Thursday, February 8, 2018

SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan Withdraws Ballot Initiative Targeting Kaiser Permanente

As Tasty’s internal sources predicted, Dave Regan has withdrawn his California ballot initiative targeting Kaiser Permanente, according to an e-mail distributed today by Kaiser executives to employees.

The e-mail, sent by Kaiser’s Chief Human Resources Officer Chuck Columbus, states:
We wanted to let you know that the leadership of SEIU-UHW has notified Kaiser Permanente that the union has withdrawn its proposed ballot initiative that would have affected Kaiser Permanente if it became law.
We acknowledge the union’s decision to set aside the ballot initiative. There is more work to be done in reaffirming our Labor Management Partnership, and recommitting to our core principles of partnership, and that work is underway.

One day before the announcement, Regan launched a hastily choreographed maneuver aimed at trying to convince SEIU-UHW’s members that he’s not weak and isn’t in fact scurrying away from a fight with Kaiser with his tail between his legs. 

With much chest-pumping, Regan yesterday announced that SEIU-UHW will hold “protests” at 32 Kaiser hospitals between February 14 and March 9. It’s unclear what the “protests” will be.

What’s behind Regan’s “protest” announcement?

Since last summer, Regan has been telling SEIU-UHW members that his ballot initiative is the secret weapon that’ll prevent Kaiser from implementing cuts to SEIU-UHW members’ wage scales for future hires in California’s Central Valley. Now that Regan is dropping the ballot initiative, workers will inevitably ask: “Did Dave just cave into the boss? Did he just throw us under the bus? If we no longer have a ballot initiative, then what’s the plan?”

Will workers actually buy Regan’s damage-control maneuver? It remains to be seen.

Better yet… does Regan actually have a “Plan B” to confront Kaiser’s demand for wage cuts?

Lastly, will Regan ever have a successful ballot initiative... which he's spent tens of millions of union members' dues money on, according to Politico?

What's next?

It appears that Regan wants to rejoin the partnership unions’ 2018 national bargaining process, which is scheduled to begin next month. However, Regan and SEIU-UHW’s members will join the negotiations with a much diminished stature after Regan torched relationships with other partnership unions and burned a bunch of bridges with his former pals at Kaiser. For example, for months Regan has demanded that the other partnership unions allow him to take control of the national bargaining, which was strongly resisted by the unions.

Here’s a copy of the e-mail sent today by Kaiser’s Chuck Columbus: