Friday, February 20, 2015

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Suffers Defeat as Union Members, Attorney General, and SEIU Locals Run the Other Way

Today, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan suffered a thumping defeat when the California Attorney General approved the sale of six hospitals owned by the Daughters of Charity Health System to Prime Healthcare. The AG rejected SEIU-UHW’s bid to transfer the hospitals to Blue Wolf Capital Partners, a private equity firm in New York City.

For many months, Regan has waged an all-out effort to block the sale to Prime after that company refused to sign Regan's sweetheart unionization deal with the California Hospital Association. During a tape-recorded SEIU conference call last May, Regan famously announced he would wage a campaign to bring Prime "to heel,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

Last fall, Regan launched an expensive political, PR, and "Astroturf” campaign to block Prime from buying the hospitals. The campaign included buying TV ads and busing hundreds of purple-shirted homecare workers from three counties away to fill the chairs in the Attorney General's public hearings that were intended to gather input from the local community.

Regan was forced to bus in the homecare workers because his position was wildly unpopular among SEIU-UHW’s 1,600 members at the six hospitals. Without the sale, the hospitals would likely go bankrupt and put the 1,600 workers’ jobs and pensions in jeopardy. 

Midway through the process, workers also learned that Regan had secretly signed a backroom deal with Blue Wolf Capital to cut workers' pay and benefits by 15% if Blue Wolf got ahold of the hospitals.

When the Attorney General finally conducted hearings on the proposed sale, SEIU-UHW’s own members stood at the microphone and voiced their opposition to Regan. They also delivered petitions signed by more than half of SEIU-UHW’s members opposing Regan's position. 

At O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif. nearly half of SEIU-UHW’s shop stewards resigned their positions to protest Regan's decision to ignore the membership and their livelihoods.

Below, check out a 30-second video of a former SEIU-UHW Chief Shop Steward who describes how SEIU used its members as "pawns" in its own political game. He says: “I'm ashamed to say that I'm an SEIU member because they're not looking out for their own members.”

That's not all. 

After losing the support of his own members, Regan also lost the support of other SEIU unions in California. For example, both SEIU Local 121 and SEIU Local 87 publicly supported the sale of the hospitals to Prime, and formally opposed Regan's position.

Here's the video: