Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Source: Kaiser & SEIU Plotting Illegal Attacks on New Alliance

A source tells Tasty that top officials at both Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-UHW-- including Dave Regan -- are violating federal law by using Kaiser’s money to launch attacks against a new alliance of “non-partnership” unions at Kaiser.

Here’s what’s happening:

Last week, the California Nurses Association and NUHW announced a new alliance among non-partnership unions to “raise standards for caregivers and protect Kaiser patients.” Also present at the founding meeting were leaders from UniteHere (which represents Kaiser workers in Hawaii), the Stationary Engineers, and the Pharmacists Guild. The meeting -- which included approximately 60 rank-and-file and staff leaders -- was held at the CNA’s offices in Oakland, CA.

After the meeting, the alliance issued a statement that slams the partnership for “increas[ing] the corporation’s profitability at the expense of their own members and patients.” Here’s an excerpt from the statement:
Under Dave Regan and SEIU-UHW, the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is simply a vehicle for Kaiser to reduce standards for workers and patients; it is beyond reform.
The statement describes how Regan has teamed up with multiple hospital companies to eliminate workers’ defined-benefit pension plans, cut their health insurance, and undermine staffing standards for tens of thousands of healthcare workers.

It also slams Regan’s sell-out deal with the industry’s Chamber of Commerce:
SEIU-UHW has even partnered with the Chamber of Commerce of the hospital industry -- the California Hospital Association -- in an unsuccessful effort to roll-back the provisions of California’s landmark nurse-to-patient ratio law.
It continues:
Kaiser caregivers deserve a true worker alliance that is united in raising standards for Kaiser caregivers and protecting Kaiser patients. And that’s why the 18,000 registered nurses represented by the CNA, 4,000 healthcare professionals represented by NUHW, and thousands of Kaiser service and technical workers currently represented by SEIU-UHW who are in the process of leaving SEIU are uniting with other Kaiser unions and Kaiser caregivers to create an alliance based on principles of trade union solidarity and patient advocacy.
So how are SEIU and Kaiser reacting to the new Alliance? Tasty hears they’re sweating bullets. According to sources, officials at SEIU and Kaiser are even using a Taft-Hartley “education fund” -- which is directly financed by Kaiser and whose Board of Directors includes Kaiser executives Arlene Peasnall, Connie Wilson and Jim Simpson -- to prepare attacks against the new Alliance. The fund has reportedly directed its staff to prepare "attack" materials and is also using its mailing lists and contact info to carry out the attacks.

These actions are strictly illegal. Federal law prohibits Kaiser from funneling money to its favored union in order to help it fend off workers’ efforts to decertify SEIU and join an independent union. That’s called “company unionism.”

Furthermore, Tasty’s sources say the fund’s Board of Directors -- which also includes SEIU’s Joe Simoes, Hal Ruddick and Triana Silton -- are breaching their “fiduciary responsibility” by misappropriating the fund’s resources, which are supposed to be used for job training for healthcare workers

Here’s the full statement from the new Alliance of non-partnership unions: