Monday, December 30, 2013

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Gives Away Workers’ Pensions at Los Angeles Hospital

In his latest assault on workers, Dave Regan has allowed a Los Angeles hospital to eliminate the defined-benefit pensions of 500 SEIU-UHW members and replaced them with a cheap 401(k) plan, according to an article in today’s Los Angeles Times.

And that’s not all.

Under Regan’s deal, the 500 workers at Motion Picture Television Fund will get wage increases of just 1 percent per year for the next three years… even as the hospital pockets tens of millions in savings due to the elimination of workers’ pensions!

According to observers, Regan’s latest cuts have deep significance for California’s healthcare workers. 

Here’s why.

Since parachuting into California to seize control of SEIU-UHW in 2009, Regan has personally implemented billions of dollars of cuts to workers’ benefits -- including the elimination of defined-benefit pension plans for tens of thousands of workers at Dignity Health, the Daughters of Charity Health System, and other corporations.

And... as Regan methodically slashes and burns workers’ benefits, more and more fatcat execs from greedy companies are lining up at Regan’s door and saying: “I want a piece of that action, muthafucka!”

In 2012, Regan allowed Kaiser Permanente to slash workers’ retiree health benefits, which gave Kaiser a $1.9 billion payday, according to Kaiser’s quarterly financial statements. And according to a top Kaiser exec, Regan has already accepted Kaiser’s request to eliminate the pension plan for all of the “partnership” unions.

Experienced insiders believe that Regan's most recent benefit-slashing bonanza is aimed at showing the California Hospital Association (CHA) that he'll deliver deep cuts to workers' wage and benefits if the CHA inks a sweetheart unionization deal covering 100,000 healthcare workers. 

They also say Regan's cuts will undoubtedly deepen tensions with other unions in California. Why? 

Regan’s cuts at the Motion Picture Television Fund -- which cares for 60,000 members of LA’s entertainment industry -- will hurt thousands of members of AFSCME Local 3299, who are currently fighting the efforts of the University of California to cut health workers’ pension benefits. According to the Los Angeles Times, UCLA recently signed a deal to jointly operate the Television Fund’s outpatient clinics. As a result, members of AFSCME and SEIU-UHW will presumably work side-by-side under a two-tiered system of retirement benefits.

Stay tuned for more news.