Tuesday, February 17, 2015

SEIU-UHW’s Private Equity Partnership Produces Rebellion from Workers

Dave Regan’s partnership with Blue Wolf Capital Partners isn’t quite producing "dividends," according to observers.

SEIU-UHW officials famously backed the New York private equity fund in its attempt to take over a chain of six California hospitals called the Daughters of Charity Health System. But even as SEIU-UHW staffers parade around in blue shirts bearing the private equity firm’s name, workers are running the other way.   
Here's what's happening.

SEIU-UHW’s 1,600 members at the six hospitals have reportedly responded with outrage that Regan signed a secret deal with Blue Wolf to cut their pay by 15% and is putting their jobs at risk by pushing the hospital chain towards a possible bankruptcy.

At O'Connor Hospital, a majority of SEIU-UHW members signed petitions opposing SEIU-UHW’s stance on the hospital sale.

And nearly half of SEIU-UHW’s shop stewards at O'Connor Hospital have resigned their positions to protest Regan's actions. Other workers have decided to stop paying dues to SEIU-UHW.

SEIU-UHW responded by dispatching Val Tagawa and other purple staffers to the hospital. One worker writes:
Since the [Attorney General's] hearing at OCH, we have had a concerted effort from SEIU (Val Tagawa and others) to harass folks about the issue. They have been generally met with "Don't bother me" type responses from workers, and on one occasion security was called and ended up escorting the SEIU stooges from the Cafeteria after employees complained to security.
Tagawa has reportedly been busy scouting for the best local bar and is well known around the hospital for the not-so-fragrant bouquet of her breath.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle have editorialized against SEIU-UHW’s position. The California Attorney General, who's responsible for approving or rejecting the proposed sale of the six hospitals, is supposed to make a decision by February 20.

One more note: Tasty earlier mentioned that SEIU-UHW officials have connections to Blue Wolf Capital. It turns out that the connections are multiple.
Mike Musuraca, Blue Wolf Man
First, Mike Musuraca (the Managing Director of Blue Wolf Capital) reportedly has connections to Gerry Hudson and Tom Woodruff (Vice Presidents of SEIU International) as well as other top SEIU officials. Musuraca has worked as an advisor for SEIU’s Change to Win. He formerly served as an Assistant Director in the Department of Research and Negotiations at AFSCME District Council 37 in New York City and was a trustee of the New York City Employees Retirement System.

In addition, it appears that David Miller, a staffer at SEIU-UHW, played a role in SEIU-UHW’s nefarious backdoor deal with Blue Wolf. Miller also comes from New York, where he formerly served as the Research Director at SEIU’s 1199 New York. After parachuting into California, he has assumed the over-inflated job title of “Assistant to the President for Strategic Campaigns” at SEIU-UHW ...presumably with an over-inflated salary.