Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dave Regan Triple-Deducts Dues from Workers; SEIU-UHW Shop Steward - "I didn't know lies could cost so much"

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan
Remember the massive dues hike that Dave Regan forced down the throats of SEIU-UHW’s members last fall? 

In one fell swoop shrouded in alleged vote-rigging, Regan boosted workers’ maximum union dues from $84 a month to $124 a month -- a 50% increase!

Well… here’s the latest.

Regan’s dues hike was officially “implemented” on January 1, 2014. And it’s creating a storm of controversy among union members -- even among Regan’s supporters.


During the first month of the new dues system, Regan managed to suck an extra wad of cash out of workers’ pockets by triple-deducting his sky-high dues from workers' paychecks.

Here’s what happened.

The union is supposed to divide each worker’s monthly dues into two payments, which are then deducted from workers’ bi-weekly paychecks. In other words, two payments per month. This month, however, Regan deducted three payments from workers’ paychecks… a triple-deduction that caused some workers to pay as much $186 for the month!

SEIU-UHW members are flipping out. 

Check out an email from Alisha Blinks, an SEIU-UHW Shop Steward at Kaiser Permanente and an erstwhile supporter of Regan. Here's an excerpt. The full e-mail is below.

We asked specifically about three pay period months and the consistent answer was, dues are only subtracted twice a month at a 2% variance for all classifications. Here we are first month of the new structure three pay periods in a month and waalah 2% deducted again… We all work hard for our credibility and integrity. I have learned to be more careful with whom I entrust with it. So I am going to tell members to call their union hall in which they pay handsomely and demand answers, we shouldn't have to weather the storm alone. As a matter of fact I think it's important for people to who they are paying millions too, put a name to the voice. I didn't know lies could cost so much.

In a stroke of poetic justice, Regan’s dues rip-off is occurring precisely on the fifth anniversary of SEIU’s disastrous trusteeship of SEIU-UHW.

Since parachuting into California in 2009, Regan has... 

And that's just the beginning of Regan's mile-long rap sheet! 

Here's the email from Alisha Blinks.

Monday, January 27, 2014

SEIU-UHW's Leaked Survey Reveals Divisions between Dave Regan and Workers

Here's an interesting document.  

Dave Regan recently surveyed SEIU-UHW's staffers to figure out why they’re not successfully implementing Regan’s vision of focusing the union’s time and energy on "external politics" instead of helping the union's members with worksite problems.

The leaked survey (see excerpts below) offers an interesting glimpse into Regan’s skewed priorities... as well as the brewing tensions between staffers, union members and Regan. 

For example, check out this survey question and staffers' responses below:

How motivated are the member leaders you work with to carry out the specific elements of the UHW vision?

For those who are unfamiliar with Regan’s "vision," a core part of it involves turning SEIU-UHW into “a premiere healthcare organization.”

Uhh... WTF does that mean? Who the f*ck knows... clearly not the union's members.

Here are some of the staffers’ responses:

I think they don't understand the scope of a premiere healthcare organization.
Not sure that member-leaders own these goals. 
Resolving their immediate issues is most important to them. Everything else is secondary.

Its the world they live in that affects and motivates them most.

From the conversation I have had with leaders here, we have not done enough to focus on our representational responsibilities and feel that our focus on organizing has gotten in the way of that.

Leaders are moving towards the goals of the union but need more consistent education and development to be connected to the UHW vision.

With more education they can get very motivated.

This is my second week. I'm not really sure.
Many of my buildings had either bad leaders or leaders who don't want to move program because their buildings are messy with representation.

I have 11 buildings and they are each in different places. I am still getting to know the members that I support, and some days they are on board and some days they seem to be in their own world.

The purpose of Regan’s survey is as clear as day. 

For example, one question reads: "What are the obstacles to getting members involved in the external work of the union?"

Another question asks:  

On average, what percent of your time do you spend doing the following?  (1) Talking with members about issues external to the employer (politics, funding, state budget, healthcare enrollment, etc.) (2) Connecting internal issues that get raised to external concerns. (3) Dealing with internal issues. (4) Identifying, recruiting, and/or developing member leaders.

What’s also super noticeable is the purple arrogance and nauseating condescension that seeps through the survey like stink inside a latrine.

In SEIU’s survey, workers are considered to be 'stupid' and lacking the “education” and “development” to grasp Regan’s sophisticated vision. Shockingly, it turns out that workers are more interested in fixing worksite problems, defending themselves against abusive bosses, and protecting their pay and benefits... precisely the tasks that SEIU-UHW has failed at. 

Lastly, check out these two survey questions:

How closely do you supervise your member-leaders and what impact does it have?

Huh? So... SEIU-UHW's Union Reps are supposed to "supervise" the union's rank-and-file leaders?

Talk about top-down unionism! Regan has turned the entire notion of a union on its head. It turns out that SEIU-UHW's members have two "supervisors:" their employer and SEIU! 

In fact, here's one staffer's response to the last question: 

Some call me a boss. I do not want to be that type of leader but to be able to meet the #’s (surveys cards stickers CREs etc), I turn into that type of leader.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Reader: "Is Dave Regan giving up his pension, too?"

Check out a reader’s email about the more than 20,000 SEIU-UHW members who’ve lost their defined-benefit pensions since Dave Regan parachuted into California as SEIU’s “trustee.”

Last month, Regan gave away the pension at Motion Picture Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles, where workers must now rely on a cheap 401(k) plan to survive when they retire. Earlier, Regan eliminated the pension plans for workers at Dignity Health and Daughters of Charity Health System, among others.

The reader writes:

I saw your story about Regan giving away the pension at the LA hospital. A question.  If Regan is throwing OUR pensions into the garbage, shouldn’t he be willing to swap HIS OWN pension for a 401k like the rest of us?

What’s good for the goose, right?? Its only fair.

Can you tell me how rich is Dave’s pension and who pays for it?

Great points!

As far as Dave’s pension, it’s super fat. When he retires, Regan will receive more than $200,000 a year -- until he dies. 

That’s because Regan's SEIU pension is equipped with a rich pay-out formula:  a 2.5% multiplier that’s applied to the average annual salary during his last three years on the job. That’s light-years ahead of the pension formula for Kaiser workers.

And who pays for Regan’s pension? It's SEIU-UHW’s members -- who also pay his salary, benefits and expense account. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Recording: SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Tells Kaiser Workers -- 'Lose Weight or Lose Benefits'

SEIU's Regan and Kaiser's Columbus
Check this out.

Last week, Dave Regan sat side-by-side with the head of Kaiser Permanente’s Human Resources Department and announced that SEIU-UHW members will receive benefit cuts unless they lose weight.

It happened at a meeting of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) in Monterey, California on January 14th. Luckily, a resourceful observer recorded Regan’s comments (see below).

So… why was Regan at the CalPERS meeting?

He and Chuck Columbus (Kaiser’s Senior VP and Chief H.R. Officer) gave a presentation to the organization’s board of directors about wellness programs.

That’s where Regan dropped his bomb:  that SEIU-UHW members will get benefit cuts unless they lose weight.

What's significant about Regan’s comments?

First, pay special attention to the “story” that Regan tells about Kaiser’s so-called need to cut costs. It's the Boss's "story." And Regan is actively pushing it on workers and the public. For example, Regan never mentions Kaiser's unprecedented $10.9 billion in profits. Or the CEO’s $10 million salary. Or the 8 pension plans for Kaiser’s top execs.

Instead, Regan says fat workers are the problem.

Secondly, by making his comments in front of Kaiser's chief negotiator (Chuck Columbus), Regan has laid down a brand-new bargaining position that directly links workers’ benefits to their weight. Hard to walk this one back. And it’s a stunning position, especially when you consider that Regan is talking about eliminating benefits that have been in Kaiser workers’ contract for more than 50 years.

So why did Reagan do this?

In Tasty’s mind, there are two possible explanations.

(1) Regan is an idiotic fool in addition to being in the Boss's pocket. Anyone who has attended "Bargaining 101" would know that a negotiator never concedes ground like this -- especially in front of your adversary (Columbus), who was specifically recruited to Kaiser to slash workers' benefits like he did at Ford Motor Co.

(2) Regan has already secretly agreed to cut workers benefits during the next round of negotiations, and he’s simply looking for a way to blame workers for the cuts by setting them up to fail.

Here's the clip. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

SEIU Email: "There's a reporter floating around the building trying to write a negative story on President Freeman..."

Ever wonder what it was like inside SEIU’s offices during the final days before the Los Angeles Times broke open the massive corruption scandal involving Tyrone Freeman, Rickman Jackson and other top SEIU officials?

Earlier, Tasty posted an internal email that showed how SEIU’s top DC officials were actively involved in trying to fend off a reporter’s investigation.

Here’s another e-mail from inside SEIU’s offices.

In the email, an SEIU official carefully informs union staffers that anything they say to a reporter will be visible to the whole world… including their purple bosses!

Just an FYI, there’s a reporter floating around the building trying to write a negative story on President Freeman. Be careful on what you say and ask first who they are … you don't want to be quoted in the LA Times.