Friday, March 27, 2015

SpongeBob is back! It’s time for SEIU-UHW’s contract negotiations with Kaiser Permanente

With just days to go before the “kick-off” of fake contract negotiations between the “partnership unions” and Kaiser Permanente, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan appears to have confirmed the rumors about his backroom deal with Kaiser’s bosses by once again deploying a cartoon character -- SpongeBob -- to "rally" tens of thousands of Kaiser workers to “fight” the nation's largest HMO by participating in "wellness walks."

While workers at NUHW, UNITE-HERE, CNA and the Operating Engineers have waged multiple strikes against Kaiser, Regan is apparently relying on SpongeBob to win a good contract.

On Tuesday, Regan deployed human-sized images of SpongeBob in a failed effort to get his union's members to participate in lunchtime “wellness walks" and “walk-a-thons” at Kaiser hospitals across California.

According to workers, SEIU-UHW staffers told them they had to participate in wellness walks to
show Kaiser that workers are "united" and fully supportive of SEIU-UHW. They even tried to bribe workers by offering purple medallions and photo ops with life-sized images of SpongeBob.

No dice, said workers.

At Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center in Northern California, a total of 5 of SEIU-UHW’s 1,500 members actually participated in the wellness walk, according to observers. Below is a picture of the participants at the height of the wellness walk.

In 2012, Regan and his half-witted quarter-witted aide, Joe Simoes, famously told workers that SEIU-UHW’s lunchtime "wellness walks" were akin to the launch of a massive social movement like the Montgomery bus boycott. (WTF.)

The truth is that wellness programs are a new corporate HR strategy designed to shift healthcare costs onto employees and undermine workers' privacy. The programs have been sharply criticized by legal experts, advocacy organizations, and unions.

In other words, a "wellness walk" ain't no "fightback strategy." It's the equivalent of waving the white flag of unconditional surrender. Regan might as well gather workers in a rally in front of Kaiser's corporate headquarters and have them chant, "Cut our benefits!"

As far as wellness programs, earlier this month professors from the University of Michigan Law School and Georgetown University published this critique of wellness programs: "Beware: 'Wellness' May Be Hazardous to Your Health.”
Could promotion of "wellness" be hazardous to your health? Sadly, the answer is yes… Some employers ask workers to complete a Health Risk Assessment or HRA… Often accompanied by physical exams or blood tests, HRAs typically include questions about a wide range of personal matters… Not surprisingly, people don't always feel comfortable about answering such questions from their bosses… Once disclosed, sensitive health information too often has been used to discriminate against workers who have diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, and other conditions despite their ability to perform their job.

In 2012, Regan famously teamed up with Kaiser's bosses to impose a corporate wellness program on SEIU-UHW’s members -- including invasive questionnaires and blood tests that allow their multi-billion-dollar employer to gather mountains of data on their private lives and bodies.

What's next?

Look for a SpongeBob at a Kaiser hospital near you as Diamond Dave boldly leads the labor movement into the 21st century. More pics below.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Internal Documents: “Kaiser's upcoming partnership bargaining is rigged…”

Next Monday (March 30), SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (aka, the “partnership unions") will begin negotiations with Kaiser Permanente for a new labor contract covering 90,000 Kaiser workers in 27 local unions.

In the run-up to Monday's kick-off of negotiations, the partnership unions will have a three-day junket at Disneyland with with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and the rest of the gang (March 27-29).

Once negotiations begin, partnership officials will undoubtedly describe them as “revolutionary,” dynamic, and the most innovative thing since sliced bread. However, sources have leaked internal documents that reveal that the negotiations are as tightly rigged as a Swiss clock.

How rigged?

Well, check this out. Even though the negotiations have not yet begun… Kaiser execs and partnership union officials have already calendared the precise date when workers will vote to ratify their new contract!

That’s not all.

According to the internal documents, Kaiser and the partnership unions will complete their negotiations -- which cover 90,000 workers in more than a half-dozen states -- after only four bargaining sessions!

Even more revelations are contained in the leaked document, which is entitled “2015 National Bargaining: LMP Communications Plan.” (See full document below.) Here are a few.

  • On June 4, Kaiser, SEIU-UHW and the partnership unions will issue a joint press release announcing they’ve reached a tentative agreement. Kaiser workers will receive an “all-employee” e-mail from management about the agreement.

  • From June 4-9, Kaiser and union officials will conduct "joint press briefings on the phone with labor writers” (ie, journalists).

  • On June 8, Kaiser and union officials will publicize the new agreement in joint announcements issued through "Inside KP” and “LMP Flash.”

  • On June 16-17, the partnership unions will conduct a "ratification conference" at the Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel. The hotel rooms have already booked and reserved.

  • Kaiser, SEIU-UHW, and the partnership unions have assembled a mini-army of staffers who've planned and are now executing a joint "communications plan” with "strategies and tactics" designed to “support implementation of National Agreement.”

  • Among the goals of this joint staff team is the following: “Improve positioning of Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente among each group's key constituents" and "enhancing the KP and Coalition brands.” Translation: Regan and the Kaiser execs are using the negotiations to puff and polish their images within their organizations.

  • Throughout the negotiations, union officials and Kaiser executives will be reading from the same “talking points” that are carefully crafted by the communications team. For example, at the conclusion of each of the four bargaining sessions, the communications team will issue joint "talking points" for "management and labor."

So… how is it possible for union officials and the Boss to so carefully choreograph the negotiations covering 90,000 workers across the U.S.? It’s obvious, my friends, that all of the important issues have already been signed and sealed in a backroom deal between Kaiser’s top execs and union leaders.

Here's the schedule and location of the partnership's fake bargaining:

CKPU’s Annual Delegate Conference:  March 27 – 29 at Disneyland Hotel
Kickoff on National Bargaining:  March 30 – April 1 at Hilton Orange County Hotel
Bargaining Session 1:     April 14 – 16 at Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel
Bargaining Session 2:     April 28 – 30 at San Jose Marriott Hotel
Bargaining Session 3:     May 12 – 14 at Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel
Bargaining Session 4:     June 2 – 4 at Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel
CKPU’s Ratification of National Agreement:     June 16 – 17 at Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

And here's one of the leaked documents:

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dave Regan Is Taken to Task for Violating SEIU's Order... even as Regan Plots More Violations

Diamond Dave and Mary Kay during an earlier time
Here's the latest on Diamond Dave's battle with the Purple Palace.

Sources say the Purple Palace erupted in anger when, earlier this month, Dave Regan had SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board pass a resolution opposing the January order issued by SEIU's International Executive Board (IEB). The IEB’s order directs SEIU-UHW and SEIU Local 521 to transfer their home care and nursing home workers to SEIU Local 6434, which is headed by Laphonza Butler.

In January, the IEB apparently placed a gag order on the three affected local unions. Each of the leaders of the three affected local unions (SEIU-UHW, Local 521 and Local 6434) pledged to abide by the gag rule, which bars them from speaking publicly about the matter.

So… when Regan passed his own resolution opposing the IEB’s order, Local 6434's Laphonza Butler and Local 521’s CEO Luisa Blue reportedly “flipped out" in anger and called for the immediate transfer of the long-term care workers rather than waiting until June, say Tasty's sources.

In recent days, Butler, Blue and Regan met with retired SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina. SEIU President Mary Kay Henry brought Medina out of retirement to serve as a hearing officer to iron out the details of transferring the long-term care workers. Henry tasked Medina with producing a recommendation by June 2.

During Medina’s recent meeting with Butler, Blue and Regan, tensions between the three local union leaders were reportedly sky high. Sources say Medina ultimately convinced Blue to withdraw her demand that the workers be transferred immediately due to Regan’s violation of the gag order. Meanwhile, speaking of the gag order, Medina reportedly told Regan to "keep his mouth shut."

Despite Medina's warning, sources report that Regan is already planning more violations of the gag rule -- basically thumbing his nose at Mary Kay Henry, the IEB and Medina.

Here's what the sources say:

First, Regan has convinced George Gresham (the president to SEIU 1199 New York) to send a letter to Mary Kay Henry backing Regan's position on the long-term care workers. As described in an earlier post, Regan and Gresham are reportedly working together to try to unseat Mary Kay Henry in SEIU’s internal officer elections in 2016. These political ambitions are the underlying dynamics driving the SEIU infighting… the deep subterranean plates that are producing earthquakes on the earth’s surface.

In addition, Regan reportedly announced to SEIU-UHW staffers that he’s approaching the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions ("the partnership unions") to get their support in battling Mary Kay Henry. This promises to spread SEIU's infighting to the broader U.S. labor movement. The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is made up of 28 local unions across the US, including the Teamsters, Steelworkers and UFCW.

Regan's outreach to other Kaiser unions also points to his real motivations for delaying the transfer of the long-term care workers until June. At its January meeting, the IEB initially ordered Regan to transfer the workers on a rapid timeframe. Regan successfully argued for a delay until June, claiming that the transfer of the long-term care workers would somehow weaken SEIU-UHW’s ability to negotiate a contract with Kaiser Permanente.
Eliseo Medina
At the end of March, Regan and the partnership unions begin their “negotiations” with Kaiser -- which will undoubtedly follow Regan's recipe of backdoor deals with the boss and a pathetically choreographed “show” to try to get worker buy-in.

So... with Regan now poised to commit more violations of the IEB's gag order, how will the Purple Palace respond?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Did SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan find religion?

As SEIU President Mary Kay Henry celebrates the miraculous resurrection of SEIU's order to transfer 65,000 California long-term care workers, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan is experiencing his own kind of religious moment.

Did "Diamond Dave" find religion?

Not quite.

But he has undergone a sudden “religious conversion” that’s allowed him to perform a flip-flop of biblical proportions. 

In a fantastic about-face that's befitting of only the sleaziest politician, Regan -- who has fervently supported SEIU’s order to "unite" all of California's long-term care workers into SEIU Local 6434 – is now suddenly opposed to it.

It's like that famous politician who said, "I voted for it, uh..., before I voted against it."

Well, that's Dave Regan. But on steroids.

Back in 2007 and 2008, Regan was a member of SEIU’s Long Term Care Division Steering Council and aggressively pushed for the transfer of SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 long-term care workers into Local 6434.

And in June of 2008 at SEIU’s convention in Puerto Rico, Regan aggressively campaigned in support of “Resolution # 206a” which called for the transfer of SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 long-term care workers to Local 6434.

Regan even worked hand-in-hand with Tyrone Freeman to launch a PR and direct-mail campaign in California to push for the transfer of the 65,000 members... including a website called

Then, in January of 2009, Regan was a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board and voted in favor of ordering SEIU-UHW to transfer the 65,000 members.

Soon thereafter, Regan voted to put SEIU-UHW into trusteeship when its governing board failed to transfer the 65,000 workers fast enough.

But today, my friends, is apparently a brand new day for Diamond Dave. 

Dave has miraculously found religion. Or maybe he was struck by lightning. Or bumped his head too hard on the underside of Duane Dauner’s desk.

Whatever happened, Diamond Dave has flip-flopped so hard that his head is bouncing back and forth like one of those plastic bobble heads you get at the baseball game.

Quite the image of integrity...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Fires Salvo in Escalating War with Mary Kay Henry

Here's the latest on the escalating war between SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan.

Last weekend, Regan had SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board approve a resolution that directly opposes the recent decision by SEIU’s International Executive Board to finally carry out its 2009 order to transfer SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 long-term care workers to SEIU Local 6434.

Instead... Regan's resolution calls for transferring more than 200,000 members out of Local 6434 and SEIU Local 521 and into Regan's union!

Here's an excerpt from Regan’s resolution (a full copy is below):
Therefore be it resolved that in the spirit of our union’s slogan “Stronger Together” the SEIU-UHW Executive Board calls for the creation of one statewide healthcare union in California that unites home care, nursing home and hospital workers…
Be it further resolved that SEIU-UHW strongly opposes efforts to divide healthcare workers in California because it would weaken all healthcare workers…
Be it further resolved that this resolution, expressing the strongly held convictions of the leadership of SEIU-UHW’s home care, hospital, Kaiser and nursing home members be distributed to the leadership of the International Union and to others within SEIU who care about the future of healthcare workers.
Regan’s resolution -- which has more contradictions than Oxford's Unabridged Compendium of Oxymorons -- is the latest salvo in his war with Henry and the SEIU International Executive Board. 

More info soon about Diamond Dave's copious contradictions.

Here’s Regan's resolution in its original and text-only format.

Resolution in Support of Unifying
Healthcare Workers in California
Resolution 15-15

Whereas, Harris vs. Quinn has created a “right to work” environment for IHSS workers.  Historically, wherever local unions have been predominantly open shop, their membership has declined steeply over time and the employment standards of their members have suffered.

Whereas, SEIU-UHW members have worked successfully to defend our union from mass decertification attempts because we have united to support each other. Home care and nursing home members came to defend Kaiser members in two elections. Hospital members signed up home care members after Harris vs. Quinn, resulting in an 80% membership rate, and Kaiser, home care, nursing home and hospital members all worked together to enroll some 20,000 Californians into healthcare coverage.

Whereas, SEIU has always stood for uniting workers within their industries, and healthcare workers have been united in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and elsewhere. In the few examples where healthcare worker have not been united in SEIU, such as California, it has been because of internal political, not strategic, considerations.

Therefore be it resolved that in the spirit of our union’s slogan “Stronger Together” the SEIU-UHW Executive Board calls for the creation of one statewide healthcare union in California that unites home care, nursing home and hospital workers to allow healthcare workers to:

·         Become stronger together in a movement that will fight to ensure that no member of the healthcare team makes less than $15 an hour and that all healthcare workers enjoy a rising standard of living, utilizing ballot measures, contract campaigns and unified political action to achieve that goal.

·         Speak with one healthcare worker voice to dramatically raise Medi-Cal rates to end the two tier healthcare system that disproportionately underserves women, immigrants and people of color, resulting in immoral racial, gender and economic disparities in health outcomes, and to maximize job security for those providing healthcare to low-income Californians.

·         Unite the resources of healthcare workers to organize hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers in all segments of the industry, including private home care, nursing homes, assisted living, medical groups, acute care and outpatient care, while maintaining a super-majority membership rate to ensure a continued strong voice for IHSS workers.

Be it further resolved that SEIU-UHW strongly opposes efforts to divide healthcare workers in California because it would weaken all healthcare workers and make the previously referenced goals unachievable.

Be it further resolved that all SEIU California healthcare members and the SEIU Healthcare Division should be given the opportunity to discuss, debate and provide input into the decisions that impact their future.

Be it further resolved that this resolution, expressing the strongly held convictions of the leadership of SEIU-UHW’s home care, hospital, Kaiser and nursing home members be distributed to the leadership of the International Union and to others within SEIU who care about the future of healthcare workers.

Presented:        March 2015      

SEIU UHW Executive Board Meeting

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

War Intensifies between SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry and Dave Regan

Sources describe an escalating war between SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan.

At a January meeting in Puerto Rico, Henry and the SEIU International Executive Board (IEB) ordered Regan to transfer SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 nursing home and home care workers to SEIU Local 6434

Regan successfully pleaded with the IEB to postpone the transfer until this summer.

In recent weeks, however, Regan changed his tune... and delivered a new response to Henry’s order: 

“Hell No!”

In fact, Regan reportedly told Henry she will face “a war” unless she reverses the decision. 

That's not all. Regan threatened Henry by saying his war will be bigger than anything experienced by SEIU… ever!

Way to go, Dave!

So what's going on?

Regan is reportedly maneuvering behind the scenes to oust Henry from her presidential suite at the Purple Palace during SEIU's 2016 elections, which are held at SEIU’s once-every-four-years convention.

In response, Henry has rallied her supporters on the IEB to get Regan to transfer SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 nursing home and home care workers to SEIU Local 6434. By transferring the workers, Regan will lose the "delegated votes" of these 65,000 homecare members during the 2016 elections… and the votes will instead be cast by Henry's ally, Laphonza Butler (the president of Local 6434).

These, my friends, are the political motives that fuel the war between Regan and Henry.

So where does order to transfer SEIU-UHW’s 65,000 long-term care workers come from?

Back in January of 2009, Henry’s predecessor (Andy Stern) manufactured the order as a pretext for ousting his internal critics and pro-democracy reformers -- Sal Rosselli and his team -- from SEIU.

After removing Rosselli and thousands of rank-and-file stewards and elected officers, Stern and Mary Kay Henry conveniently ignored Stern’s order -- essentially acknowledging it was nothing more than a blatant political ploy. 

Now, fast-forward six years… and Stern's long-neglected “transfer” order has been resurrected once again because it's found a new political purpose inside the Machiavellian machinations that swirl inside the dark corridors of the Purple Palace.

Quite a story, right?

More to follow…

Friday, March 6, 2015

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and Blue Wolf Capital Are Hit with Extortion Lawsuit

Dave Regan -- fresh off his failure to get the Daughters of Charity Health System to sell its six California hospitals to Blue Wolf Capital Partners -- now faces a multi-million-dollar lawsuit alleging a lengthy list of violations including extortion, civil conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.

And in case they were feeling left out of the party, both SEIU International in D.C. and Blue Wolf Capital (a private equity firm in New York) also are named as defendants in the civil suit filed by Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS) in Santa Clara (CA) Superior Court on February 23rd.

Here's a quick summary of the 21-page suit, which seeks tens of millions of dollars in damages and attorneys fees. A full copy of the suit is below.

The lawsuit begins this way:
This is a case about a labor union and a private equity firm conspiring to hold hostage the proposed sale of Daughters of Charity Health System ("DCHS”) for illegal and extortive purposes. By using extortionist threats and bid chilling tactics to frustrate the sale as leverage for other commercial gains they seek, the Defendants have cost DCHS at a minimum tens of millions of dollars in continuing operational losses and professional fees. DCHS continues to face the possibility that the sale will not close, with potentially catastrophic consequences for DCHS's six California hospitals, thousands of employees and retirees of those hospitals, and the patients and communities whom the hospitals serve.
So what prize was Regan trying to extract through his "extortionist threats?"

Regan's goal was to extract a neutrality agreement from Prime Healthcare that would allow SEIU-UHW to unionize thousands of Prime's workers across California, according to the lawsuit.

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan
In order to pressure Prime to sign on the dotted line, Regan threatened to block Prime’s purchase of the six Daughters of Charity hospitals.


On July 24, 2014, Regan met with Prime's CEO and told him that "Prime would never get approval from the California Attorney General unless Prime agreed to a ‘neutrality agreement’ for Prime's other hospitals in California,” according to the suit. Apparently, Regan told Prime that he has enormous influence over the Attorney General and could block the sale... that is, unless Prime gave him what he wanted.

This, my friends, is extortion -- a criminal act.

When Prime refused to cave in to Regan's threats, Regan asked Blue Wolf to compete head-to-head against Prime in the bidding war for the hospitals… even though "Blue Wolf has no experience managing, owning, or operating healthcare facilities,” says the suit. Regan told Blue Wolf that he would block all of the competing bids, thereby assuring Blue Wolf’s success in the bidding process.

According to the lawsuit, Regan approached other bidders -- such as Alecto Healthcare Services and Strategic Global Management -- and told them "to withdraw from the sale process, stating that the SEIU Defendants had selected Blue Wolf and therefore Blue Wolf was the only viable bidder." Both companies dropped out of the bidding process, according to the suit.
Blue Wolf's Adam Blumenthal
Based on Regan's promise to block all competing bids, Blue Wolf deliberately submitted a “low-ball bid” and made "unusual demands" on DCHS, says the suit. For example, the private equity fatcats demanded that DCHS negotiate only with Blue Wolf and stop negotiating with all of the other bidders. Blue Wolf also insisted that the nuns -- that is, the Daughters of Charity religious order -- use its funds to help finance Blue Wolf's purchase of the hospital chain.

According to the lawsuit, "Both conditions were unacceptable to DCHS and had not been requested by the other, qualified bidders that had already showed interest."

According to the suit, Blue Wolf submitted a cheap bid that would have loaded mountains of debt onto DCHS and allowed Blue Wolf to suck profits from the hospitals through "a lucrative management agreement with a 10-year purchase option."

Blue Wolf's bid amounted to "a classic ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ scenario” where Blue Wolf would enjoy all of the upside profits but none of the downside risk, which would instead be borne entirely by workers, patients and creditors, says the suit.

The suit says Regan also sold out SEIU-UHW’s own union members who work at the six DCHS hospitals. The lawsuit refers to Regan's secret labor contract negotiated in a back room with Blue Wolf, which Tasty highlighted in an earlier post, that would
…reduce fringe benefit costs and eliminate restrictive work rules to ensure maximum operational flexibility." Blue Wolf has estimated that this change alone would create $90 million in savings on the back of workers at the DCHS Health Facilities.
The illegal actions by SEIU-UHW, Blue Wolf, and SEIU International imposed tens of millions of dollars of additional costs on DCHS, says the suit. By scaring off bidders, Regan "chilled" the bidding process and forced DCHS to accept a lower price for the hospitals than it otherwise would have gotten. 
Ron Bloom aided Blue Wolf
Regan also delayed the entire bidding process, forcing DCHS "to burn through cash at a rate of millions of dollars each month." The lawsuit also alleges that Blue Wolf and SEIU-UHW violated confidentiality agreements signed as part of the bidding process.
The interference and bid chilling by the SEIU Defendants and Blue Wolf has cost DCHS unknown dollars of sale consideration and has created a substantial threat of irreparable injury to DCHS, including DCHS's bankruptcy and the closure of the DCHS Health Facilities.
The lawsuit ends with these paragraphs:
57. This is not a case about labor versus big companies. The CNA, SEIU Local 121 RN, and a majority of the SEIU-represented employees at DCHS who have spoken publicly, strongly support the proposed sale between DCHS and Prime and voiced their disagreement with Defendants' self-serving opposition to the sale.
58. The SEIU Defendants chose to imperil the existence of DCHS—as well as the wellbeing of its patients and employees—to gain the upper hand. in completely unrelated efforts to assert influence over unrelated hospitals owned by Prime and to enrich themselves.
59. In so doing, the SEIU Defendants turned a blind eye to the best interests of union members who work for DCHS. Most members of unions affiliated with the SEIU Defendants who work far DCHS support the sale of the Health System to Prime. They understand that this sale represents the best and only hope to keep DCHS out of bankruptcy, to ensure that the DCHS Health Facilities stay open, and to fulfill existing pension obligations.
60. The SEIU Defendants and Blue Wolf have interfered with the sale to Prime and chilled bids with callous disregard for the best interests of DCHS's or the Hospital Corporations' current or former employees, patients, creditors, or communities served. Blue Wolf's only goal is to control DCHS's assets without adequately capitalizing the hospitals or incurring any downside risk, and the SEIU Defendants' only goal is to expand membership and inflate their own influence.
61. Defendants' threats have caused DCHS and Prime millions of dollars in professional fees and legal fees; delayed the transaction process, forcing DCHS to incur millions of dollars in continued operating losses; and resulted in a lower overall purchase price. Meanwhile, DCHS faces the danger of running out of money. The DCHS Health Facilities may be forced to close, with drastic consequences to public health in the served communities. If that happens, it would be as a direct result of the Defendants' actions.