Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cash-Strapped SEIU-UHW to Sell $5M Office as Hospital Association Debt Comes Due

New developments point to serious financial problems at Dave Regan's SEIU-UHW -- including Regan's decision to sell the union's San Francisco office to generate $5 million of needed cash.

Observers say the crisis is due to Regan's secret deal with the California Hospital Association (CHA), which requires SEIU-UHW to fork over $20 million of SEIU-UHW members' money -- equivalent to one-fifth of the union's annual budget -- to a political fund that hospital owners will use to try to boost their bottom lines by $6 billion a year..

The rushed sale of the office building -- a four-story structure with 12,880 square feet of office space in downtown San Francisco -- underscores the urgency of the Regan's financial problems. According to a four-page real estate listing (see below), Regan doesn't even have a new office to house the soon-to-be displaced union staffers. Instead, the union will have to pay rent to the new owner while Regan looks for somewhere to put them.

Good luck with that. Due to San Francisco's red-hot real estate market, it will be impossible to find affordable office space anywhere near the city -- meaning Regan’s sale of its office building will permanently eliminate the union's footprint from a city where approximately 20,000 of its members work.

And that's not all.

Sources say Regan is attempting to quadruple the amount of money that's taken from union member's dues each month and placed into a political action fund (PAC). This money, too, will be used to back hospital companies' political campaign to boost their bottom line.

If Regan is successful at pushing through this political tax, which would begin in 2015, it would mean less money to hire staff to provide representation and workplace support to union members. Regan's scheme -- which will be considered at an upcoming meeting of the union's Executive Board -- would steer $2.9 million a year into politics and away from representational support for union members.

Lastly, sources say Regan is also trying to cut SEIU-UHW staffers' medical benefits in another scheme to free up money to pour into the CHA’s coffers.

What's next?

Stay tuned for Regan’s next scheme to cannibalize the union.