Friday, June 21, 2019

Dave Regan's Chickens Come Home to Roost at Kaiser Bargaining

It looks like some of Dave Regan’s chickens are coming home to roost.

Observers have long critiqued Regan for negotiating terrible labor contracts that dismantled the defined-benefit pension plans covering more than 20,000 of SEIU-UHW's members at California hospital chains like Dignity Health and the Daughters of Charity Health System.

Observers predicted that Kaiser Permanente would eventually demand the same concession from Regan.

And that’s what happened earlier this week during negotiations between Kaiser and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions at the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Here’s an e-mail that SEIU-UHW sent to its 50,000 Kaiser members on Tuesday:

From: Verna and Georgette <>
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2019 at 7:02 PM
Subject: CONTRACT ALERT: Kaiser's offer to us

We’re still in the middle of bargaining but this can’t wait. We all know Kaiser’s been making record profits — but they opened this session complaining that “hard times” are ahead for the company. They followed up with a disrespectful contract proposal that demands big cuts from us, including:
· Copay increases to $20
· More outsourcing and automation of our jobs
· Lower pay and elimination of pensions — starting with new hires, then we’d be next
Apparently, Kaiser -- despite its massive profits -- is proposing the lowest pay increases in decades as well as the elimination of defined-benefit pension benefits for new hires covered by SEIU-UHW. Instead, new hires would get a cheap 401(k) plan. That’s what Regan allowed Dignity and Daughters of Charity to do.

How will SEIU-UHW respond?

The union's leaders are calling on members to prepare for votes during the summer to authorize a possible strike later in the year. 

That’ll be interesting. Since Regan took over SEIU-UHW during the 2009 trusteeship, the union has reportedly conducted only one strike at a small facility during the past decade. Pretty lame, right?

Hmmmm. Will SEIU-UHW’s members even remember what a strike is?

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Consultants Pocketed Millions from Dave Regan’s Ballot Initiatives

Tasty earlier reported how SEIU-UHW spent more money in 2018 on ballot initiatives than it did on organizing and representing its own members on the job.

So where did SEIU-UHW spend all of the $37.5 million that went to “political activities and lobbying”?

According to the union’s financial report, six political consultants and ballot initiatives walked away with three-quarters of the total. Here they are.

  • $14.9 million to Waterfront Strategies (Washington DC)
  • $4.6 million to the Fairness Project (Washington DC)
  • $2.5 million to Kimball Petition Management (Thousand Oaks, CA)
  • $2.1 million to Ohioans for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection (Ohio)
  • $1.2 million to Savvy Communications (Rancho Mirage, CA)
  • $2.2 million to Greenstripe Media, Inc. (Newport Beach, CA)

The biggest winner, Waterfront Strategies, is an advertising purchasing firm that places media tons of media buys for PACs. The firm’s parent company is headed by Jim Margolis, a former media strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Fairness Project is an organization founded by Dave Regan and principally funded by SEIU-UHW to run ballot initiatives in states outside of California. The head of the organization’s board of directors is Steve Trossman, one of Regan’s staffer who was also wrapped up in the Tyrone Freeman scandal.

Kimball Petition Management, or KPM, is a petition drive management firm owned by Fred Kimball, who founded the company in 1984 with his brother, Kelly. Fred Kimball was profiled in a 1998 article, "Collecting Signatures for a Price" in the Washington Post, according to Ballotpedia.

Regan set up Ohioans for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection to run a 2018 ballot initiative in Ohio. Altogether, Reagan spent $4.1 million on an effort to collect signatures, but forgot to have his signature-gatherers fill out a required state form. As a result, the Ohio Supreme Court voted unanimously to knock Regan’s initiative on the ballot.

Savvy Communications appears to be another name for her Stones’ Phones, a consulting firm specializing in phone strategies for campaigns.

Greenstripe Media, Inc. is an advertising purchasing firm headed by David Takara.

And here’s the punchline: Despite pouring tens of millions of dollars into political spending in political spending, Regan has no victories to show for it as far as winning organizing rights for workers and expanding the union’s membership.