Thursday, November 10, 2011

SEIU Guts Pension for D.C. Workers Who Treat Kaiser Patients

Washington Hospital Center
In case workers are wondering about SEIU’s plans for upcoming negotiations with Kaiser Permanente, you might wanna check out the latest news from Washington, DC.

According to this article in the Washington Business Journal, SEIU just agreed to eliminate the defined-benefit pension for 1,700 workers at Washington Hospital Center, which helps care for 500,000 Kaiser members in the D.C. area as part of the hospital’s “expanded partnership” with Kaiser… which includes staffing the hospital with Kaiser doctors.

Here’s what the Washington Business Journal says about SEIU’s newly negotiated contract for the hospital’s 1,700 workers:
Workers made two key concessions: Union members will transition from a defined-benefits retirement program to a 403(b) plan, the nonprofit equivalent of a 401(k) program, and all employees will be transferred to a standardized paid-time off plan and the hospital's standard holiday program.
Tasty hears that SEIU’s pension cuts will slash workers’ retirement pay by tens of thousands of dollars per worker. Meanwhile, multiple sources -- including Kaiser executives like Henry Diaz -- report that Dave Regan has already signed a secret deal to make the same pension cuts for SEIU-UHW’s 43,000 Kaiser workers in California.

Tasty wonders whether Dangerous Dave Regan has the same attitude towards the cuts as Daniel Fields, Jr., the president of the SEIU Local 722 in D.C. who penned the deal that gutted his members’ retirement benefits. When a reporter asked “Junior” about his reaction to the deal, he responded this way:
"Well you know, a good contract is when both sides get screwed a little," Fields said.
Hmm… “Junior” apparently ain’t losing any sleep about his members getting “screwed a little”…  or “screwed a lot,” in this case. After all, the pension cuts won’t affect him. Both Junior and Regan have their own secure defined-benefit pension plan provided by SEIU’s Purple Palace… and funded by their members’ union dues.

Bottom line: Kaiser workers in California better watch out. What additional proof do you need about SEIU’s deal to gut your defined-benefit pension plan?