Thursday, August 29, 2013

Secret Plan by SEIU-UHW and Kaiser Permanente to Push Wellness Program Gets Journalist’s Attention

Remember the leaked memo detailing plans by Kaiser Permanente and SEIU-UHW to carry out publicity stunts to push their corporate wellness program on workers?

Well, so far, the stunts -- featuring SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson -- haven’t materialized… but journalists have certainly taken note of the partners’ secretly planned publicity ploy.

In an article published by AlterNet, journalist James Cersonsky links to the leaked planning memo during his discussion of corporate wellness programs. Here’s what he says:

So far, NUHW, which covers some 5,000 Kaiser workers, has resisted corporate wellness. SEIU, which has a track record of being overly friendly with employers and attacking NUHW, has welcomed it. Leaked minutes from a July 18 meeting between Kaiser officials, SEIU and the Kaiser Coalition of Unions reveal a joint plan to promote the program to workers and the public. It reads, “Outreach to elected officials and health policy types—promoting what we're doing and why,” and then lists a variety of potential advocates, ranging from Michelle Obama to Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. It also notes plans for a joint op-ed by Kaiser’s CEO and SEIU-United Healthcare West’s president. Intriguingly, it says, “We won't pitch to labor reporters.”

The reporter goes on to give more details about wellness programs

Wellness programs are growing in the public and private sectors. In a survey of 335 private companies, HR firm Towers Watson found a 50 percent increase in the use of wellness-related incentives and penalties between 2009 and 2011… Though the programs are pitched as proactive public health reforms, they're also a way for employers to shift healthcare costs onto workers—and eschew their role in creating safe and healthy workplaces. In California, most healthcare is fully paid by employers. John Borsos, the secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, sees wellness plans as a slippery slope for employers to negotiate employee contributions into union contracts. In addition, in the health care industry, which ranks among the highest in incidence of worker illness and injury, carrot-and-stick health programs stand out for what they don't do. “If employers were truly concerned with employees' health, they would make the workplace better,” he says.

Here’s a link to the full article.

Monday, August 26, 2013

More California Workers Bolt SEIU-UHW

Caregivers at Corizon Prison Health Services (PHS) in the San Francisco Bay Area have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board to dump SEIU-UHW and join the NUHW. 

The workers -- who include registered nurses, social workers, licensed vocational nurses and others -- provide care inside Alameda County's prison system and are employed by a for-profit company.

According to NUHW, the decertification petition was signed by over 80% of the workers in the bargaining unit. An RN with more than 25 years at the facility explained why Corizon PHS workers want out of SEIU-UHW.

“In our last contract negotiations, SEIU-UHW allowed our employer to impose huge cutbacks in health insurance, and then after the contract was settled their reps were nowhere to be found.  Calls to the union go unreturned, union representatives are unresponsive and management is never challenged even when they violate the terms of our contract.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dave Regan Attempts Dues Hike Even as SEIU-UHW Pockets Record Profits

Last week, Tasty reported on Dave Regan’s plan to boost SEIU-UHW members’ union dues to as high as $124 a month -- a $40 increase.

Is there any plausible explanation for why Regan needs to snatch even more money from workers’ pockets?  

Not unless Regan plans to turn SEIU-UHW into CitiBank!

During the past two years, SEIU-UHW has produced record a profit of $21.6 million, according to its annual reports filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

That’s a 10% profit margin! Which is higher than the profit margins of Fortune 500 companies like DuPont and Catepillar! Here’s an earlier post that documents the $12.85 million profit that SEIU-UHW made in 2011.

Remarkably, SEIU-UHW's headquarters have received such a flood of cash that union officials dosn’t know what to do with the stacks of greenbacks. By the end of 2012, SEIU-UHW was sitting on $29.2 million of cash! Did you catch that… $29.2 million in cash! Here’s an excerpt from SEIU-UHW’s LM-2 for 2012:

Source: U.S. Department of Labor
As the profits stack up, Regan is living like a king. Soon after he was appointed as the trustee of SEIU-UHW, “Wall Street” Dave more than tripled the union’s top salary to $300,000 a year.

Regan also handed out fat pay checks to his East Coast buddies who parachuted into California with him. Steve Trossman, SEIU-UHW’s press hack, pocketed $166,098 last year. That’s almost double what SEIU-UHW’s president earned before the trusteeship! 

Source: U.S. Department of Labor
What will happen if Regan is successful at boosting workers’ dues to $124 per month? One thing's for certain. Regan will convert SEIU into a for-profit business that’s even more lucrative than banking! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

SEIU Quits Election for 7,000 Homecare Workers in Vermont

SEIU has withdrawn from a union election covering 7,000 homecare workers in Vermont after Purple Palace officials concluded they face certain defeat in a head-to-head contest against AFSCME. The mail-in election is scheduled to begin on September 9.  

The purple departure comes despite the fact that SEIU spent millions of dollars on a campaign that featured SEIU attack websites against AFSCME, statewide radio and newspaper ads, glossy mailers and robo calls, dozens of out-of-state staffers parachuted into the Green Mountain State, and political spending reportedly aimed at greasing the wheels with the state’s governor.

One SEIU website -- -- featured videos with titles like “AFSCME: Tried & Failed.” SEIU shuttered the website after pulling the plug on its unsuccessful campaign.

Earlier this summer, the Purple Palace instructed its lawyers to use bogus legal maneuvers to stall the election in hopes of somehow convincing enough workers to support the Purple Palace, according to press reports.
One of SEIU's attack videos against AFSCME

The election was triggered in May when AFSCME filed a petition signed by 4,500 of Vermont’s 7,000 homecare workers. In late June, SEIU could only muster 2,000 cards, which nonetheless added SEIU's name to the ballot.  

Earlier, SEIU attempted to set the stage for its effort by trying to buy influence from the governor via a flood of political spending -- similar to SEIU’s influence-buying deals with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who’s now doing 14 years in a federal prison in Colorado.

Observers feared SEIU was preparing to sell out Vermonters’ efforts to win single-payer legislation.

SEIU’s desperate bid for Vermont’s homecare workers was fueled by the Purple Palace’s declining membership rolls. Last year, SEIU’s membership dropped by 45,000 members as the Purple Palace suffered $42 million in red ink.

SEIU’s failed campaign in Vermont was headed by Matt McDonald, an SEIU operative who parachuted into California in 2010 and was involved in SEIU’s campaign of law-breaking that overturned the NLRB’s election at Kaiser Permanente.

This isn’t SEIU’s first failed effort to recruit Vermonters. A decade ago, SEIU failed to affiliate the still-independent Vermont State Employees Association.

Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Tries to Boost Union Dues by $40 per Month

According to internal emails, Dave Regan is pushing a plan to boost SEIU-UHW members’ monthly union dues by as much as $40 per month… to $124 a month!

“Wall Street” Dave hopes to accomplish his money grab by dramatically boosting the “cap” on members’ monthly dues.

Regan’s plan is sparking some serious rage and fury among SEIU-UHW’s members… and even among his closest allies on the union’s Executive Board! 

In one email (see below), an Executive Board member named Jon Duff, who works at Kaiser Permanente, slams Regan for using a “secretive committee” to push through the dues hike. Duff says Regan’s committee “decided to cut off any exchange of information.  Where is the transparency?”

Tasty hears that several members quit the “secretive committee” in protest when Regan rammed the proposal through the committee.

Duff says “if this plan passes, the damage created by the 40 dollar increase could destroy this union.”

Here are the emails:

From: Judy Horton/CA/KAIPERM
Date: 07/11/2013 10:13AM

Thought  all the staff members should know ..........start to read from the bottom up.

Statistically speaking, it looks like if you earn over $25.00 an hour and work full time-you will cap out at the $124.00 monthly assessment by the union!!
Almost everyone in radiology is likely to be affected by this covert action. The SEIU EBoard is scheduled to decide whether a vote will be sent to all union members-the majority being Home Health Care, who are set to decrease their dues by this action....this is troublesome.

Our own stewards in Vallejo Radiology are very concerned and completely disagree with this action and are ready to do whatever is necessary to stop this potential increase-or to stop the union from bringing it to a vote, if possible.

As I hear more I will try and update-but feel free to contact your contract specialist (Jon Duff and Krystal Login) and ask who our EBoard representatives are-so we can voice our opinions to them before they take this to a vote!


----- Forwarded by Judy Horton/CA/KAIPERM on 07/11/2013 09:41 AM -----

To: Tonya Salcido
Cc: donna norton ,,, Tinesha N Thomas/CA/KAIPERM@Kaiperm,,, "" ,,,,, hortencia armendariz ,, "" ,, Earlene Person , Alisha Blinks/CA/KAIPERM@KAIPERM, Judy Horton/CA/KAIPERM@KAIPERM, Veronica Kincaid/CA/KAIPERM@Kaiperm, China china , Lee M Amari/CA/KAIPERM@Kaiperm, ronquie vickysia , cardiohara , Ollie Allen , Michael Day/CA/KAIPERM@Kaiperm, Kathy Jessen , normajaime2992
Date: 07/09/2013 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: $40 per month increase in dues for Kaiser and Hospital members

Absolutely serious. We created a committee but we did not create a "secretive" committee. The fault is not with u but leadership who decided to cut off  any exchange of information.  Where is the transparency? I do not think u had any idea how this would sell in the North. You would have learned that with open meetings. Also, u would have had members coming forward with alternatives including cutting waste from budget.

Even if this plan passes, the damage created by the 40 dollar increase could destroy this union. I was involved  years ago in the fight to prevent a huge dues increase to Kaiser and Hospital Division members. Many then were going bolt the union before paying the 2%.

If this passes, most of Vallejo radiology techs will likely become fee payers. When decert time arrives in October of 2014, NUHW will likely be welcomed in Vallejo RT and Radiology depts. These are depts that are now solid SEIU.