Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"It's a war, of that I am certain, and it will not be pretty"

More details are emerging from a growing trail of news coverage about SEIU-UHW Dave Regan’s dirty deal with the California Hospital Association to undermine California’s landmark safe-staffing law. Below are links to two articles along with excerpts featuring scorching attacks on "Wall Street Dave."

Interestingly, the first article describes a new development: namely, “previously unreported letters” between SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and the AFL-CIO’s Rich Trumka that “show the AFL-CIO rebuffing SEIU’s bid for a larger deal to freeze out NUHW.” Check it out. Here are the articles.

Josh Eidelson, “Are Nurses Headed to War with SEIU?,” In These Times, June 19, 2012.
California Nurses Association (CNA) Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro sent a blistering e-mail to her colleagues: “It is a war, of that I am certain, and it will not be pretty.”

Questioning whether SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) President Dave Regan "has any principles,” De Moro called him “dogged, arrogant and an enormous embarrassment to the labor movement.” De Moro, who directs both CNA and its national affiliate, National Nurses United (NNU), charged, “the hospitals believe that they have found a way to weaken the nurses and their union with Regan in their power, and this will lead to some pretty nasty scenarios for the nurses, patients, and of course the union.”

DeMoro called UHW’s Regan “a traitor to his class” and a “symptom” of the increasing “servility” of the mainstream labor movement. Rather than fighting corporations, said DeMoro, “he was doing their bidding. Overtly. Loudly.” Watching it happen, she added, management must be “sitting back, drinking their wine, and laughing their asses off.”

DeMoro suspects that Regan “cut a deal that Kaiser would help stop NUHW in exchange for Regan helping them to go after the nursing ratios.”
Michelle Amber, “CNA Wages War against UHW in California Claiming Attempt to Suspend Staffing Ratios,” Bureau of National Affairs, June 18, 2012.
A war has erupted between two health care unions in California over an attack by one of the unions on the state's nurse-to-patient ratios

DeMoro said she was “stunned, shocked, and horrified” that a health care union, which also represents nurses, would attempt to overturn a regulation that was a huge priority for another union. Contending that Regan is working on behalf of the CHA, she said when a “union works for the bosses, it turns on other unions.”

DeMoro said this is just the latest incidence of Regan working “behind the scenes” with the hospitals against the nurses' interests. She said Regan has accepted concessionary contracts with a number of hospitals for his members.

“When the nurses begin bargaining at one of these facilities, they have to dig out from the hole UHW has dug that is lower than the employer would have presented” because it agreed to the concessions, she said.
Meanwhile, SEIU’s Dave Regan and Steve Trossman are making a laughable effort to defend their disgraceful actions. They claim they colluded with industry execs in order to give hospitals "relief" from the "dire financial conditions" that will harm lower-income hospital workers.

First of all, California's hospital industry is far from poverty-stricken. It's producing more than $4 billion a year in profits. And it's showering its CEOs -- like Kaiser's George Halvorson -- with million-dollar pay increases. 

Second, Regan is hardly a die-hard defender of workers’ wages and benefits. Let's not forget Regan's track record. He rammed giant concessions down the throats of 3,000 workers at the Daughters of Charity Health System by violating SEIU-UHW’s own constitution! And he and SEIU’s Hal Ruddick  blatantly lied to 14,000 workers at Catholic Healthcare West/Dignity in order to eliminate their defined-benefit pension plan and thereby hand over $217 million in savings to the company in just a single year.  

SEIU's P.R. hacks may try to put Regan in a Superman costume, but the opposite is true. Check out this insightful image, crafted by a creative reader, that tells the truth about "Wall Street Dave."