Thursday, April 26, 2012

ANOTHER California Hospital Chain Seeks Concessions from SEIU-UHW

Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health are not the only hospital chains seeking massive concessions from SEIU-UHW.

Tasty has learned that the Daughters of Charity Health System -- which employs 3,000 of the union's members and is the fourth largest hospital chain that bargains with SEIU-UHW -- is seeking devastating cuts that are virtually identical to the ones that Dave Regan has given up to other hospital companies.

SEIU-UHW officials have been in bargaining with the company for months and the current contract is set to expire on Monday (April 30). The Daughters of Charity is the fourth largest hospital chain that bargains with SEIU-UHW.

According to an SEIU leaflet that’s pasted below, here are some of the major cuts on the bargaining table:
  • Freeze workers’ wages and “step increases.”
  • Eliminate workers’ defined-benefit pension plan and force them into a cheap 401(k) plan.
  • Cut workers’ health insurance benefits. Workers would have to pay 25-40% of the monthly premiums for a PPO plan. And they'd have to pay 20% of the monthly premiums for an HMO plan if they don’t meet the requirements of the company’s Wellness Program.
  • Eliminate protections against subcontracting workers’ jobs.
  • Eliminate “successorship” protections that require a buyer to employ the current workforce if a hospital is sold.
These devastating cuts were absolutely unthinkable until Dave Regan and his East Coast trustees parachuted into California about 36 months ago. In fact, the cuts are so severe that they'd roll back hospital workers’ benefits to levels not seen since the 1960s in the San Francisco Bay Area.

So how are SEIU's officials responding? Check out this stunning leaflet that SEIU is handing out to workers (see below). The first line says: “We won’t let Daughters go broke, but we won’t go broke either.” Wait a sec! The company isn't even talking about "going broke." But SEIU is trying to plant fear in workers' minds so they'll accept the devastating concessions they plan to give to the company.

Meanwhile, SEIU is staging fake “rallies” against the cuts at the Daughters of Charity's hospitals. The purpose? In the future, when workers complain about the harsh impact of the cuts, SEIU officials will simply shrug their shoulders and say, “See? We tried. But we just couldn't stop the cuts…”

Check out this video of SEIU’s fake “rally” at St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy on April 19.

And speaking of St. Louise Hospital, check this out. The hospital is only 25 miles down the road from Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital... but soon the two hospitals will be light-years apart as far as workers’ pay and benefits.

At Salinas Valley Memorial, NUHW's 800 members waged an aggressive, year-long fight for a good contract. After impressive strike activity and the threat of an additional strike, the hospital settled a deal that preserves workers' defined-benefit pension plan, fully employer-paid family health coverage and no-subcontracting protections, and also provides wage increases that'll keep their wages higher than Kaiser’s. Quite 'A Tale of Two Hospitals.' Or better yet... "A Tale of Two Unions!"

Here's the SEIU leaflet that Tasty referred to earlier: