Thursday, March 22, 2012

SEIU/Coalition's Hollywood Junket: Dancing While Kaiser Contract Burns

Remember the leaflets from AFSCME/UNAC that describe Kaiser Permanente’s plans to slash workers’ benefits during contract negotiations? Well, some workers hoped the leaflets might force SEIU and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions to utter at least a few words of half-hearted criticism against Kaiser.


In fact, Tasty has learned that Dave Regan and John August are spending millions of dollars of workers’ dues money on a so-called “Delegates Conference” that begins March 23rd. The giant junket is designed to co-opt the Coalition delegates who'll vote on a new national contract when negotiations are completed in May.

According to this website, Regan and August are sending more than 600 union delegates and staffers to a three-day, all-expenses-paid extravaganza at “the ultra-stylish Renaissance Hollywood Hotel and Spa… the premier luxury property in the movie-making capital of the world.”

Here’s a list of the attendees, including Regan, Stan Lyles and even Tiffany “I’m gonna kill you” Ford. Altogether, 170 staff and members from SEIU-UHW will be poolside at the Hollywood Renaissance.

The hotel features a restaurant, bar, champagne brunch, live music, rooftop swimming pool and health spa that offers “celebrity-inspired pampering” including “Enzymatic Body Peels,” “Micro Current Eye Lift,” “Sunless Tanning” and “Couples Massages.”

For those who wanna look nice for SEIU’s next Wellness Walk, there’s even a special “Firming Wrap” with “Shea Butter, Rice Bran Oil and extracts of Juniper Berry, Walnut and Bitter Orange.”

What about the program/content for this “Delegates Conference?” After all, it’s taking place right in the middle of Kaiser negotiations. Will SEIU-UHW and the Coalition actually talk about Kaiser’s proposed benefits cuts?


According to the website, the conference – entitled “You Gotta Move” – focuses on (you guessed it) “Wellness Programs!”
The aim of this conference is to inform, inspire and support leadership development, particularly in improving our health and the health of our communities… We will explore our options in reducing our health risks and those of our community during plenary sessions, workshops and in our Union Steering Committee track.
Delegates can choose from an array of riveting workshops like “Leading in Partnership,” “Tracking Success” (presented by two Kaiser officials), “Effective Sponsorship,” “Small Is Big” (how to incorporate physical exercise into your life -- led by a physical fitness trainer), “Laughaceuticals” (“ideas for regularly incorporating laughter into your day”), “Turn on the Jazz,” “Mentoring Our Future,” “Tell Me a Story” and “Value Stream Mapping.”  

And, for delegates who like to party, Regan and August have even planned a “Hollywood Party” with the “Jam Patrol Dancers.” Hmm... what's that saying about 'Dancing while Rome burns?'