Friday, August 11, 2017

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Turns to Ballot Initiatives... Again

Dave Regan
SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan has returned to his ballot-initiative habit once again.

This week, Regan announced two ballot initiatives targeting the kidney dialysis industry in California, where he’s trying to squeeze some kinda deal out of one of the state’s the largest dialysis companies, DaVita Inc.

The two measures -- tentatively titled the “Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Act” and the “Fair Pricing for Dialysis Act” -- must be approved by the California Attorney General before Regan can begin collecting signatures from more than 700,000 California voters to qualify the initiatives for the statewide ballot in November 2018.

Regan has been super un-successful at using ballot initiatives to ink sweetheart deals with hospital CEOs in both California and Arizona. Tasty estimates he’s spent more than $25 million of union members’ dues money on his failed ballot initiatives... and hasn't produced a single organizing victory.

Now… he appears to be turning his ballot-initiative phaser on the kidney dialysis industry.

What’s going on?

Since 2016, Regan has been attempting to organize DaVita workers at kidney dialysis clinics. But he’s been unsuccessful. So he’s now trying his ballot-initiative thang to see if DaVita’s CEO might be open to giving him a special deal... at a really good price!

Of course, that’s the problem with Regan. Once he disappears into a hotel suite with the CEOs, workers will never get to know what kind of deal he makes with his pin-striped pals.

In 2014, he negotiated a secret deal with the California Hospital Association… which Regan then refused to show to the union’s Executive Board, let alone the rank-and-file workers. 

Two years later, a copy of the deal became public as a result of a lawsuit. It turned out that when Regan was alone with the bosses in the hotel suite, he agreed to ban SEIU-UHW members from striking, force workers into pre-negotiated contracts with substandard wages and benefits, and gag union members from filing patient-care complaints against hospitals or even criticizing their CEO’s gold-plated salaries.

So the kidney dialysis workers need to beware. If Wall Street Dave actually succeeds in getting a meeting with DaVita’s CEO, workers better be damned sure they force themselves into the meeting.

Other things to watch:

Will the kidney dialysis industry attempt to enforce a California law that makes it illegal to use ballot initiatives as a bargaining chip?

Will Regan raid SEIU-UHW members' strike fund for the millions of dollars it will cost to pay signature-gatherers to collect the more than 700,000 signatures for the two kidney dialysis ballot measures?

Stay tuned.