Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sources Describe Regan's Meeting with Sutter Health

After Tasty published this post, sources forwarded additional news about Dave Regan’s plans for upcoming contract negotiations covering thousands of SEIU-UHW members at Sutter Health.

Sutter -- a $9 billion company that’s one of California’s worst anti-union employers -- has already put giant takeaways on the bargaining table with the California Nurses Association. The CNA has responded with a series of strikes, with the most recent strike taking place just 14 days ago.

Now, as Regan prepares for negotiations, Sutter is announcing its plans. On June 26, Sutter officials mailed letters to 1,100 SEIU-UHW members describing the company’s demands for “significant changes in our wage and benefit structure” along with “restructuring and reducing our staffing by approximately 10 percent.”

So… is SEIU-UHW gearing up for a fight to stop the cuts? Nope. In fact, Tasty’s sources say Regan is welcoming the Boss with open arms.

Last week, Regan reportedly held a meeting with top Sutter executives that was also attended by some SEIU shop stewards from three Sutter hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the meeting, Regan proposed “fast-track” negotiations that’ll last only a handful of weeks. And Regan, rather than trying to beat back Sutter’s cuts, signaled an opposite approach by telling the company, “We can work with employers like Sutter Health.”

Interestingly, Tasty hears that Sutter’s lead negotiator -- Dan Rodriguez -- has plenty of experience of “working with” SEIU officials. Until recently, Rodriquez was the Vice President of Labor Relations at Tenet Healthcare. He previously worked as an attorney at Littler Mendelson, one of the most notorious union-busting law firms in the US.  

In 2007, Rodriguez headed Tenet’s negotiations with SEIU. During the negotiations, Tenet’s workers caught three top officials from SEIU International after they had secretly signed a deal with Rodriguez to subcontract the jobs of hundreds of SEIU members! The SEIU officials -- without even talking to workers' elected bargaining committee -- had given away workers' protections against subcontracting.

Which SEIU officials were caught red-handed? Mary Kay Henry, Jim Philliou and Mary Joyce Carlson. A copy of the secret agreement is posted below.
After exposing the dirty deal, Sal Rosselli’s union famously forced SEIU’s top officials to rip up their backroom deal. This, of course, produced a deepening divide between healthcare workers in Rosselli’s union and Andy Stern’s Purple Palace in Washington, DC.

Needless to say, Sutter workers had better keep a close eye on Regan. Rodriguez has reportedly spent a lot of time socializing with Mary Kay Henry and other Purple Palace officials, who are big buddies with Regan. Regan may be hoping to do another side-deal with Rodriguez that'll certainly fast-track SEIU-UHW’s negotiations… but will undoubtedly leave Sutter workers hanging.