Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan Sparks Split between Partnership Unions Just Hours before Kaiser Permanente’s National Bargaining Set to Begin

SEIU-UHW's Dave Regan

Last night, eight of the 11 international unions in the labor-management partnership announced they’re leaving the “Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions” (CKPU) and will not take part in National Bargaining, which was scheduled to begin this morning in Oakland, Calif. 

Instead, the unions plan to form a new coalition to work in partnership with Kaiser.

What’s causing the split?

It's Dave Regan, say the unions’ leaders.

In an e-mail sent last night to their members, Denise Duncan and Bill Rouse (the President and Executive Director of AFSCME’s United Nurses Associations of California) explain it this way:
Why are we departing CKPU and forming a new Coalition?
…To ensure our members’ interests do not get derailed by a local union in California, SEIU-UHW, whose leadership has continuously demonstrated its desire is to take control of the Coalition. We will not cede control to SEIU-UHW… we cannot be derailed by the leader of a single local.

In a separate document, the unions give more details about their problems with Regan… including his efforts to “control” the CKPU, his “subverting” of agreements between the partnership unions, and Regan’s “deceptive tactics.”

Just how angry are the departing unions at SEIU-UHW
“Our alliance of like-minded unions will no longer be held captive by SEIU-UHW.”

Here’s an excerpt (full document below):
Over the past 30 months, we have worked diligently to try to keep the CKPU together and strong heading into 2018 national bargaining. Regrettably, SEIU-UHW’s attempts to control the Coalition have made this impossible. Almost immediately after signing the Portland Agreement in August of 2017, SEIU-UHW subverted this agreement, which outlined a framework for how the unions would work together in national bargaining. Subsequently, UHW filed, then withdrew, a ballot initiative aimed at crippling Kaiser Permanente, and signed a Code of Conduct along with other partner unions with KP, which we hoped would resolve our differences so that we could enter national bargaining as a unified coalition. However, on Monday, March 19, 2018, at a labor caucus, UHW once again engaged in deceptive tactics designed to assert UHW leadership’s control over the Coalition, making it clear to us that this behavior will never stop. Ceding control of the Coalition to UHW is not an option and so, instead, we are exercising our right to leave the CKPU.
Our alliance of like-minded unions will no longer be held captive by SEIU-UHW. The behavior of SEIU-UHW continually fractured our unity and our ability to focus on bargaining. This is why we believe we serve you, our members, best by taking strong action.

Which unions are leaving the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions?
22 local unions that represent more than 45,000 Kaiser workers:  UNAC/UHCP and HGEA (AFSCME); UFCW Locals 1167, 135, 1428, 1442, 324, 770, 555, 7, 1996, 27, 400, and 21; USW Local 7600; IBT Local 166; KPNAA; IUOE Local 501 and Local 1; OFNHP (AFT Local 5017); and ILWU Local 28.

So which unions remain in the Coalition?
Three international union’s (SEIU, OPEIU and the IFPTE) with approximately 76,000 Kaiser workers, most of whom are members of SEIU-UHW.

What are Kaiser execs saying?

Last night, Dennis Dabney (Senior VP of Labor Relations) and Jim Pruitt (VP of Labor Relations for The Permanente Federation) circulated an e-mail with the following text:
We have been notified this evening by 21 of the unions which comprise a significant portion of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, that they have decided to leave the Coalition, effective immediately, and will not take part in National Bargaining. These unions state that the reason for their action is a conflict between various member unions of the existing Coalition.
We are considering what today’s development means. In the meantime, without the participation of all the unions in the Labor Management Partnership, the scheduled kick-off meetings this week cannot proceed.
We will engage with the various unions’ leadership over the next several days to ensure we understand the implications of this announcement. We will keep all parties informed as we decide the appropriate next steps. 

Stay tuned.