Friday, October 28, 2016

Court: SEIU-UHW Officials Must Stand Trial for Failing to Represent Union Member

SEIU-UHW has suffered yet another embarrassing legal judgment for failing to back its own members.

Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ordered SEIU-UHW officials to stand trial for denying basic union representation to one of its members, which caused her to lose her job of more than 20 years.

Elsewhere on this blog, Tasty has catalogued countless instances of SEIU-UHW’s backroom deals with hospital bosses and its failure to defend workers’ rights on the job.

In fact, so many SEIU-UHW members complained that SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan -- who deploys disinformation and deception as regular tools against his union’s members -- attempted to quiet workers’ criticism by creating a so-called “Department of Representational Excellence.” 

So what happened in the latest case?

According to court records, Starla Rollins worked as a Ward Clerk at a Dignity Health’s Community Hospital of San Bernardino for over 20 years. In 2012, Dignity executives implemented a “reduction in force” and tried to lay off a number of workers including Rollins.
Starla Rollins
When Rollins asked SEIU-UHW to enforce a seniority agreement that should have allowed her to continue working at the hospital, SEIU-UHW refused. When Rollins prepared a grievance against the hospital, SEIU-UHW ignored it.  

So… Rollins tragically lost her job of 20+ years.

Rollins, however, is not one to give up.

She sued both her employer and SEIU-UHW for failing to honor the seniority agreement. As far as SEIU-UHW, she sued the union for failing to fulfill its “duty of fair representation” to provide basic representational services to union members.

After Rollins filed her suit, Regan spent massive amounts of money on lawyers, including on hack attorney Bruce Harland, to try to knock Rollins' lawsuit out of court.

Earlier this week, however, the Court of Appeals handed Rollins a giant victory. 

The court ruled: “We conclude that… the Hospital has breached the Seniority Agreement and the CBA, and that triable issues of fact exist as to whether the Union breached its duty of fair representation.” 

In other words, the court has ordered SEIU-UHW officials to now stand trial in front of a jury over allegations that they failed to provide basic representational support to Rollins.
Bruce Harland, SEIU-UHW attorney

In the ruling, the panel of three judges slams SEIU-UHW officials for failing to defend Rollins. They write: “First, the Union never seriously considered Rollins’s rights under the Seniority Agreement.”

Second, after she was laid off, SEIU-UHW only pretended to help Rollins by lumping her into a group grievance that had nothing to do with her situation and was completely unsuccessful in restoring her job.

Third, when Rollins filed her own grievance against the hospital, SEIU-UHW officials refused to process her grievance for bogus reasons.

In the decision, the judges go on to trash Marcus Hatcher, SEIU-UHW’s so-called “Director of Representational Excellence.” Here’s a quote from the ruling:
The Union's Director of Representational Excellence, Marcus Hatcher, claimed to have reviewed the Seniority Agreement. But he asserted that the Seniority Agreement was "not relevant to the MOU" and unenforceable because "it can't supersede a contract." There are two problems with Hatcher's reasoning…

The judges then execute a take-down on Hatcher.

Congratulations to Starla Rollins! 

Here’s a link to a Bloomberg article on the Rollins case. And immediately below is a copy of the judges' ruling issued October 26, 2016.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sources: Dave Regan Is on His Way Out

Job application??
Dave Regan is calling it quits at SEIU-UHW.

Sources inside SEIU-UHW recently confirmed that Regan will not stand for re-election as SEIU-UHW’s president when his three-year term expires in early 2017.

Ten months ago, Tasty reported that Regan told members of SEIU-UHW’s Executive Board he was throwing in the towel. At the time, he said he would support Chokri Bensaid, the director of SEIU-UHW’s Kaiser Division, to become his replacement.

Why is Regan leaving?

Observers point to a series of colossal failures that have taken a serious toll on SEIU-UHW and its members, including... 
  • Regan’s backroom deals and mega-failures at the bargaining table that have stripped tens of thousands of SEIU-UHW members of their pensions and other benefits; 
  • his failed battle with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry that has left Regan deeply isolated inside SEIU; 
  • his loss of 65,000 homecare and nursing home workers that halved his union’s membership; 
  • his failed backroom deal with the California Hospital Association that has cost SEIU-UHW’s members more than $25 million and has left the union mired in expensive legal battles and more politically isolated than ever; 
  • his failure to organize healthcare workers to join SEIU-UHW; 
  • etc.
And don't forget the personal scandals, such as Regan's physical assault on a process server that splashed his face across TV newscasts in California.

Where will Regan go next?

Coming to a reality TV show near you? 
It's not clear at this point.

However…Tasty hears that Diamond Dave would be absolutely perfect for a new reality TV show that Donald Trump is planning to launch after the US presidential election. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Purple Palace Suffers Self-Inflicted Wound through Trusteeship of SEIU Local 73

SEIU officials have carefully used their trusteeship of Chicago-based SEIU Local 73 to deliver a strategic blow… to themselves!

Here’s what happened.

For many months, Local 73’s leaders have been in discussions aimed at affiliating the 2,000-member Graduate Students United (GSU) at Columbia College Chicago, a private liberal arts college with 9,500 students.

The affiliation was intended to advance SEIU’s national campaign to unionize faculty and graduate student workers.

Then, on August 3, SEIU’s Mary Kay Henry imposed an “emergency trusteeship” on Local 73 and removed the union’s president and secretary-treasurer.

During SEIU’s trusteeship hearing on September 24, Local 73’s former president, Christine Boardman, warned that the trusteeship would submarine Local 73’s affiliation discussion with graduate students.

Here’s what Boardman said in her prepared testimony:
On the downside of adjunct organizing, I can tell you that we will not get Columbia College which after they disaffiliated from the IEA, their bargaining unit was 2,000 strong. They began meeting with SEIU Local 73 regarding possible affiliation.
Diana Valera, the leader of that group, was continually asking questions about how much independence would they have and can they make their own decisions.  Putting an emergency trusteeship in place at Local 73 has definitely cooled their idea of joining our local.  Talk to Grant Williams and Sean McGough.

It looks like Boardman was right.

Last week, the 2,000-member Graduate Students United announced that its members had voted to stay with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), according to an article in The Chicago Maroon (“GSU Votes to Stay with Union Affiliation”).

AFT's Randi Weingarten
In fact, the AFT received nearly twice as many votes as SEIU Local 73. 

AFT President Randi Weingarten gushed about the AFT’s victory. Here’s how she’s quoted in a press release and news article:
“Tens of thousands of graduate students are already affiliated with the AFT, as momentum builds in our nationwide fight for them to be recognized as the higher education professionals they are,” AFT president Randi Weingarten said in a press release Thursday. “The AFT will be with them every step of the way.”

From the looks of things, SEIU officials implemented their trusteeship at precisely the wrong time. Mary Kay Henry seized control of Local 73 just eight weeks before graduate students began voting on whether to affiliate with the Chicago-based union. By the time that graduate students cast their ballots, Local 73 was functioning under a sort of "martial law" without any functioning constitution or system of local control.

A perfect formula for victory, right?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

President of SEIU Local 73: SEIU Officials Imposed an “Illegal” Trusteeship after I Supported Bernie Sanders

Christine Boardman, SEIU Local 73
Christine Boardman, the President of SEIU Local 73, has provided an insider’s view of SEIU’s recent trusteeship of her union, which represents 25,000 public-sector workers in Illinois and Northwestern Indiana. 

In a communication sent to Tasty in recent days, she writes: “I read your two posts concerning the Local 73 trusteeship and feel obliged to write to you.” 

On August 3, 2016, SEIU officials seized control of Local 73 in an "emergency trusteeship" and removed Boardman and Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Brandon from office. Boardman had served as the union’s president for 16 years.  

In Boardman's place, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry appointed Eliseo Medina to serve as trustee. On September 24, SEIU officials conducted a trusteeship hearing where Boardman and others reportedly testified.

In her communication to Tasty (see documents below), Boardman writes:
I was removed from office in a classic SEIU trusteeship. As we all know the International likes to use the wording “emergency trusteeship” even when it is not. The basic reason I was removed from office was because I disagreed with the International leadership on a number of issues. The most recent was when they called me from Washington to assure themselves that I supported Hillary in the Primary which I did not. I supported Bernie Sanders. Both times they called I told them that I supported Bernie Sanders. They told me he would lose. This was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for them. For years I have disagreed with them on major issues of democracy within the union, organizing new members and servicing members which the International sees as in opposition to organizing new members.

She goes on to describe how SEIU officials in Washington DC “regularly criticized me for ‘taking too many cases to arbitration.’”
SEIU's Eliseo Medina addressing Local 73 members
The International’s main focus is to extract as much dues money from the members which it promptly turns over to the DNC. This deprives locals of operating expenses, as well as funds to support local candidates who actually support unions. The National Democratic office holders who get the members money have consistently avoided enforcing existing labor laws and instead have promoted bad trade deals that have sent most manufacturing jobs overseas.
As anyone familiar with the SEIU International is aware they are very thin skinned and accept NO dissent of any kind, they promote and expect complete obedience. The fact that I had an executive board of 100 rank and file members and that I always brought numerous members to all bargaining sessions simply horrified the SEIU International.
This illegal take over was plain and simple an undemocratic take over in the long and sordid history of the SEIU.

With her permission, Tasty has posted below Boardman’s message as well as her testimony during SEIU’s recent trusteeship hearing. 

During SEIU’s trusteeship hearing, Boardman described how she blew the whistle on “corrupt and unethical behavior” by Local 73’s Secretary-Treasurer Matt Brandon after he cut a “backroom deal” with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that “sold out” Local 73’s members.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Instead of penalizing Brandon, SEIU used his illegal behavior as the pretext for removing both her and Brandon, even though she was the “whistleblower” who outed his misconduct, says Boardman.

Boardman’s testimony includes poignant passages like this one:
You have put me into a situation that I will have to sue the International Union. You have ruined my reputation of more than 45 years in the trade union movement with a bs attempt to get me out of office. I was doing my job and you will be hard put to show that I was not.

Her testimony describes the role of other SEIU officials in Local 73’s problems, including Debbie Schneider, Mary Ann Collins, Denise Poloyac and Pia Davis. Schneider served as a "Deputy Trustee" with Medina during SEIU's trusteeship of SEIU-UHW in 2009.

Boardman concludes her testimony:
I feel that the entire emergency trusteeship has been a sham, and the International views the local as something they will award to their friends, and not positions that require significant experience and skill at accomplishing the task at hand. You are attempting to make me collateral damage and I will not accept that.
SEIU's Debbie Schneider
I ask that the hearing officer reinstate me as President so that I may continue to do what I believe and that is the strong belief that working people can overcome all obstacles in their way. I did nothing wrong and everything right. If the International does not allow me to complete my work and transition a new President at the end of my term which is April 2017. It will be a great disservice to the local and our members.

See two separate documents below from Boardman.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Dave Regan’s Pal at Dignity Health Is a Pioneer in the Gig Economy

Lloyd Dean -- the CEO of Dignity Health and a close ally of SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan -- is courageously forging new ground in the gold-plated gig economy.

Earlier this week, Tasty described how Dean works full-time as the CEO of the US’s third-largest health system, Dignity Health… but finds enuf time to pocket $350,000 a year for sitting on Wells Fargo’s board of directors.

Well… it turns out Dean holds down a number of other side-gigs, too.

He happens to sit on the board of directors of McDonald’s Corporation, which is one of the targets of SEIU’s Fight for $15 campaign.

Wonder if Regan’s infamous gag clause, which "Wall Street" Dave signed with Dean and other CEOs, prohibits SEIU from discussing Dean’s sky-high salary?

How much does McDonald's pay Dean?

Approximately quarter million dollars a year in cash and stocks for attending board meetings. Thus far, he’s assembled thousands of shares of McDonald’s stock for himself and the “Dean Family Trust,” according to SEC records.

Dean also sits on the board of Navigant Consulting, Inc., a Chicago-based management consulting firm, which pays Dean $200,000 a year in cash and stock.

Recently, Dean gave up his seat on two other corporations’ board of directors. Those companies happen to pay far less than Wells Fargo, McDonald’s, and Navigant.
Fight for $15
Last year, he resigned his board seat at Premier, Inc., which paid him only $50,000 a year in cash. 

Chump change, right? 

Premier, based in Charlotte, NC, provides performance-improvement consulting and group purchasing to hospitals and nursing homes across the US.

He also ditched his seat at Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., a San Diego-based biotechnology company where Dean was the Chairman of the Board. During Dean’s last year at the company, he pocketed 16,030 stock options, 10,550 shares of restricted stock, and $33,625 in cash, according to the company’s SEC filings.  

Tough gigging for the 1%.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Wells Fargo Scandal Nabs One of Dave Regan’s Pinstriped Pals at Dignity Health

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf testifying in Congress last week.
One of SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan’s closest CEO buddies -- Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health -- is neck-deep in the scandal that’s rocking Wells Fargo. In fact, Dean -- who serves on Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors -- may have used insider information at the bank to improperly line his pockets, according to SEC records not been previously reported.

The episode offers another glimpse at the harmful effects of Regan’s collaborationist approach with corporations.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and is the largest hospital company in California. In 2014, Dignity paid Lloyd Dean $8.1 million, according to the company’s federal tax returns.
Lloyd Dean's 2014 Compensation at Dignity Health: IRS Form 990
Dean, in addition to his full-time job at Dignity, has plenty of time to work well-paid gigs on the side … like serving on Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors.

At the bank, Dean headed the “Corporate Responsibility Committee,” charged with monitoring “customer service and complaint matters,” at the same time that Wells Fargo was quietly setting up 2 million phony accounts for customers, according to proxy statements cited by Fortune Magazine.  The fake accounts -- which forced bank customers to pay service fees on debit cards, credit cards, and other accounts they never authorized -- boosted Wells Fargo’s profits.

Here’s an excerpt from the Fortune Magazine article published last week (“The Wells Fargo Board Committee in Charge of Stopping Phony Accounts Rarely Met”):
A review of board records in Wells Fargo’s annual proxy filings of the past few years suggests that, even as scrutiny of Wells Fargo’s consumer practices was ramping up outside the bank… officials at the highest levels of the company, who were most responsible, did little—that is, the absolute minimum—to address the bank’s growing problem.
None of that, though, or the aftermath, appears to have curtailed the payday of the board members involved…
The bank’s board formed the corporate responsibility committee in 2011. It was first headed by Lloyd Dean, another Wells Fargo board member, who now heads the committee that oversees compensation. Dean was paid $346,027 in cash and stock last year.

Dean’s role as chair of Wells Fargo’s compensation committee is important to note given that the bank’s aggressive sales quotas and financial incentive programs are at the heart of the fraud it perpetrated on millions of customers. 

In recent weeks, Wells Fargo agreed to pay more than $200 million in fines. Some executives may face criminal charges. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf was forced to give back $41 million in compensation due to public pressure.

But don’t cry for Stumpf.

He’s still sitting on $247 million in Wells Fargo stock, according to SEC records.

Earlier this week, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) ripped Stumpf a new one during a hearing on Capitol Hill. She presented evidence that in October 2013, Stumpf appeared to have used insider information to sell $13 million of his own shares of Wells Fargo stock just before the bank’s fraud became publicly known.

Why is the timing of Stumpf’s stock sell-off significant?

During Stumpf’s testimony before a Senate panel on September 20, 2016, he said he first learned of his bank’s fraud in “late 2013.”

Here’s a video of Rep. Maloney interrogating Stumpf.

Did other fatcat insiders dump their stock at the same time?

What about, umm, Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean?

According to SEC disclosure forms, Dean carried out the same stock-dumping transactions just a handful of days after Stumpf did. 

In early November of 2013, Dean sold Wells Fargo stock worth more than $520,000. Dean had acquired the 12,330 shares through a special stock purchase option program available to the company’s Board of Directors.
One of Dean's SEC Forms 4

In March 2016, Dean and his family trust sold another $327,051 worth of Wells Fargo stock, according to SEC records.

See below for copies of Dean’s and Stumpf's SEC Forms 4.

What’s SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan’s relationship to Lloyd Dean?

Dave “Wall Street” Regan, who favors “partnerships” and secret backroom deals with CEOs, has worked hand-in-glove with Dean for years.

In 2008-09, Regan secretly conspired with Dean to carry out SEIU’s trusteeship against California’s militant healthcare workers union, then headed by Sal Rosselli.

In an apparent payback, Regan then delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to Dean by negotiating massive wage and benefit cuts affecting SEIU-UHW’s 14,000 members at Dignity hospitals in California.

In 2010, for example, Regan eliminated SEIU-UHW members’ defined-benefit pension plan, delivering Dignity a $217 million windfall, according to the company’s financial statements.  

In 2012, Regan allowed Dignity to freeze SEIU-UHW members’ wages and to implement more benefit cuts... even though the company was making massive profits.

In 2015 and 2016, Regan negotiated more cuts for workers.
SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan

And in 2014, Regan famously signed a secret partnership deal with the California Hospital Association, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and other corporations. The deal, which was designed to institute “a new model of labor relations,” included bans on worker strikes and implemented a gag clause that blocked SEIU-UHW and its members from supporting any regulatory action, legislation, or ballot initiative adverse to the interests of Dignity Health and the California hospital industry.

The secret pact’s provisions, which were eventually made public through litigation, also prohibited SEIU-UHW -- California’s largest healthcare workers union -- from “raising concern about... executive compensation in health care."

With the stroke of his pen, Regan silenced SEIU-UHW and its members from voicing any criticism of Dean’s outrageously high salary at Dignity Health... not to mention his apparently gold-plated insider trading at Wells Fargo.