Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SEIU's Dave Regan Inks Deal to Subcontract SEIU-UHW Members' Jobs

Tasty hears that the workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, CA have become the latest victims of Dave Regan’s concessionary caravan. Soon, 10 percent of SEIU-UHW's members at the hospital will lose their jobs as the result of a subcontracting deal penned by Regan.

Here’s what’s happening.

The hospital -- which is owned by Sutter Health, the largest hospital company in Northern California -- pocketed more than $200 million in profits over the past two years.

Last Friday, SEIU-UHW and Sutter reached a tentative deal for a new labor contract covering the hospital’s 1,100 workers. The deal was reached after Regan “fast-tracked” the negotiations even though workers’ current labor contract doesn’t expire until December 31.

What’s in the tentative contract? Regan’s biggest concession is a deal to eliminate the jobs of nearly 100 SEIU-UHW members by allowing Sutter to subcontract their work to Utah. The soon-to-be-jobless union members are currently employed in the hospital’s business office.

Workers say it’s a massive concession. Why? Because workers’ current union contract strictly prohibits the hospital from subcontracting their jobs. Section 12 of the contract reads:
No further bargaining unit work will be subcontracted, except by the parties' mutual agreement.
Crystal clear, right? In fact, NUHW’s leaders were the ones who negotiated this language in the years before SEIU’s trustreeship. Workers say that over the years, Sutter tried to subcontract workers’ jobs but was unsuccessful because workers’ old union actually enforced the agreement.

Sutter's Pat Fry and SEIU's Dave Regan
Not anymore. Last month, Regan attended the first bargaining session with Sutter executives and signaled his willingness to roll over for the Boss by stating: “We can work with employers like Sutter Health.” Observers speculate that Regan has a special relationship with Sutter’s CEO Pat Fry, who plays a top role at the California Hospital Association.

What did Regan get for his massive concession? Annual pay increases of just 2% for the still-employed workers, an even bigger “wellness” program, and additional cuts to workers’ health insurance.

Yesterday, Regan and Co. reportedly began conducting membership votes to ratify the tentative agreement. Tasty hears that SEIU is experiencing serious opposition from workers, so Regan dispatched dozens of staffers to the hospital including Vicki Jackson, Fola Afariogun, Julie Kwiek, Vu Nguyen, Gabrielle Zwain and Leon Chow. Chow -- who suddenly has lots of free time on his hands -- apparently has been tasked with applying his special skills in voting fraud.

According to workers, as many as 15-18 SEIU staffers are stationed inside a single conference room where workers are supposed to cast their votes. Workers are already reporting a variety of SEIU’s ballot-rigging tricks, including missing ballot boxes, intimidation, and workers denied the right to vote.

Stay tuned for more reports.