Friday, September 29, 2017

Press: 1,100 members planning to quit SEIU local union in California

One-fifth of the members of SEIU Local 221 are attempting to decertify the San Diego-based union, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (“More than 1,000 members planning to quit county's largest union,” September 1, 2017).

Here’s an excerpt from the story:
Three groups with at least 1,100 employees among them are attempting to decertify from Service Employees International 221, a formal process of leaving the union.
They initiated the move after becoming frustrated with how SEIU has managed ongoing negotiations with the county, while their colleagues in other unions have managed to ink new agreements with raises.
“It’s been a farce from the get-go,” Bob Grable, a former member of SEIU’s bargaining team who sat through negotiations for three earlier contracts. He’s trying to leave that union and form a new group for some of the county’s employees.
“We started negotiations with nothing, no proposals, no negotiation, nothing. This ship sunk at the dock at day-one” said Grable, a vehicle fleet support specialist.

According to the Union-Tribune, three separate groups of San Diego County employees are attempting to leave SEIU Local 221 so they can join other unions: (1) 1,000 urban planners, psychiatrists and epidemiologists; (2) 116 dispatchers in the Sheriff’s Department; and (2) an unknown number of paralegals who work for the district attorney, public defender and the Office of Child Support.

In total, SEIU Local 221 has roughly 5,600 dues-paying members.

Soon after the news hit the press, leaders of SEIU Local 221 rushed to finish contract negotiations with San Diego County officials in order to close the window on workers’ decertification efforts.

The three groups of workers are just the latest among a long list who’ve bolted SEIU Local 221. For example, in May, nearly 400 employees of the City of Chula Vista voted to leave Local 221 and form an independent union after citing frustrations with the quality of SEIU’s support of its members.

In June of 2016, a group of 479 school employees voted to decertify SEIU Local 221 and join an independent union called the Poway School Employees Association (PSEA).

Altogether, in recent years more than eight other bargaining units have decertified the union.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Source: SEIU Officials Secretly Funded Tyrone Freeman's Legal Defense for Crimes against SEIU's Own Members

“What ever happened to Tyrone Freeman?,” asks a reader

In late 2013, Freeman -- a close ally of SEIU President Emeritus Andy Stern -- was sentenced to a 33-month term at a federal prison in Yankton, South Dakota

According to a reliable source, Freeman was eventually released from Yankton and transferred to a halfway house in Long Beach, Calif. 

Tasty’s source provided answers to some of the long-standing mysteries surrounding Freeman’s criminal trial:

  • Who was the secret financier who funded Freeman’s multi-million dollar legal defense?
  • Why didn’t Freeman rat out the higher-up SEIU officials -- including Andy Stern and Eliseo Medina -- who were implicated in the crimes for which Freeman was convicted?

Before Tasty offers up the source’s answers, here’s some quick background:

After Freeman was indicted, a team of million-dollar attorneys from Mayer Brown LLP -- a global law firm with offices in New York, DC, London, Paris, Beijing, Dubai, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, etc -- parachuted into California to defend him.

They included Kelly Kramer, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP who leads the firm’s “White Collar Defense and Compliance Team” and has personally defended former members of the US Congress. According to Super Lawyers, he’s one of the top white-collar defense lawyers in DC.
Kelly Kramer, Mayer Brown LLP
After Freeman was convicted, Mayer Brown LLP filed an appeal with the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, and parachuted two more attorneys from the East Coast to try to get Freeman out of jail.

They included Dan Himmelfarb, a partner in the firm’s DC offices, who specializes in appeals and has “filed more than 200 merits and petition-stage briefs in the US Supreme Court and has argued… 12 cases in the US Supreme Court...,” according to the firm's website. Before joining the firm, Himmelfarb was an Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York and an Assistant to the US Solicitor General.

In other words, these guys charge beaucoup bucks -- likely $2,000-$3,000 an hour.

Who paid for these attorneys?

It sure wasn’t Freeman.

After all, when Freeman's wife appeared in court during Freeman's criminal trial, she was assigned a Public Defender because she couldn’t afford a private attorney.

So who paid Freeman’s legal bills?
Dan Himmelfarb, Mayer Brown LLP
Here’s what Tasty’s source says:

When Freeman was first indicted on multiple criminal charges, a clutch of nervous SEIU officials met with him to discuss his options.

Option #1: Freeman could try to beat the rap by pointing the finger at the higher-up SEIU officials who were apparently complicit in the crimes.

‘But don’t do that,’ argued the SEIU officials. ‘We’ll offer you a better option: SEIU will hire you the best attorneys in the whole damn country and we guarantee you’ll never see a day of jail time. But you can't implicate any of us.’

Of course, we all know that Freeman chose Option #2. And that’s why, during the trial, he never ratted out the SEIU higher-ups who, after all, were paying for his lawyers.

In the end, SEIU officials didn’t come through with their end of the deal -- their fancy attorneys didn’t keep Freeman out of jail.

Freeman has gotta feel burnt by his SEIU handlers, right?

Which leads Tasty to wonder whether SEIU officials might now be slipping him some hush money, given that Freeman has stayed silent even after getting out of jail.

Although Tasty’s source has provided answers to some of the long-standing mysteries, others remain unanswered:
Andy Stern, SEIU
  • How much money did SEIU officials pay for Freeman’s defense and appeal?
  • After the Los Angeles Times outed Freeman's corruption scandal, SEIU officials publicly condemned Freeman for stealing from low-paid SEIU members. Why did SEIU officials turn around and secretly fund his criminal defense for crimes committed against SEIU's own members? Isn't this proof that SEIU higher-ups are implicated in Freeman's crimes? After all, why else would they have funded his defense against stealing money from SEIU members?
  • Who authorized SEIU's payments to Freeman's attorneys? What role did Andy Stern, Anna Burger and Mary Kay Henry play?
  • Will Freeman tell his story to the public?
  • Or is SEIU currently paying hush money to keep Freeman silent?

Friday, September 15, 2017

SEIU-UHW and Hospital Corporation to Stand Trial over Illegal Firing of Worker

A federal judge has ordered SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health to stand trial next month over their roles in the allegedly illegal firing of a California hospital worker, according to court records.

On October 17, a federal courtroom in Los Angeles will offer a picture worth a thousand words: SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health sitting side-by-side in the defendants’ box.

Dignity is a multi-billion-dollar hospital corporation that employs approximately 15,000 SEIU-UHW members. Since 2009, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan and Dignity CEO Lloyd Dean have repeatedly inked backroom deals to slash SEIU-UHW members’ pensions and health insurance, and even impose wage freezes ... despite Dignity’s healthy profits.

Who’s bringing the lawsuit against SEIU-UHW and Dignity?

Starla Rollins, a former Ward Clerk at a Dignity Health’s Community Hospital of San Bernardino for over 20 years.

She alleges that Dignity illegally fired her in 2012, and that SEIU-UHW (her union) sat on its hands and refused to help her as Dignity pushed her out the door.

Since filing her suit in 2013, Rollins has fought her way through a series of appeals filed by both SEIU-UHW and Dignity. Last October, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled in Starla’s favor and ordered SEIU-UHW and Dignity Health officials to stand trial over their alleged violations that cost Starla her job of 20+ years.

The three-judge panel 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 their ruling, the judges slammed Marcus Hatcher, who then served as SEIU-UHW’s so-called “Director of Representational Excellence.” Later, SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan appointed Hatcher as the director of the union’s Kaiser Division.
Starla Rollins
As far as the upcoming trial, it looks like SEIU-UHW and its hack attorney Bruce Harland are running scared.

In recent weeks, SEIU-UHW’s attorneys twice requested lengthy delays in the start date of the trial. Harland proposed postponing the start date from October 17, 2017 until January 2018.

The judge’s response?


Check out the judge’s handwritten response on SEIU-UHW’s request, which Tasty has posted below.

Stay tuned for more news.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Kaiser's "Partnership Unions" Prepare for Bargaining amid Fireworks

Kaiser CEO at CKPU's conference
The “partnership” unions are beginning to prepare for next year’s negotiations with Kaiser Permanente… which means it’s time for more “instant recesses,” dance-offs, “Contract Buddy,” Team Salad Days, and Zumba.

However, in an interesting new development, Tasty’s sources also report growing tensions between various partnership unions.

Here’s what Tasty knows.

Two weekends ago (August 25-27), the partnership unions -- the “Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions” -- held a three-day conference at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower in Portland, Oregon.

Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson spoke to the conference, which also included multiple “Thrive activities,” Zumba, and “Instant Recesses” to the music of Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars.

Other items on the agenda?

"Reflections on 20 Years of Partnering" and workshops including "The Road to Workplace Wellness," "Projecting Confidence and Credibility," "BMI Boot Camp: Become a Trail Blazer for Health," and "Tag – You’re It."

In 2012, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan famously pushed the partnership unions to implement an invasive “wellness” program” that allows Kaiser officials to monitor employees’ biometric data including their BMI (“Body Mass Index”), blood pressure, smoking rate, and cholesterol level. Instead of strikes, Regan pressed Kaiser workers to wear “purple pedometers” and conduct “wellness walks” to get in shape for their employer.

So what about the tensions between partnership unions?
SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan speaking at CKPU conference
Tasty’s sources say those arose on Sunday, when leaders of various partnership unions, including Regan, addressed the conference about next year’s negotiations with Kaiser. 

Apparently, multiple unions successfully banded together to outvote Regan and SEIU-UHW on various issues… which angered Regan.

How to fix it? 

Regan proposed changing the voting rules in order to give Regan and SEIU-UHW more votes… which of course angered the other unions.

According to Tasty’s sources, the tensions burst into the open with Ragin’ Dave Regan literally screaming from the podium and attacking the partnership unions that opposed him.

Here’s how one source put it: “Regan lost it. He was screaming his ass off. I know the dude is a hothead, but I didn’t expect this.”

Stay tuned for more…

Friday, September 1, 2017

More Challenges to SEIU's Trusteeship in Nevada

SEIU is facing a second lawsuit over its trusteeship in Nevada, according to court records.

The latest suit was filed August 9 by SEIU Nevada’s former president, Cherie Mancini, who was removed from her position by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry earlier this year. A union steward from Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospital is a co-plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit names SEIU, Mary Kay Henry and Luisa Blue as defendants.

“This is a power grab by the international (union),” Mancini’s lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (“Former SEIU president sues to get her job back,” August 25, 2017). “SEIU comes in and imposes a trusteeship and puts in place the government they want,” Luisa Blue, appointed by Henry as the “trustee” of SEIU Nevada, dismissed the claims in the lawsuit.

Mancini’s attorneys have asked the judge for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against SEIU, according to court records.

Here’s an excerpt from the lawsuit, which summarizes the violations that SEIU allegedly committed. A full copy of the lawsuit is below.
After the emergency trusteeship was imposed by SEIU on Local 1107, Defendants breached the SEIU Constitution in the following ways: Defendants failed to hold a trusteeship hearing within thirty (30) days of imposition of the emergency trusteeship; failed to notice the membership, including Plaintiff Frederick Gustafson, in a timely fashion regarding the trusteeship hearing; failed to properly notice the Local 1107 membership once the emergency trusteeship hearing was set; failed to issue a decision regarding the merits of the trusteeship within sixty (60) days; denied Local 1107 due process via a full and fair hearing on the merits of the emergency trusteeship; failed to establish a sufficient good faith emergency basis for the imposition of the emergency trusteeship; failed to address good cause for not adhering to the reasonable time periods for these procedures; and failed to address the legitimacy and necessity of continuing the trusteeship at the trusteeship hearing held on July 13, 2017, seventy six (76) days after the emergency trusteeship was imposed.

SEIU and Mary Kay Henry are represented by Glenn Rothner (Rothner, Segall, Greenstone and Leheny), a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in imposing trusteeships on local unions.