Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Leaked Document Offers Glimpse into California Hospital Association’s Arbitration Hearing against SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan

A source has offered an interesting glimpse into last week’s three-day, closed-door arbitration hearing against SEIU-UHW. The hearing was triggered by a California Hospital Association lawsuit alleging SEIU-UHW violated a secret partnership deal.

For six months, Dave Regan has refused to appear before an arbitrator.

Recently, however, a Sacramento Superior Court judge and an appeals court both ordered Regan to stand before an arbitrator to face charges he violated the terms of his secret partnership deal with the California Hospital Association (CHA), including the deal’s far-reaching gag clause.

So… what happened at last week’s arbitration hearing?

A source has provided a 30-page document with the questions that SEIU-UHW’s attorneys posed during their cross-examination of CHA CEO Duane Dauner, who also testified at the hearing.  

The document, entitled “Dauner Cross-Examination Outline,” offers insights into the clandestine maneuvers by Regan’s rivals at SEIU, along with the shifting loyalties of his former best buddy, CEO Duane Dauner.

Under the partnership deal -- memorialized in a written contract called the “Code of Conduct” -- SEIU-UHW and the CHA set up a labor-management committee (LMC) that they named “Caring for Californians” (CFC). The LMC, which was jointly controlled by the two partnering organizations, planned to introduce a statewide ballot initiative to raise billions of Medicaid revenues to deposit into the coffers of California hospitals.

Then, in the summer of 2015, Dauner reportedly began clandestine discussions with Regan’s rivals and decided to dump Regan and instead form a partnership with SEIU California State Council, the California Teachers Association, and the California Medical Association.
CHA's Duane Dauner

The CHA joined these organizations -- known as the “ABC Coalition” -- to file an alternative ballot initiative that submarined Regan’s scheme to corral $6 billion in taxpayer funding for hospitals. 

(For discussion of the organizations’ motives in undermining Regan’s initiative, see this post.)

Regan’s simmering anger at Dauner and Regan's Purple Palace rivals is abundantly evident in the questions that SEIU-UHW attorneys fired at Dauner as he sat on the witness stand last week.

SEIU-UHW’s attorneys repeatedly sought to uncover details about Dauner’s contacts and conversations with Laphonza Butler (President of the SEIU California State Council and a close ally of SEIU President Mary Kay Henry), John Youngdahl (Executive Director of the SEIU California State Council), the California Teachers Association, and others. Here are excerpts from the document below:

Who are the members of the ABC Coalition?
Who is your contact person for each organization?
Who is your primary contact at the ABC Coalition?
Who is John Youngdahl? (SEIU State Council Executive Director)?
When did you first meet with John Youngdahl regarding the ABC Coalition?
How many times did you meet in person regarding the ABC Coalition?
Where did you meet?
Who else was present?
What was discussed?
Isn’t it true that the subject of the discussions was how to construct an alternative
SEIU's Mary Kay Henry and Laphonza Butler
Isn’t it true that as part of the agreement outlined above the California Hospital Association made a $25 million commitment to the ABC Coalition?
And when David Regan asked you for a copy of the Agreement – you refused to give it to him, didn’t you?
And on December 3, you told David Regan that you would be supporting the ABC Coalition initiative – didn’t you?
How many e-mails did you exchange regarding the ABC Coalition?
Who else was on the e-mail chain?
What was discussed?
How many times did you speak on the phone regarding the ABC Coalition?
Contacts with Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU United Long-Term Workers
Contacts with Dustin Corcoran, CEO of California Medical Association
Contacts with California Teachers Association
When did your contacts with ABC Coalition or members begin?
Who initiated the contact?
For what purpose?
Frequency – regular, scheduled discussions versus occasional, as needed
What form where the communications: written or oral?
Duration of contacts – ended or ongoing

…SEIU-UHW’s questioning of Dauner continued:

When did you know ABC Coalition would put a competing initiative on the ballot?
SEIU's John Youngdahl
ABC Coalition asked you to stall or prevent CFC’s initiative, didn’t they?
What promises did you give to ABC Coalition?
What was your deal with ABC?
Did deal involve other CHA members of CFC’s Board?
What are the specifics of discussion with John Youngdahl?
What with the specifics of discussions with Laphonza Butler?

The 30-page document also confirms the money-for-members transaction that Regan inked with hospital CEOs, including the exchange of 30,000 non-union members for billions in new Medicaid revenues.

And it confirms that Regan and other SEIU-UHW officials (including Arianna Jimenez) attended secret meetings with hospital execs at luxury hotels in California, including the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego... where the cheapest room costs $545 a night. (pp. 6-7)

Here’s the document: