Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Back in Court: California Hospital Association Sues SEIU-UHW for Millions Locked up in Covert Partnership Organization

The California Hospital Association (CHA) has taken SEIU-UHW to court… again.

This time, CHA is trying to recover tens of millions of dollars that SEIU-UHW has locked away inside a secret “partnership” organization, according to records obtained from Sacramento County Superior Court. (Below is a full copy.)

On October 14, CHA’s and SEIU-UHW’s attorneys will face off in a Sacramento courthouse.

Here’s what’s happening.

When SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and CHA’s Duane Dauner signed their secret partnership deal in 2014, they also agreed to set up and finance a secret new organization to carry out their joint projects.

The new organization’s first priority was to help SEIU-UHW convince politicians to steer $6 billion a year in new Medicaid funds to California’s giant hospital corporations.
Dave Regan and Duane Dauner

If SEIU-UHW had succeeded in this task (they didn’t), then the hospital CEOs would have allowed SEIU-UHW to unionize 30,000 of their employees… but only as long as the workers were banned from striking, forced into cheap labor contracts, and silenced by a massive gag clause.

The covert partnership organization -- ironically named “Caring for Californians” by its founders -- was funded with $50 million that Regan and Dauner diverted from their treasuries in 2014.

With millions in its bank count, “Caring for Californians” leased office space in Sacramento, hired Peter Ragone as its Executive Director, hired attorneys and staff, etc. The organization was soon spending $40,000 a month in operating expenses, according to court filings by the CHA.

For a time, things were going swimmingly for Wall Street Dave. Fantasies of his class-collaborationist partnership danced through his head as he performed late-night lap dances for some of California’s wealthiest corporate CEOs.
Peter Ragone, CFC's Executive Director

By November of 2015, however, Dave’s partnership had exploded in a fiery display that lit up California’s skies. The partnership was dead!  

At the time of the partnership’s demise, “Caring for Californians” still had $34 million in unspent cash sitting in its bank account.

And that’s what the latest lawsuit is all about. The $34 million.

Under the terms of Regan and Dauner’s secret partnership deal, the $34 was supposed to be returned to CHA and SEIU-UHW on January 1, 2016. However, Regan -- in an apparent fit of vindictiveness against his former pin-striped pals -- is refusing to return the money to either organization.

According to CHA’s lawsuit, Regan has vetoed any return of the money to both CHA and SEIU-UHW.


“Caring for Californians” is run by an eight-person Board of Directors, with equal numbers of seats filled by CHA and SEIU-UHW. Regan and Dauner are co-chairs of the board. Since January of 2016, says CHA, Regan has used his four votes (one of them is SEIU-UHW staffer Arianna Jimenez) to block every proposal to return the $34 million.

So what’s happening to the money?

It’s simply swirling down the drain, says CHA. 

Here’s an excerpt from a recent CHA legal filing, which refers to “Caring for Californians” by its initials “CFC.” The term "Code of Conduct" refers to the secret partnership deal signed in 2014.
“On December 31, 2015, the Code of Conduct terminated pursuant to its terms. Since that time, CFC has had no ongoing work, and neither CHA, UHW, nor any CFC Director has made any efforts to initiate new endeavors. Nonetheless, CFC has continued to spend approximately $40,000 each month on operating expenses for resources and services it has not been using. These are not only unnecessary expenditures, but they also decrease the amount available for redistribution to both CHA and UHW as provided by the Code of Conduct.” (p. 3)

Interesting, right?
SEIU-UHW's Arianna Jimenez
Regan is so vindictive he’s willing to piss millions of dollars of SEIU-UHW members’ money down the drain to get back at CHA.

How much money do SEIU-UHW members stand to lose? According to the CHA:
“As of September 1, 2016, the CFC has approximately $34 million in its accounts that is not currently encumbered. Pursuant to the terms of the Code of Conduct, approximately $27.2 million would be returned to CHA and approximately $6.8 million would be returned to UHW.” (p. 4)

What’s CHA asking the judge to do?

CHA’s lawsuit asks the judge to force SEIU-UHW into binding arbitration so it can recover its $27.2 million. Plus, it wants SEIU-UHW to pay all of CHA’s attorneys fees.

If history is a judge, it looks like SEIU-UHW’s members will be footing the bill for yet another idiotic blunder by Regan.

Here’s a copy of CHA’s suit filed on September 6, 2016: