s workers to SEIU’s membership rolls. "Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours..."

According to workers, SEIU is putting up a fake fight against the hospital's cuts… even going so far as to "organize" an informational picket that involved only 7 or 8 workers. Tasty can hear Regan explaining it to the workers… “We tried… but we had to accept the cuts… There was nothing else we could do…”