Monday, January 5, 2015

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Is Caught Making Backroom Deal with New York Company to Slash Hospital Workers' Pay

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan
SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan has been caught red-handed after secretly signing a deal to slash the pay and benefits of 2,700 of the union's members in California.

That's not all.

Proof of the backroom deal is printed in black-and-white in documents submitted to the California Attorney General, which Tasty has posted below!  

Here's what happened:

In California, a chain of six hospitals called the “Daughters of Charity Health System” is up for sale.

One of the companies trying to buy the chain is Blue Wolf Capital Partners, a private-equity firm based in New York City that has personal connections to SEIU-UHW officials.

Not surprisingly, SEIU-UHW is aggressively backing Blue Wolf's bid to buy the hospital chain.

In September, Blue Wolf’s executives presented their final bid to the Daughters of Charity’s Board of Directors… and announced they'd gotten a signed commitment from SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan to slash workers’ pay and benefits by 15%.
Workers, of course, know nothing about the deal.

A second union -- the United Nurses Association of California (UNAC) -- also signed the backroom deal. UNAC is a "partnership union" that represents RNs at Daughters of Charity and Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.

So how bad are the cuts specified in the secret deal?

According to Blue Wolf, Regan's cuts would reduce workers' current annual $700 million in pay and benefits by 15%.

Here’s an excerpt from a presentation that Blue Wolf made to SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and UNAC officials back in June of 2014. Check out the title on the first page: “SEIU/UNAC Briefing Materials – Collective Bargaining.” The following page details hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to workers' health benefits, retirement, staffing levels, paid time-off, and premium pay. It starts this way:
A critical part of the operational turn-around includes reducing the current $700 million cost of labor and benefits by 15%.

Ron Bloom, Lazard Freres

In September, when Blue Wolf presented this jaw-dropping news to the Daughters of Charity, the hospital chain's Board of Directors were so taken aback they questioned Blue Wolf's ability to actually carry out the massive cuts.

Nine days later, Ron Bloom -- a former Obama Administration official and a Vice Chairman at Lazard Freres, the investment banking firm that's representing Blue Wolf -- wrote a letter to the Daughters of Charity saying the following: (The full letter is available on the Attorney General's website at this link):

You expressed a concern regarding the likelihood of ratification of collective bargaining agreements along the lines we have discussed. We believe that the materials submitted with our bid reflects the strong support of the leadership of UNAC and the SEIU for our proposal and we are completely confident that upon your acceptance of our offer we will be able to obtain ratification of new collective bargaining agreements. These agreements would be effective at closing and would allow us to realize the labor cost savings for employees represented by these two unions of the magnitude we have prior discussed. We have provided you with letters from the Presidents of those two organizations confirming our belief.
How confident is Blue Wolf it’ll slash and burn workers' pay and benefits if it wins the bidding process?
Adam Blumenthal, Blue Wolf Man

"Completely Confident."

And what about Regan's letter?

Fortunately, Tasty found a copy of it on the Attorney General's website. 

In his letter to Adam Blumenthal (Managing Partner of Blue Wolf), Regan writes the following (see the full letter below):
On behalf of the SEIU and all bargaining unit members we represent at the DOCHS facility, we are pleased to have successfully completed labor contract negotiations with Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC and its related entities, to create a new collective bargaining agreement… The Union hereby agrees, to the extent that the New CBA is regarded as a modification of the existing CBA, to all such modifications. Further the Union pledges that it will promptly take all necessary, reasonable, and legal steps to secure approval, ratification, acceptance of the New CBA. We commit that all such approvals will take place in advance of "Final Approval."
How dirty can you possibly get? Remember, Regan did all of this behind the backs of SEIU-UHW’s rank-and-file members. (Who actually pay his f*ckin' salary.)

Regan says he'll take "all necessary steps… to secure approval, ratification, acceptance of the New CBA.”  

Hmm... what does that mean?

Unfortunately, Daughters of Charity workers are all too familiar with Regan's top-down, undemocratic, and authoritarian tactics. In 2012, Regan used an unconstitutional ramrod "ratification vote" to force massive cuts down the throats of Daughters workers… including the elimination of their defined-benefit pension plan. 

In one particularly memorable episode, Regan reached a settlement with company officials at 9:35 PM on a Saturday night and then held a membership ratification vote just nine hours later at 7:00 AM the following morning (a Sunday).

Later, when workers formally challenged the unconstitutional vote, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry simply turned her back on the workers.

So, Dave, whatta you got to say?