Thursday, February 27, 2014

SEIU-UHW staffer afflicted by foot-in-mouth disease

SEIU-UHW's Sean Wherley

This week’s "Homer Simpson Award" goes to Sean Wherley, a media spokesperson for SEIU-UHW and Dave Regan.

On February 20, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times asked Wherley whether SEIU-UHW is actually sincere about reforming the healthcare industry… or whether it's simply using several statewide ballot initiatives as bargaining chips in SEIU’s secret negotiations with hospital bosses.

Here’s an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times with Wherley’s response:

The association has said the union is using the initiatives as leverage in their negotiations with the state's hospitals around organizing efforts. Sean Wherley, a union spokesman, said the ballot measures were not bargaining chips. "This is purely an effort to rein in runaway healthcare costs in California," he said.

Uhhh… really??

Apparently... Sean “I Never Lie” Wherley is not super skilled at reading news headlines. 

On the same exact day that he was interviewed by the Times (February 20), SEIU Local 49 in Oregon was announcing it had executed SEIU’s latest horse-trading maneuver with the hospital industry. In that deal, SEIU agreed to withdraw its statewide ballot initiatives in exchange for secret "partnership" talks with hospital executives.

And it turns out that Wherley is not simply Internet-challenged, he's also suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's.

At the precise moment that he responded to the LA Times reporter's questions, Wherley somehow forgot that in 2012, Regan did exactly that Wherley is denying! Whoops! And he somehow forgot that Regan, on a recorded conference call, recently stated in very blunt terms that he's trying to do it again in 2014!

So congrats to Wherley, an aspiring comedian, for turning himself and SEIU into the punch lines for the week!

Monday, February 24, 2014

SEIU withdraws 5 ballot initiatives in Oregon

Here we go again.

Just several months after filing five statewide ballot initiatives to rein in massive executive salaries and “reform” the healthcare industry, SEIU Local 49 announced last week that it’s withdrawing the initiatives from the November ballot.


According to a press release issued by Oregon's governor, SEIU and five hospital companies have agreed to “come together in a series of conversations aimed at exploring partnerships that can improve our health care system… As a result of this agreement, SEIU will not pursue its five health care related ballot measures in 2014.”

So what did SEIU get from its fake ballot initiatives?

Not much.

Five hospital companies agreed to sit down and talk to SEIU. Not a huge victory… considering that SEIU appears to already have collective-bargaining relationships with all five of the companies: Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, PeaceHealth, Providence Health and Services, and Oregon Health & Science University.

How are Local 49’s members responding to the announcement?

Meg Niemi
Apparently, they were totally taken by surprise when Local 49’s president, Meg Niemi, pulled the plug on the initiatives. Just last week, SEIU staffers asked rank-and-file leaders to go "all in" to publicly support the ballot initiatives, according to sources inside Local 49. 

When workers asked if the union was gonna pull the initiatives just like Dave Regan did in California, the union officials said, "No way." And when workers pressed the issue even further, the union officials assured them that SEIU would make no secret deals.

Tasty bets the rank-and-file members will be even more upset when they learn how much dues money Niemi spent on gathering signatures for her fake initiatives. In 2012, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan spent approximately $5.5 million on paid signature gatherers before pulling the plug on virtually the same initiatives in California.

Tweedle dee. Tweedle dumb.

And there are other costs. SEIU has undoubtedly burnt some turf with politicians and the public after pumping up SEIU’s plan to “reform” the healthcare industry. 

After all, Niemi announced her initiatives with lots of fireworks and fanfare, saying they were a key part of SEIU’s new “Act Now for a Healthy Oregon" campaign. She promised the initiatives would rein in exorbitant executive salaries, reduce costs for consumers, increase transparency on the healthcare industry, and improve quality for patients.

Unless, of course... Queen Meg decided to toss the "public interest" into the garbage can in exchange for a date to share coffee and pastries with the fatcat execs whose salaries she had criticized.

Here’s more press on SEIU’s healthcare flip-flop:

Portland Business Journal, “SEIU withdraws ballot measures on hospital exec pay

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Leaked Document: Dave Regan Pushes Plan to Slash Representational Support for SEIU-UHW's Members

Check this out. 

A source leaked an internal document that details Dave Regan’s secret plan to slash the number of SEIU-UHW's Union Reps (the staffers who help workers with day-to-day worksite problems, grievances, arbitrations, contract enforcement problems, etc.) so Regan can divert more of the union's resources to politicians, election campaigns, and other “external” projects.

According to the leaked document, Regan launched a "pilot project" in Stockton, California where he implemented "major changes to staff roles" by cutting the union’s support for workers’ representational needs by 85%. 

The memo states: "Ultimately, we would use what we learned from the pilot to… test a different way to structure staff resources." 

In a section titled "Stockton Pilot Project Goals,” the memo says the following (see document below):

Our desired internal results from this [project] are to… temporarily redesign our organizational infrastructure so it aligns with our strategic theory of building power for workers by focusing externally… In order to reach our strategic external reorientation goal it's clear, after much discussion, that there is no easy way to test major changes to staff roles. That said, redefinition of staff work roles is critical to achieving our mission and any half-measures will not help us get there so therefore we must test dramatic change… We will see if we can accomplish what we need to on the representational side with fewer staff resources devoted to it.

How deeply is Regan cutting the union’s representational support for its members?

Check out the numbers on the second page of the document. It says the "Stockton Pilot Project" is staffed by 8 full-time union staffers. But get this: only ONE of these EIGHT staffers is helping workers with grievances, arbitrations, impact bargaining, steward council meetings, etc. The other SEVEN staffers are assigned to "external" campaigns such as signing up residents for Obamacare.

What else are the seven "external organizers" supposed to do?

According to the leaked document, they’re also responsible for training union members to serve "as the Union Vision narrators for members and our community.” 

Wow, that sounds super helpful… especially for all of the rank-and-file members who are getting unjustly terminated by their boss. Like this 33-year employee at Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center. Or this SEIU-UHW member who was fired by her meth-snorting supervisor. Or the 239 SEIU-UHW members who were wrongfully terminated by Kaiser Permanente during just a nine-month period.

Oh, before Tasty forgets... WTF is a "Union Vision narrator"?

From every indication, it appears that “Wall Street Dave” has hired a high-priced PhD in BullShitology to write useless internal memos about Regan’s “strategic vision.” It's kind of like trying to cover a steaming pile of cow dung in fancy wrapping paper in hopes that no one will notice the pungent odor of bullsh*t that permeates the room.

Notably, Regan’s secret plan to slash the union’s representation staff comes on the heels of another leaked SEIU-UHW document -- which detailed the results of a survey of SEIU-UHW staffers who described the miserable levels of representational support that SEIU-UHW is currently giving its membership.

The secret plan also comes on the heels of Regan’s multi-million dollar raid on workers' paychecks… by boosting workers' monthly union dues by as much as $40 a month and imposing a 9 cents-an-hour "partnership tax" on 45,000 workers at Kaiser Permanente.

Can’t wait 'til Regan rolls out his “pilot project” on the rest of SEIU-UHW’s members!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sources: Turmoil Grips SEIU-UHW as $1.5M Goes Missing

Sources describe a chaotic scene inside SEIU UHW’s education and training fund amid reports that “$1.5 million has gone missing.”   

According to Tasty's sources, recent weeks have seen the firing of staffers, the freezing of various accounts, and an influx of outsiders who are busily reviewing the organization's books. Last week, the fund’s Director of Finance, Victor Madamba, was suddenly removed from his job.

The SEIU-UHW Education and Training Fund is a nonprofit organization with an annual budget of more than $10 million. Its revenues come from government agencies and healthcare corporations like Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and Sutter Health.

The fund is supposed to train workers to take jobs in the healthcare industry. But since taking control of the fund, SEIU’s Dave Regan has tried to use the fund to advance his personal interests.

In recent years, Regan and SEIU-UHW staffer Triana Silton directed the fund's staff to campaign on behalf of SEIU-UHW during the giant NLRB elections at Kaiser Permanente, which is a blatant violation of the nonprofit organization's independent status and federal law.

Two of Kaiser's execs sit on the fund's Board of Directors: Arlene Peasnall (VP of Human Resources) and Jim Simpson (Senior VP of Business Units outside of California). SEIU-UHW’s Triana Silton also sits on the board, where she's been joined by a “who’s who” of Regan’s best buddies, including Joe Simoes, Hal Ruddick and Myriam Escamilla.

The missing $1.5 million is just the latest scandal to mark Regan’s tenure at SEIU-UHW. Stay tuned for more news!