Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Source Leaks Secret Political Deal between SEIU-UHW and SEIU Local 1021 in California

Dave Regan and Roxanne Sanchez
Tasty has learned that Dave Regan, Josie Mooney, Mary Kay Henry and Roxanne Sanchez have drafted a secret deal to forge “political unity” between SEIU-UHW and SEIU Local 1021. The latter union represents 42,000 public-sector workers in Northern California -- including workers in San Francisco -- and Sanchez is the union's president.

Here’s what’s going on.

Since SEIU’s disastrous trusteeship of SEIU-UHW in 2009, Local 1021 and SEIU-UHW have repeatedly clashed. Regan, who was parachuted in from Ohio, has steered SEIU-UHW far to the right. For example, “Wall Street” Dave has eliminated workers’ pension plans at the bargaining table even as Local 1021 fights to maintain them. 

And in politics, Regan has teamed up with San Francisco’s Chamber of Commerce to fund business-friendly politicians against progressive candidates backed by Local 1021 and the San Francisco labor council.

And that’s just the beginning. 

Regan and Leon Chow (an SEIU-UHW staffer) undermined San Francisco’s universal healthcare legislation, which was a key legislative priority of Local 1021. The cutting-edge law is designed to force businesses to provide health insurance to their employees.

And Regan opposed a community-based coalition -- which includes Local 1021 -- that’s been working to hold the giant Sutter Health corporation accountable on jobs, housing and services for the poor. The two unions have even locked horns at San Francisco’s labor council, where Regan has won few friends by threatening the city’s labor leaders, including UNITE HERE's Mike Casey.

And here’s a crystallizing contrast:  While Local 1021 pushes for progressive tax legislation in San Francisco, Regan cavorts with the 1% at the Chamber of Commerce… which is waging economic warfare against the city’s workers.

So what’s inside the secret deal between the two unions? (See the full agreement below). Well, it basically would force the two unions to make joint endorsements of political candidates and ballot initiatives. Previously, rank-and-file union members voted to endorse candidates and ballot propositions. But under SEIU's “political unity” deal, each union would get one vote in determining an endorsement. If the two unions can’t agree, then SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry would control a third, tie-breaking vote.

So what does this mean? Sources say it represents a giant giveaway by Roxanne Sanchez. One person put it this way: 
If you’re Local 1021, why would you sign this deal? Local 1021 is a big political player in San Francisco with lots of members, money and foot soldiers. Regan has shown again and again that he’s hostile to the priorities of Local 1021’s members. Basically, he’s bedded down with the business community. So, if you’re Sanchez, why would you agree to this so-called "unity" deal? It hands over control of Local 1021's political destiny to Regan and some SEIU bureaucrat in DC. Plus, when push comes to shove, everyone knows that Mary Kay Henry is going to back Regan over Sanchez. If Local 1021 accepts this deal, they're basically declaring unilateral disarmament as far as their political future.
So why would Sanchez accept such a bad deal? Tasty guesses the agreement comes with unpublished side deals that will allow Sanchez to pocket unspecified benefits in exchange for trading away her union’s political independence.

Another interesting detail:  The deal mentions former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly. Daly was termed out of political office and now serves as Local 1021’s Political Director. Sources says it’s especially ironic that Daly, who helped lead the progressive wing of San Francisco politics, will now be responsible for implementing a deal that’s gonna destroy the city’s progressives.

What’s next? According to paragraph 15 (see below), the deal will be presented to Local 1021’s COPE Committee on June 7.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dave Regan Deploys "Old School" Tactics against SEIU-UHW Shop Steward

Tasty hears that SEIU's Dave Regan is relying on some decidedly old-school tactics to implement his so-called “21st century unionism” at Kaiser Permanente. How old-school? Well, think "13 century"… including inquisitions, excommunications and run-of-the-mill collusion with the Boss. 

Here's what happening:

As workers at additional Kaiser facilities vote down SEIU's tentative agreements with Kaiser, Regan and Co. appear to be getting increasingly nervous about the votes. SEIU-UHW has intensified its "vote yes" campaign of mailers and leaflets to the union's 43,000 members at Kaiser. And last week, Regan retaliated against an SEIU-UHW shop steward who had the gall to vote "no" on the ratification vote. Apparently, the steward never got the purple memo that forbids her from actually voting her conscience or disagreeing with Dave and his “old school friends.”  

Here are the details.

In the run-up to the ratification vote at a Kaiser facility in Contra Costa County (east of San Francisco), an SEIU-UHW shop steward forwarded to some of her co-workers an email that advocated a "no" vote. When another SEIU-UHW shop steward got a copy of the email, she sent it to SEIU officials who quickly launched a witch hunt against the steward.

As workers at the steward’s facility showed up to vote, SEIU staffers questioned each of them about their communications with the shop steward. "Did she email you? Did she tell you to vote 'no'?" Union officials summarily stripped the worker of her position as a shop steward (which, b/t/w, is supposed to be an elected position).

Later, the excommunicated steward sent a text message to the SEIU-UHW steward who’d ratted her out to SEIU officials. The message apparently said something like: "How could you do this? We've known each other for so many years. I hope you have trouble sleeping at night."

Juan Castillo
Well, SEIU officials seized on the message as a pretext for their next old-school tactic. An SEIU-UHW Field Rep named Juan Castillo ran to Kaiser’s Human Resources officials and claimed that the excommunicated steward was threatening fellow employees.

Kaiser officials leapt to action in support of their “labor partner.” Company officials actually suspended the excommunicated steward pending an investigation! That’s right. Kaiser suspended her from her job without first doing an investigation.

Can you imagine? This is the same Kaiser management that refused to lift a finger against an SEIU-UHW Field Rep named Tiffany Ford after she made death threats against several Kaiser workers inside Kaiser Baldwin Park Medical Center. In fact, Kaiser refused to take action against Ford even after three separate Superior Court judges issued restraining orders against the Field Rep due to her death threats. Hypocrisy much, Kaiser Permanente?

Meanwhile, these latest developments point to growing nervousness inside the Purple Palace. After all, when SEIU officials unleash witch hunts and trumped-up charges against the union's own Shop Stewards, things can’t look too good from where they sit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reports from SEIU-UHW's Ratification Votes at Kaiser Permanente

What’s going on with SEIU-UHW’s contract ratification vote at Kaiser Permanente? Well, Tasty has been getting lots of interesting reports from workers who describe scenes like this one:
I went to vote and there were 7 SEIU reps in purple shirts inside the voting room. 7 of them. They check your name on a list and then you have to mark the ballot on a table right in front of them. No privacy. They can see how your voting! It was intimidating. Why do they need 7 people to watch us vote. Oh yeah, and there were no copies of the agreement in the room for us to look at. NUHW is the only one whose handing out the agreement to employees.
Other reports include these:
  • SEIU blocked many workers from voting because their names don’t appear on SEIU’s list. In one case, SEIU’s staffers even blocked a union member “in good standing” who’s been paying full union dues for 18 years.
  • In several facilities, SEIU-UHW staffers forced union members to leave the voting room because they were “asking too many questions” about SEIU’s tentative agreement.
  • At many sites, SEIU staffers are pressuring workers to vote "yes" on the proposed agreement.
  • In at least one case, a worker reports that SEIU had pre-marked his ballot when he showed up to vote.
At Kaiser Modesto Medical Center, a worker tried to 'watch-dog' the vote by sitting quietly in the voting room to observe her union's balloting process. An SEIU-UHW staffer named Jared Mayhugh quickly put an end to that. He had her removed by four Kaiser security guards.

So how are workers voting? Well, Tasty hears that SEIU is only doing public counts of the ballots in some facilities. In other facilities, they simply take away the ballot boxes at the end of the day. At one site where SEIU actually counted the ballots, they discovered that there were more ballots in the box than the number of people who’d been checked off on the list of voters. When people said “WTF!,” an SEIU staffer replied, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure it out when we get back to the office.”

Despite SEIU’s dirty tricks, workers at more than a half dozen sites have actually succeeded in voting down SEIU’s tentative agreements! Tasty hears this happened at Modesto Medical Center, Stockton, Livermore, Delta Fair, Modesto Bangs Clinic and Alameda. 

Stay tuned for more crookin'! SEIU's ratification votes will continue into June.

Monday, May 21, 2012

SEIU-UHW: Your Partner in HR at Sutter Health

It looks like Dave Regan has taken his “labor-management partnerships” to an entirely new level. In fact, Regan’s own staffers are having a hard time remembering who they’re actually supposed to be working for.

Take the case of Dominic Mitchell.

Mitchell has been SEIU-UHW’s Field Rep at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, California for a couple of years. The hospital is owned by Sutter Health, a $9 billion corporation that’s one of California’s worst anti-union companies.

Recently, SEIU-UHW’s 1,200 members were kinda surprised when Dominic Mitchell suddenly showed up in the hospital’s Human Resources Department… behind a desk and in a suit ! It turned out that Mitchell had taken a job as one of the company’s Human Resources agents and is now responsible for disciplining and firing the same employees that he’d been responsible for protecting.

Workers are stunned. After all, Mitchell has been managing all their grievances and negotiations with management. He knows workers' intimate personal details and vulnerabilities… and can now use them against workers. Talk about unethical! 

Check out a leaflet (see below) that workers recently circulated about Dominic’s purple partnership with the Boss.

Of course, this isn’t Regan’s first flirtation with Sutter's execs. SEIU staffers Cass Gualvez, Erica McDuffy and Carrie Cianchetti worked hand-in-hand with Sutter’s executives to illegally fire a longtime rank-and-file worker at the same hospital, which is detailed in this judge’s 50-page ruling

And Regan allowed Sutter to slash workers’ health insurance and and impose an aggressive Wellness Program during contract negotiations. Tasty bets that SEIU-UHW's officials will soon be coordinating with Dominic Mitchell to implement the next stages of Regan's Wellness Program at the hospital!

Here’s workers' leaflet:

Friday, May 18, 2012

What's on the Agenda at the Coalition's "Endorsement Conference" this Weekend?

Readers may recall that, today, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions begins its "endorsement conference" at a hotel in Los Angeles.

So what's on the agenda? Funny you should ask. An insider forwarded a special version of the agenda with interesting notes intended for John August, Dave Regan and other top union officials.

In case you're wondering whether the delegates will actually vote to endorse the Coalition's tentative agreement with Kaiser, check out the section entitled "2012 National Agreement" that's scheduled for tomorrow morning. The head-honchos' version of the agenda has this helpful note: "Consensus endorsement is outcome of discussion." Well... there you go! Looks like all the delegates might as well stay home and save all the Partnership Taxes they'll be spending during their stay at the LAX Sheraton Hotel.

Oh, and don't miss Dave Regan's visionary speech on Saturday morning called: "Translating our Victory into Leadership." Tasty wonders whether Dave will discuss the internal disciplinary charges that SEIU-UHW's members filed against him this week for violating their rights under SEIU-UHW's own constitution! Dave Regan: a portrait in principled leadership!

The agenda is pasted below, with various parts highlighted in red by Tasty. After reviewing the agenda, Tasty got the distinct impression that this meeting could easily be confused with a Sunday service of the "Church of the Divine Partnership." Tasty especially likes the following "objective" of the conference: "Understand what our victory means for the future of partnership." Hmm... What about "the future of healthcare workers and patients?"

Here's the agenda:


Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions
Delegate Conference 
May 18-19, 2012
LAX Sheraton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

  • Discuss our new National Agreement
  • Discuss ratification timeline
  • Understand what our victory means for the future of partnership
  • Endorse new National Agreement
  • Agree on ratification timelines and additional partnership campaign activities
  • Grow in appreciation of our partnership

Jodie Fine

6-6:10 pm
John August
Set initial context for meeting; introduce first CIC member
6:10—6:45 pm
Experiencing National Bargaining
John August and CIC members
LaMont Stone (Local 29), Ilda Luna (UHW), Robin Blake (UHW), Rosalie Arellos (UHW), Patty Harris (Local 49), Maria Fenwick (Local 105), Maria Vasquez (Local 105), Cindy Klein (UNAC), Pam Broderson (UNAC), Joan Heller (Local 7), Kim Mbaye (Local 1996) to present experience that best illustrated value of partnership and collaboration for 2-3 minutes each
6:45—9 pm

Cash bar and hors d’ouvres


7 – 9 am
Jodie Fine

7--8:15 am

8:30--8:40 am
Kathleen Melton, KPNAA
Set context for day – value of partnership – IBPS, collaboration, etc – in reaching our National Agreement; review agenda, introduce Sandy Wohler
8:40--8:50 am
Roll call
Sandy Wohler, IBT
Beverly White will prep; Sandy introduces John August
8:50--9 am
What our Bargaining Victory Means
John August, Union Coalition
Comparison of where we came from and what we got in bargaining and the role partnership played
9 – 9:30 am
Translating our Victory into Leadership
Dave Regan, SEIU-UHW-West
National Agreement positions health care movement to lead the nation in organizing, conditions of employment, improvements in care, affordability and access; reinforce 4 pts of strategy, including Total Health; link National Agreement to larger strategy, ie, SEIU agreement with CA Hospital Association, executive order on chronic health conditions and remedies from Jerry Brown, etc…
9:30 – 10:45 am
2012 National Agreement
All co-leads, but report out from Lisa Dupell, Total Health; Sandy Wohler, Workforce Development; Walter Allen, Partnership; Ken Deitz, Benefits; Meg Niemi, Growth
All co-leads (10) sit on stage, share table mics; one co-lead reports from podium; John August emcees and Mike Hurley facilitates; consensus endorsement is outcome of discussion; Mary Joyce scheduled for this segment
10:45 – 11:15 am

Lots of healthy snack food because lunch will not be served
11:15 – 12:15 pm
Table top exercises
John August and Mike Hurley
What does the National Agreement mean for me, our local unions and the labor movement? Discussion at 40 minutes; report out from selected tables at 20 minutes
12:15-12:30 pm
Next steps and adjourn
John August
“We had a great victory and it only gets harder”