Monday, June 18, 2012

SEIU’s Neal Bisno: “No idea what Dave was thinking”

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan is facing mounting waves of backlash after teaming up with hospital corporations to undermine California’s law on nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. In fact, Tasty hears that SEIU RNs in California are so angry they’ve begun contacting other unions for help.

And that’s not all. SEIU RNs from other states are also up in arms. Why? They’re trying to pass their own versions of nurse-to-patient ratio legislation that’s patterned after California’s first-in-the-nation law.

Confronted by the blowback, SEIU officials are back-pedalling away from Regan as quickly as they can. And as they beat their hasty retreat, they’re repeatedly tossing Regan under the bus.

Check out this statement by SEIU Local 121’s Executive Director Sue Weinstein, who discusses the “vocal and passionate reaction by our Registered Nurse members” against Regan’s ratio-busting efforts. The statement says:
We are calling on UHW to declare nurse-to-patient staffing ratios “off limits” in its ongoing work with the California Hospital Association as they explore cost savings and revenue-generating initiatives.
Despite her criticism, Weinstein says she LOVES Regan’s “visionary agreement with the California Hospital Association,” which “holds exciting promise for SEIU and the labor movement.” Hmmm. It sounds like Weinstein actually supported Regan’s deal with the CHA… until she was against it. Nothing like some late-onset cold feet to send Weinstein running for the hills.

Meanwhile, a source sent Tasty an interesting email from Neal Bisno, the president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board. Here’s an excerpt:
No idea what Dave was thinking - you can rest assured that our local and SEIU are strongly opposed to any suspension or other dimunition of any aspect of the hard-won CA RN to patient ratios law.  We have every intention of continuing to fight for identical legislation. This is a patient safety and patient lives issue, a valuing of nurses issue, a nurses union issue. Unfortunate incident, and rest assured a subject of intense reaction from SEIU Nurse Alliance leaders and members, including myself, inside our union.
Thud!!    That, my friends, is the sound of bus tires rolling over Regan like a well-worn speed bump.

Finally, here’s more news coverage about Regan’s collusion with industry CEOs. The article from “Beyond Chron” features quotes from RoseAnn DeMoro (the Executive Director of the California Nurses Association). She calls Regan “an embarrassment to the labor movement,” “overtly disgraceful,” and describes his arguments as “idiotic” and “drivel.”

She also recounts details from the “emergency” conference call convened by the California Labor Federation’s Art Pulaski during which Regan “made an impassioned speech on behalf of the CA hospital association…"

The article issues this challenge to SEIU President Mary Kay Henry:
Dave Regan is the proverbial “5th Column” in California labor. He has battled UNITE HERE, SEIU Local 1021, NUHW and now CNA on behalf of a vision that the rest of the labor movement rejects...

National SEIU President Mary Kay Henry’s passivity in response to Regan’s shenanigans is remarkable. If she believes silence is the best way to get him to change course, she's been proven wrong time and again. Henry's passivity empowers Regan and is undermining SEIU in California.
Well, Mary Kay?