Monday, February 27, 2017

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Loses (Again) to Hospital Association

Dave Regan’s winless streak is now even longer.

On February 17, 2017, an appeals court in California slapped down Regan’s latest legal airball. 

Regan filed the suit last month, just days after a Sacramento County Superior Court judge tossed out Regan’s personal lawsuit against the California Hospital Association (CHA) over his secret “partnership” deal with the CHA.

In response to the judge's action, Regan decided to sue the entire Sacramento County Superior Court in a case called “Regan, etc. v. The Superior Court of Sacramento County.”

In the suit, Regan implored the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District to block the judge’s ruling that requires “Wall Street” Dave to undergo yet another round of “binding arbitration” over alleged violations of his secret deal with the CHA.

This time, it took the court only 17 days to whack Regan’s wobbly three-point attempt into the 17th row, according to court records. A copy of the one-sentence decision is below.

What’s next?

It looks like Regan, president of SEIU-UHW, and his erstwhile paramour, Duane Dauner (CEO of the CHA), will soon be perched on the witness stand where they can exchange wistful sighs and furtive glances.

More drama for Dave and Duane.

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 17, 2017

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan: ‘I’m running for re-election’

Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Dave Regan is officially running for re-election as president of SEIU-UHW.

Days ago, the union announced that Regan will join two other candidates on the ballot in next month’s mail-ballot election. And next week, Regan and the other candidates are supposed to post statements on SEIU-UHW’s website about their candidacies.

What about the earlier reports of Regan’s imminent departure?

In December 2015, Regan told a meeting of the union’s Executive Board he would not run for re-election, according to board members who attended the meeting. Regan also said he was backing the director of SEIU-UHW’s Kaiser Division, Chokri Bensaid, to be his replacement.

Several months ago, staffers at SEIU-UHW confirmed that Regan was on his way out.

What changed?

Hard to tell. Perhaps Regan had a change of heart and decided to hang onto his annual $250,000 salary.

Observers point to another possibility. If Regan fears his chosen successor might not win a contested election, he may be running so that sometime after he’s installed for a new three-year term, he can resign and have the Executive Board appoint his chosen successor without a union-wide election.

Who’s running against Regan in next month’s election?
Niko Anagnostopoulos
Both of his challengers are rank-and-file members at Kaiser Permanente and currently serve on the union’s Executive Board.

One of them, Niko Anagnostopoulos, ran against Regan in 2014 and got about 1,200 votes compared to Regan’s 8,000. Anagnostopoulos has set up a website and Facebook page that criticizes Regan and his slate of Executive Board candidates, which is called the “Healthcare Justice slate,” for failing to represent workers on the job and for Regan’s “failed policies.”

Here’s an excerpt from Anagnostopoulos website:
Currently to remain as an elected officer with the existing UHW administration I would only be contributing to the failed policies of the establishment.  You will no doubt become familiar with “HealthCare Justice” as the masses of glossy flyers begin to clutter our mailboxes leading up to the election on March 15th, 2017…    The "HealthCare Justice Slate" has failed to represent all of its members.  The HealthCare slate leadership has jeopardized UHWs standing by pursuing a reckless policy of litigation with our employers.  I know that together we can act on a more constructive relationship with our administrative associates.  I believe that new leadership can improve our daily working conditions without further damaging the integrity and public perception of SEIU-UHW.

Last month, says Anagnostopoulos, the SEIU-UHW steward Council at Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center voted not to endorse Regan’s “Healthcare Justice slate.” It’s unclear if they voted to endorse Anagnostopoulos.

Anagnostopoulos’ campaign Facebook page takes a shot at Regan and the other six-figure staffers like Cass Gualvez who are Regan’s candidates for SEIU-UHW’s “Executive Committee.” Here’s what it says:
Here is a graphic showing the candidates for the SEIU-UHW election. We have included the union staff salaries. Do you feel protected? Have they earned re-election?

The third candidate is Cartina Price, a Licensed Vocational Nurse at Kaiser Torrance Clinic in Los Angeles.  It’s not clear if she has a website presence so far.
Cartina Price

SEIU-UHW’s past elections have been marked by low voter turnout and plenty of controversy. During SEIU-UHW's officer elections in 2011 and 2014, Regan was able to corral little more than 8,000 votes from the union's 140,000 members.

In 2011, Sophia Sims -- a rank-and-file Kaiser worker with few resources -- came within several thousand votes of defeating Regan, who collected only 7,000 votes that year. Not an impressive showing when you consider that Regan massively outspent Sims and also used the union's entire institutional machinery to push his candidacy onto the membership.

The elections were also marred by allegations of vote-rigging by Regan, which were detailed in a complaint to the US Department of Labor and a February 2011 lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

After the 2011 election, Regan looked for opportunities to knock Sims out of contention in future elections.

In 2012, he accused her of "gross disloyalty or conduct unbecoming a member" and ordered her to be subjected to an SEIU-UHW show trial. In 2013, Regan's hand-picked kangaroo court found Sims "guilty" and banned her from competing in SEIU-UHW's elections for seven years.

This year’s election will be the first since SEIU-UHW lost more than half of its membership when the union’s long-term care workers were transferred to SEIU Local 2015, headed by Laphonza Butler. Historically, Regan relied on homecare workers as a key source of votes in elections.

Friday, February 3, 2017

President of SEIU Union in Chicago Appeals Purple Palace’s Trusteeship Decision

Christine Boardman
On Monday, Christine Boardman (President of SEIU Local 73) formally appealed SEIU’s recent decision to continue its trusteeship of the union, which represents 25,000 public-sector workers in Illinois and Northwestern Indiana.

Boardman, in a January 30 letter to SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and Secretary-Treasurer Gerry Hudson, says SEIU’s decision to continue the trusteeship “is fraught with factual and legal errors and is in violation of the SEIU International Constitution as well as the LMRDA,” a reference to the federal Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Boardman requested a hearing before SEIU’s International Executive Board as part of her appeal. 

A copy of Boardman’s letter is below.

In an e-mail to supporters, Boardman vowed to fight SEIU’s decision, which was first announced on January 27 on Local 73’s website.

Last August, SEIU officials seized control of Local 73 through an “emergency trusteeship.” The action suspended Boardman and Matthew Brandon, Local 73’s Secretary-Treasurer, from their elected positions and also suspended the union’s Executive Board. Henry appointed three of her representatives to run the union as "trustees."

On September 24, 2016, SEIU officials conducted a “trusteeship hearing” headed by a hearing officer, Edgar Romney, to determine whether SEIU’s “emergency trusteeship” was justified and should continue. Romney, who was selected by Mary Kay Henry, is a member of SEIU’s International Executive Board and is the Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU’s “Workers United” division, which happens to owe $16.7 million to SEIU.

SEIU’s trusteeship hearings are typically kangaroo courts in which attorneys from the Purple Palace literally write a pre-ordained decision that's simply signed by the Hearing Officer.

On January 25, 2017, SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) approved Romney’s finding that “the trusteeship was imposed properly and should be continued.” 

Surprise, surprise, right? 

The IEB also adopted Romney’s recommendation that Local 73’s Executive Board be disbanded and that Boardman and Brandon be permanently removed from office.

Mary Kay Henry has appointed two trustees to run the local: Dian Palmer (President of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin) and Denise Poloyac (Director of SEIU’s Property Services Division).

Eliseo Medina, who launched the trusteeship in August, is no longer a trustee at Local 73. At the end of summer, he flew back to California to serve as Henry’s “monitor” of SEIU Local 99 in Los Angeles following alleged misconduct by SEIU officials there.

So what’s the basis of Boardman’s appeal?

She says the trusteeship hearing and the subsequent actions by SEIU’s International Executive Board were “fraught with factual and legal errors” that violated SEIU’s Constitution.

In an e-mail sent to supporters this week, Boardman said the “vast majority” of the witnesses at the trusteeship hearing were from SEIU International. Neither Boardman nor Brandon was allowed to ask questions of SEIU witnesses, whom she describes as “bogus.” Boardman says she was permitted to make a statement during the hearing, but portions of her testimony – including an objection – were never included in the hearing records.

Furthermore, Boardman says SEIU’s justification for the trusteeship is “ridiculous.”

SEIU officials said they seized control of Local 73 because of fighting between Boardman and Brandon. “However,” writes Boardman, “the International used a different standard on [Local 73] than they did on other locals.” She continues:
This includes Local 99 in LA where the President was found to be stealing money and Local 1107 in Las Vegas where the Executive Vice President had an order of protection issued against her because of physical confrontations with the staff.  Six months later the President and Executive Vice President of 1107 filed charges against each other, plus 400 members signed petitions asking that the International trustee Local 1107.  For those locals the International did not have an emergency trusteeship. The International’s position that we [Local number 73] needed an “emergency trusteeship” is ridiculous.

Those familiar with SEIU’s recent history are likely laughing their asses off to see Edgar Romney serving as some sort of judge of moral probity. 

In 2009, Romney and Bruce Raynor joined Andy Stern in SEIU’s attempted hostile takeover of UNITE HERE, the United States’ largest union of hotel, food service, and casino workers. Across the US, labor leaders and observers slammed SEIU, Raynor, and Romney for their underhanded attack on UNITE HERE and its 450,000 members.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

SEIU’s Dave Regan Loses Another Court Battle to California Hospital Association

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan lost yet another legal battle to the California Hospital Association (CHA) over his secretive, sweetheart deal with hospital CEOs.

On January 13, 2017, a Sacramento County (Calif.) Superior Court judge effectively tossed out Regan’s personal lawsuit against CHA’s CEO, Duane Dauner, and three other CHA officials. Instead, the judge ordered Regan’s allegations to be sent to binding arbitration, as required by Regan’s secret 2014 “partnership” deal with the CHA.

A copy of the judge’s decision is below.

Regan’s suit, initially filed on November 24, 2015, alleges that four top leaders of the CHA violated their “fiduciary duties,” committed “dishonest acts and gross abuses of authority and discretion,” and carried out “unlawful conduct” by “undermining” Regan’s scheme to secure billions more dollars of Medicaid funding for California’s hospital corporations.

Why was Regan trying to put more taxpayer money in hospital corporations’ pockets?

It was one of the requirements of his secret deal with the CHA. Specifically, hospital CEOs required Regan to deliver $6 billion a year in additional revenues to California hospital corporations as the price for “buying” special treatment from CEOs during SEIU unionization campaigns.

And that’s not the only concession Regan gave to hospital CEOs.
Dave Regan and Duane Dauner
He also agreed to force any newly organized workers into cheap, pre-negotiated SEIU-UHW labor contracts that included a ban on strikes and a far-reaching gag clause barring SEIU-UHW from criticizing hospital companies and their gold-plated executives.

Regan’s lawsuit is yet another piece of the paper trail documenting “Wall Street” Dave’s backroom deals with hospital CEOs.

The suit also offers a window into the internal battles raging between SEIU’s officials. For example, Regan’s lawsuit says Dauner met “secretly” with officials from SEIU to “undermine” Regan’s Medicaid funding scheme.

Which SEIU officials?

LaPhonza Butler (President of SEIU Local 2015) and Jon Youngdahl (former Executive Director of SEIU California State Council), says Regan.

According to Regan’s suit, SEIU officials undercut him by telling Dauner that “UHW and its president, Plaintiff Regan, would soon lose half its membership and that Defendant Dauner needed to deal with Butler and the SEIU State Council – not Regan and UHW – if he wanted to accomplish any legislative and policy goals that were important to CHA’s members.”
Jon Youngdahl

Last spring, Tasty published a leaked 30-page document containing the questions that SEIU-UHW attorneys posed to Dauner during a closed-door legal proceeding, including grilling him about Dauner’s meetings with SEIU’s LaPhonza Butler and Jon Youngdahl.

Elsewhere in the suit, Regan alleges that Dauner “sabotaged” him and “hid” his activities from Regan and others.

Regan’s suit seeks Dauner’s removal from the board of directors of “Caring for Californians,” a partnership organization jointly established by CHA and SEIU-UHW following their 2014 deal. The organization was funded with $50 million that Regan and Dauner diverted from their organizations’ coffers.

Regan and Dauner are the Co-Chairs of “Caring for Californians.” The remaining seats on its Board of Directors are split evenly between CHA and SEIU-UHW. That’s why Regan also sued Greg Adams (Group President at Kaiser Permanente), Mark Laret (CEO of UCSF Medical Center), and James Holmes (CEO of Redlands Community Hospital). They’re CHA’s appointees to the “Caring for Californians” board, and Regan alleges they, too, committed “unlawful conduct” and violations of their fiduciary duties.

So who did Regan appoint to fill SEIU-UHW’s seats on the board?

Three SEIU-UHW staffers: Dave Kieffer, Cass Gualvez, and Arianna Jimenez.

With last month’s ruling in Sacramento Superior Court, Regan has maintained a perfect winless record in the multiple lawsuits that followed the collapse of his secret deal with the CHA.

In June of 2016, for example, a Superior Court judge ordered SEIU-UHW to withdraw a statewide initiative from the California ballot or face millions of dollars in penalties. In November 2016, the court ordered SEIU-UHW to submit to binding arbitration over Regan’s refusal to return $34 million to CHA and SEIU-UHW.
LaPhonza Butler
What’s next for Dave?

Regan, who is rumored to be stepping down from his position as SEIU-UHW’s president, apparently will be wrapped up in lawsuits for the foreseeable future.  

At least one question remains unclear. 

Who will fund Regan’s lawsuits after he steps down? In the suit discussed in this post, Regan sued as an individual, not as SEIU-UHW. Should SEIU-UHW’s members continue to pay tens of thousands of dollars to litigate Regan’s personal lawsuit?