Sunday, December 4, 2011

Purple Lies: SEIU Pushed $217 Million Pension Cut on Catholic Healthcare West's Workers

Remember the massive pension cut that SEIU officials negotiated with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW)?  SEIU stripped at least $217 million from workers’ pockets by eliminating their defined-benefit pension plan and replacing it with a 401(k)-style plan, according to financial documents recently filed by CHW.

Well, here's the latest news:  SEIU officials not only negotiated the $217 million pension cut, but they then blatantly LIED to CHW workers in order to get them to accept the horrible deal during the union’s ratification vote. (And when Tasty says “LIED,” he means full-on fraud, treachery and deceit.)

Here’s what happened: 

Last summer, as workers prepared to vote on SEIU’s tentative agreement to change their pension plan, this is how SEIU advertised the deal to workers (b/t/w, the “GDP plan” is the defined-benefit pension plan that SEIU eliminated):

Do you notice any mention of the hundreds of millions of dollars that workers would lose by accepting SEIU's deal? In fact, there's no mention of even the possibility that workers would lose a penny. SEIU officials, instead of telling the truth, flooded workers with thousands of leaflets with all-caps headlines like this one:

And guess who was one of the main perpetrators of this massive fraud against workers? Stan Lyles, who is SEIU-UHW’s Vice President and second-in-charge behind Dave Regan. Lyles’s picture appears on multiple purple propaganda pieces urging workers to vote “Yes” on the deal.

SEIU staffer Hal Ruddick, who now sits on Regan's Executive Committee, inked the massive concession with CHW executives and then directed the purple disinformation campaign against workers. And get this: Ruddick negotiated the cuts even though CHW made $917 million in profits last year, nearly doubling its profits from the previous year.

So how bad is SEIU’s pension cut? First of all, SEIU eliminated CHW's defined-benefit pension plan that guaranteed workers monthly pension payments for life that were based on workers’ final wage rate and their years of service.

In its place, SEIU implemented a new 401(k)-style plan that pays far less. Under this new plan, CHW contributes a fixed amount into each worker’s retirement account once a year (for example, 2% of a worker’s annual pay, which is the same as SEIU-UHW's union dues rate). When a worker retires, her retirement account is cashed out and this has gotta last for the rest of the worker's life. Here are excerpts from the agreement that Hal Ruddick signed:

Bottom line: SEIU officials committed a nearly quarter-billion-dollar fraud against its own members. In Tasty's humble opinion, these SEIU officials should face criminal punishment for this massive scam. And the pension cuts should be overturned because SEIU deliberately deceived its own members about what they were voting on. Hmmm...  any attorneys out there?