Monday, August 31, 2009

SF Labor Council to Purple Plague: Get Bent!

Maybe it's just something in the water that comes out of Crystal Springs, but it seems that the labor bigwigs in San Francisco just aren't interested in tugging at their forelocks whenever any of the cloven-hooved minions of Our Glorious Maximum Leader open their traps...

In a further sign of SEIU’s growing estrangement from the labor movement, the San Francisco Labor Council has rejected SEIU’s threat to withdraw 40% of its Council funding unless UNITE HERE Local 2 drops its support for NUHW’s decertification campaign against SEIU’s home health care workers. At an August 21 Executive Board meeting, representatives of several unions took turns castigating SEIU-UHW Trustee Dave Regan for threatening the Council’s funding, while praising Local 2’s historic commitment to worker rights. Although Regan had threatened the “immediate withdrawal” of SEIU’s $17,000 monthly Council contribution during an August 15 meeting with Local 2 officials, he now denied that SEIU had decided to withdraw funding. Instead, he said that he had requested to meet with Local 2 to see how SEIU-UHW could help UNITE HERE in its contract fight against San Francisco’s hotels. Most striking about the meeting was the widespread criticism of SEIU’s bullying tactics, and the strong defense of Local 2’s efforts to help NUHW decertify SEIU’s local home health care workers.

As the epicenter of labor’s internal wars shifts to San Francisco, SEIU now finds itself in deep trouble with the powerful San Francisco Labor Council. Labor officials were angered by SEIU’s threat to withdraw its Council funding, and did not respond well to what Teachers Union President Dennis Kelly described as “the two faced-ness of (Dave) Regan’s presentation and by the threats and bullying.”

Thug Regan described as a "bully"? As "two-faced"? Somehow, I think we've seen that before...

The Council was brought into the SEIU-UNITE HERE fight after Dave Regan told Local 2 officials that SEIU was withdrawing its monthly per capita contributions “effective immediately” in retaliation for Council President Mike Casey’s support for NUHW’s campaign to decertify SEIU’s local home health care workers. Although Regan denied at the Council meeting that any decision to withdraw funds had been made, I confirmed with Local 2’s Northern California Organizing Director Tho Do that her notes of the Regan meeting confirmed that he said SEIU’s dues would be withdrawn “effective immediately.”


Not wanting to have his individual union’s decisions negatively impact the Council, Casey began the August 22 meeting by offering his resignation as President. It was unanimously refused, with much of the Council irate over SEIU’s tactics. John Ulrich, of United Food and Commercial Workers 101, told the Council, “for SEIU to continue to try and extort CLC’s (Central Labor Councils) over issues is terrible.” Ulrich stated that he “belongs to four Labor Councils, and SEIU has pulled this kind of threat in three of those councils many times over the years over different issues.”

Casey made it clear that he felt that NUHW “is the true voice of homecare workers in California,” and that “it was Sal Rosselli, former UHW staff and the union’s rank-and-file leadership, not SEIU, who did the work on behalf of homecare workers in San Francisco.” In an ominous sign for SEIU’s relationship to the broader labor movement, nobody criticized Local 2’s support of NUHW’s de-certification. Nor did any dispute Casey’s crediting Rosselli’s team for the gains of the home health care workers who will soon be choosing between SEIU and NUHW as their representative.

To the Purple Plaguers: The above passage is what is known as "Solidarity." It is the end result of actions taken in the past which are consistent with your values, and which help others while helping yourself. This is what you utterly lack, having cast your fate to the winds of corporate look-a-like "unionism."

And like I've said before, Mike Casey is a stand-up guy.

In order to protect its finances, the Labor Council has initiated a “Solidarity Pledge” whereby unions are being asked to agree to provide additional funding to that if SEIU leaves their will not be a shortfall. Plumbers chief Larry Mazzola, who announced at the end of the August 22 meeting that his union would “step up” to fill any funding gap, kicked off this strategy.

According to Labor Council Vice-President Conny Ford, since Mazzola got the ball rolling the solidarity pledges are “going great.” Ford told me that in response to her single e-mail message about the pledge, “people are either signing up or saying that they are awaiting ratification of the proposed dues increase from their executive boards.” Ford said she had not heard from a single union that they did not want to pledge higher dues to protect the Council from SEIU’s withdrawal.

In addition, Local 2’s support among other unions continues to grow. IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell is providing Local 2 with two fulltime organizers to help on its contract fight, and is also providing the services of longtime former SEIU organizing strategist Fred Ross, Jr., who now works for IBEW.

See above regarding the concept of "Solidarity"...

As the AFL-CIO convention opens on September 13, the union unity exhibited at the San Francisco Labor Council over the dispute between SEIU and UNITE HERE could well emerge at the national level. SEIU’s former Change to Win partners at UNITE HERE and the Laborers Union are negotiating to rejoin the AFL-CIO, and the UFCW – whose San Francisco representatives strongly backed Local 2 against SEIU — may not be far behind.

Incoming AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka recently gave an interview in the Las Vegas Sun in which he vowed to move labor in a different direction than that promoted by SEIU President Andy Stern. Trumka noted “the difference between me and (Stern) is that he believes you can look at that system and play within that box by accommodating employers. I believe that the system has to be changed because it’s designed for employers to win and workers, every time, to lose.”

Whereas Dave Regan told the Labor Council that this “tag line” about SEIU and “top down unionism and corporate unionism” hasn’t “been his experience,” most labor leaders are not happy over SEIU’s vaunted “partnerships” with Wal-Mart, Big Pharma and other corporate interests. Trumka and international union presidents are increasingly joining UNITE HERE and NUHW’s critique of SEIU’s approach, which could soon result in a labor movement with nearly all unions on one page and SEIU on another.

SEIU has been AFL-CIO's best recruiter of late, as well as NUHW's and UNITE/HERE's. However, the Purple Kool-Aid is strong, and it will not be until it is almost too late for SEIU for their "leadership" to realize that Andy Stern is almost single-handedly destroying years of goodwill so painstakingly put up.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Do We Need A Purple Prison?

Courtesy of the Indispensable Pringle, here's a story on Annelle Grajeda's (ex-)boyfriend, Alejandro Stephens, and what he was up to when he was in charge of SEIU 660, prior to its forced merger into the EAA-raiding, FAIL-ridden, dues-hiking SEIU 721...
The former president of the union that represents Los Angeles County government workers has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud and tax charges in connection with an alleged scheme to collect illicit consulting payments from a labor-related nonprofit, officials said Thursday.

Alejandro Stephens, a longtime leader of the Service Employees International Union local, signed an agreement to plead guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return and two counts of mail fraud, the U.S. attorney's office said.

He is accused of pocketing more than $50,000 in fees from the Voter Improvement Program through bogus consulting contracts, court documents say. The nonprofit was formed in the 1990s by the late Miguel Contreras, who was head of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.

The court documents refer to the nonprofit's founder only by the initials M.C. They allege that M.C. entered into an arrangement with Stephens to pay the fees to him and four associates in 2004 and 2005. The bulk of the money paid to the associates was funneled to Stephens, the documents say.

Stephens, 65, and his attorney could not be reached for comment late Thursday. Each fraud count against Stephens carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. The tax charge is punishable by up to three years in prison. Stephens is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15.

Earlier this month, it was learned that federal authorities have been investigating whether Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and former Board of Education member David Tokofsky received improper consultant payments from the Voter Improvement Program, sources familiar with the probe said. No charges have been brought against Huizar or Tokofsky. The payments under scrutiny were made in 2003 and 2004, sources said.

Stephens lost his union presidency in 2007 when his SEIU chapter, Local 660, merged with several others.

The county later fired him from his job, alleging he had refused to return to work after a lengthy leave.
In the wake of all that has gone on in SEIU in California with Freeman My Man at 6434, Annelle Grajeda at the State Council, and the trumped-up trusteeship at UHW, is this any kind of surprise that this guy would plead guilty?

All kinds of juicy background can be found in the comments thread to this post on the City of Los Angeles SEIU Members blog. Suffice it to say, Mr. Stephens enjoyed a long and fruitful career at gaming the system. Excessive and unauthorized lost-timing, double- and triple-dipping, and even more can be found on that site.

Nothing as yet from Our Glorious Maximum Leader on the SEIU-sponsored activities of the (ex-)boyfriend of one of Nice Scarf's hand-picked leaders out here in Cali.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Scenes From A Zombie FAIL Board

From time to time, when circumstances put me in a KP facility that is not my own, I will travel around and see if I can find a Zombie UHW bulletin board, if for no other reason than to see how information is traveling amongst the minions supporting the brain-sucking undead. This is typically called "Opposition Research."

However, in this case, it was more like a trip down Memory Lane...

Lots of info, but something doesn't quite look right, particularly that green one right in the middle...

Wow. The two-tier wage is history. Good thing to know. Perhaps someone should let the security guards know about that.

There's another point of focal interest, something to do with the responsibilities of a steward...

Hmm. You see a lot in there about providing service to the members, but nothing about swearing eternal loyalty to SEIU.

This next one, though, is the clincher: It has a message to the troops, stating that UHW is "your union." That message was sent out from none other than Sal Rosselli...

Does anyone suspect that maybe a SEIU strategery for winning the upcoming Kaiser election is to pretend that Sal is still in charge of UHW, and that NUHW is actually being run by Thug Regan and Esquirol Medina?

Or are the post-trusteeship "stewards" at this particular Kaiser facility just too damn lazy, and cannot be bothered with actually keeping their membership up-to-date on what Zombie UHW is doing to for them?

And if you are wondering what those horizontal white sheets in the bottom of the case are, they are notices from the local NUHW folks as to what SEIU has been up to. I suppose, in this KaiPerm facility, it is up to the NUHW supporters to keep the Zombie UHW supporters up to date.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Thug Regan Does Not Heart Mike Casey

It looks like Mike Casey has well and truly pissed off Thug Regan.

And what, praytell, was Casey's crime? Acting on principle...

to sflc re seiu 8-17-09

This whole story was covered in part by Randy Shaw at BeyondChron, but it's nice to get some backstory and documentation to some of the stuff in Shaw's story from last week.
When I told Regan that it was SEIU that brought Casey into the home health care decertification campaign by handing out a flyer calling him a liar, the trustee replied “he is a liar.” Regan went on to call Casey “lying, conniving, and despicable,” and said that his support for NUHW is “beyond contempt.”
Geez, Thug Regan. Why don't you tell us what you really think? Later on...
According to Regan, “Mike Casey wants to yell and scream about how he’s fighting these hotels, but he doesn’t want help from SEIU.” Regan would not tell Casey about SEIU’s specific plans to attack Local 2, but one possibility is for SEIU to send letters to Local 2 members accusing Casey of acting against his members’ interests, a tactic SEIU used months ago to little effect.
Oh, you mean like this one? Yeah, that'll go over big with the Local 2 membership.

Regan repeatedly emphasized that he could not understand why progressives would support Local 2’s decision to help decertify another union. He refused to accept that Local 2 was responding to SEIU raids against UNITE HERE bargaining units in Puerto Rico, San Antonio and elsewhere, saying that this had nothing to do with the SEIU-NUHW fight.

In fact, Regan argued to Casey last Saturday that it was it was “flat out wrong” for Local 2 to support the organizing of a competing union (NUHW) in the homecare industry. But when challenged that SEIU was doing precisely that against UNITE HERE – organizing a competing union in the gaming, hotel and food service industry – he said that should be resolved at the International Union level.
Yo, Thug - it kinda sucks when people use your own tactics against you, don't it?
Regan expressed anger to me over how San Francisco’s progressive community is backing Casey in this fight. He clearly does not understand Local 2’s historic role in local struggles, or realize that Local 2 is not a top-down union, that Casey does not act alone, and that the rank and file strongly supports NUHW’s campaign.
The passage above suggests that Regan still hasn't internalized what happened down in Fresno, or the fact that, at least out west, we still have actual member-driven unions, instead of the semi-corporate dictatorships like District 1199 or the various Frankenlocals that SEIU is so fond of setting up.

He also does not remember the substantial support Local 2 received from the former leadership of Local 250/UHW (now in charge of NUHW) when the SF hotel workers went out on their protracted strike. It was specifically because of actions taken by the former UHW leadership that Local 2 was able to ride out the hotel management in that strike and bring them back to the table. This is a debt of honor that does not go away with time, and it is not a thing that SEIU can just intrude upon by changing the locks of the door.

I guess Thug Regan just doesn't understand why the Little People will not willingly lay down and appreciate the process of getting Screwed By SEIU.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's The Most...Wonderful...Time...Of The Year!

Posting in the next few weeks will not be as prolific as it has been.


Because it is now The Most Wonderful Time Of The YEAR!

Happy back-to-school, everyone.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Zombie UHW Taketh, Zombie UHW Giveth Away...

The brain-sucking undead minions of Zombie UHW started circulating a flyer this week proclaiming their guarantee that nobody at KP will be laid off...

Of course, nobody believes that jive, especially the people who just got pink slips last Tuesday.

It is also noteworthy that the above flyer is self-contradictory:

The above image is clearly visible at the top of the page, while down on the bottom right...

Yo, Zombies - if you have an "Agreement" that guarantees there will be no layoffs, then why do you need to "continue our member-driven campaign to fight them"?

There's only one answer to the above question: It is Zombie UHW who is responsible for those pink slips going out the other day in the first place!

This can be seen from the actual agreement that was signed on August 4, 2009, by some of the representatives of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions.

That's right, "some." In fact, there are 16 CKPU members in California, but only FIVE of those unions signed off on this agreement, those being USW, OPEIU-30, OPEIU-29, UNAC, and of course Zombie UHW. Of those five signatories to this agreement, one organization has a level of membership that trumps all others, and that is Zombie UHW.

Had Zombie UHW walked away from this "Agreement" and instead insisted that the contract be lived up to as signed back in 2005, then there would have been no pink slips!!! There would be no need for pickets or protests. There would be no need to brag about a guarantee of no layoffs on one part of a flyer, with a pledge to continue to fight the layoffs that have been guaranteed that would not occur.

Damn. Now I've got a headache from trying to follow the Zombie UHW rhetorical spin.

I will give a more in-depth analysis of the Great Zombie UHW Sell-Out in a subsequent post, but some points absolutely need to be hammered home:




Folks, wake up. You are not being served by SEIU; instead, we are all collectively being SCREWED by SEIU.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Color Is The Sky At SEIU?

Evidently, a bright shade of purple. Here's what Zombie UHW has to say in regards to the layoffs:
"SEIU-UHW members and Kaiser have reached an agreement that will protect the jobs of caregivers across California. Despite Kaiser's insistence on eliminating some positions in the state, this agreement will ensure that no SEIU-UHW members are laid off.

"We don't think it's necessary to eliminate any positions, given Kaiser's strong financial performance this year. The company earned $620 million in the second quarter alone, far above their projections. Given that performance, we are disappointed that Kaiser saw fit to send out notices to individual employees notifying them that their positions were being cut. This will unnecessarily alarm those individuals, even though we have negotiated strong options to avoid actual layoffs.

"We intend to keep pressing the Kaiser to maintain the staffing needed to continue providing the highest level of patient care. We will be conducting votes to authorize statewide informational picketing in the coming weeks in order to hold Kaiser to all agreements it has entered into with us, and to force them to take all steps necessary to maintain safe staffing and ensure that no SEIU-UHW members lose jobs."

So, no layoffs, right? WRONG. From BeyondChron:
Last week, 1800 SEIU workers received notices from Kaiser regarding their job status, and while media accounts said there were no union layoffs, NUHW claims otherwise.

Here’s what Kaiser distributed to these workers:

Like all health care organizations, Kaiser Permanente has been affected by the difficult and uncertain business and economic climate. Unfortunately, it has become clear that we must make some workforce adjustments. As a result, we need to notify some employees that their positions are being eliminated.
Therefore, we find it necessary to provide you with a sixty (60) day notice that your position is being eliminated.

As a result of this notification, you will immediately be placed into the redeployment and transition process. The Employer and Union will work with you during the redeployment and transition process in an effort to find you opportunities for job placement.

If we are unable to locate a job opportunity for you by October 19, 2009, you will have a choice between a voluntary severance package including wages and benefits or remaining in a redeployment and transition status. You will be provided with more detailed information on these options during the week of October 19, 2009.
The above italicized section is an exact copy of a letter I had seen that went out to one of my colleagues last Tuesday.

There is no way that the above section can be interpreted other than KaiPerm is fixing to lay people off, and people who got the above letter were ALL covered by Zombie UHW. But according to SEIU, nobody's getting laid off.

Someone wanna help me pound SEIU's square peg into Kaiser's round hole?

SEIU's phony pickets will do nothing to dissuade KaiPerm from going through with these layoffs.

I have a strange feeling that there is going to be a lot of red shirts showing up at the SEIU informational picket sessions.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One Thing That Can Be Said About Kaiser...

When they eff up, they eff up bigtime...

Kaiser: Letter sent was mistake
Over 100,000 get notice on reduced hours

STOCKTON - In a letter from Kaiser Permanente hitting 103,500 mailboxes Friday, the health-care giant announced to all its members in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties that its after-hours clinics would no longer operate around the clock as of Sept. 21.

Around 5:30 p.m. Friday, Kaiser retracted the letter and offered an apology.

In response to an inquiry by The Record that included concerns about the changes expressed by a member, Kaiser issued the following brief statement:

"A letter was sent prematurely to Kaiser Permanente Central Valley members describing plans that are not yet finalized. Plans for changes in after-hours care are still under development and not yet completed. It's important to note that, in the interim, no changes have been made to after-hours care at this time.

"We apologize for the error and for any confusion this has caused. We have taken immediate steps to prepare our staff to respond to questions from members - and we will be communicating with our members once we confirm our final plans. We regret that this unfortunate mailing error occurred."

Translation: "Oops! Our bad..."

The original letter was signed by Dr. Moses Elam, Kaiser's physician in chief for its Central Valley Area. The statement retracting the letter came from Rob Veneski, a Kaiser Northern California media relations representative based in Fresno.

In response to the retraction, Elam - who was reached in South Carolina late Friday - said the letter over his signature "went out a day or two sooner" than it should have, and it included language that required fine tuning. He hoped to have the matter clarified today.

"Member services did get some phone calls. We want to do the right thing for our members, to make sure the letter is worded properly and accurately," Elam said.

Paging Dr. Elam: If the letter just required a wee bit of wordsmithing, that would suggest to me that the basic content of the letter is true and accurate, and KaiPerm patients in Stockton who have after-hours needs would either need to go to Dameron or SJGH, or they would need to commute the hospitals at Manteca, Modesto, or South Sacramento in order to receive the care for which they are paying a good chunk of change.

Letters like these do not get written in the first place if the basic content of the letter is not basically true and accurate to some substantial degree.

Earlier in the day, without knowledge of Kaiser's retraction, Elam's letter caused some high anxiety in at least one Stockton household.

Michelle Sanchez, 29, a self-described stay-at-home mom and longtime Kaiser member with four children ages 1 through 12, pays more than $800 a month for a health insurance policy to cover her family of six.

"I'm overwhelmed. They are cutting their after-hours clinic that they have had for years. When their rates went up, I said, 'Fine, I'll pay it because of the services I'm getting,'" Sanchez said.

"This is the reason we stay with Kaiser," she said, noting her husband's job does not provide health benefits.

When Sanchez called the phone number on the letter to get clarification, it took 45 minutes to get a supervisor who knew anything about its contents, and the advice that person gave her was not what she wanted to hear.

In Stockton, Kaiser members who need after-hours care after Sept. 21 will be referred to Dameron Hospital's emergency department, which Sanchez said would cost her a $100 co-payment (vs. a $20 co-payment for after-hours care) plus 20 percent of the cost of services provided.

"Having to take my kids to emergency and pay 20 percent of the bill, I would go bankrupt," she said.

Diane Vigil, a spokeswoman for Dameron, said the hospital is prepared to handle Kaiser's after-hours patients if Kaiser eventually does cut back its services.

It's nice to know that Dameron is prepared to pull in the slack. But we still have to remember - less than two weeks ago, KaiPerm announced that they were in the black to the tune of $1.1B thus far this year, and north of $650M in this last quarter. Now they are laying off staff AND now they're fixing to cut back AHAC services in areas that are not served by KaiPerm ER-equipped hospitals?

Just exactly when did Kenneth Lay take over as CEO at KaiPerm?

Well, in a situation such as this, one can equitably ask the affected union(s) about what is going on with such a move, right? Well, the author of this article did manage to raise someone from NUHW...

Ten-year Kaiser medical assistant Robert Nevarez, an activist supporter of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, a new union that is working to replace the established SEIU-UHW in Stockton, said employees learned about the proposed cutbacks to the after-hours clinics the same way as members - through Elam's letter.

"We had groups of workers who had no prior notice that this was coming. This is a surprise that is rippling throughout the Central Valley as we speak," Nevarez said Friday afternoon before Kaiser's retraction.

While he did not have numbers of employees who might be affected by the changes, he said those who work overnight in the pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, adult medicine and pediatrics areas could lose hours or jobs.

"It's a drastic, drastic move, and to know we are going to have angry members is a problem," Nevarez said.

...however, true to form, nobody from SEIU was available except for Fresno-based PR flack Emily Litella Rob Veneski. I'm sure Zombie UHW is circulating a petition to ask KaiPerm for its permission to hold an informational picket at some unknown location that only Zombie UHW knows about. This, the Zombies will tell you, is how they serve their membership and "protect our contract."

This whole thing just boils down to being weapons-grade stupidity on the part of KaiPerm's San Joaquin service area management. If they cut down services, they will make their PR flacks and Dr. Elam look like the shady operators that they now appear to be. If they do not cut down services, then KaiPerm in the San Joaquin service area (not to mention KPNC in general) look like a bunch of incompetent boobs.

And, of course, when it comes to the possibility of jobs being cut or otherwise lost, Zombie UHW is nowhere to be seen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Barn Door Closed? Check...

To my friends in Zombie UHW:

As a general principle, it is usually more helpful to conduct votes such as these BEFORE the pink slips go out, rather than after your people already have them in their hands.

Just sayin' is all.

Oh, and one other thing - when you complain about KaiPerm laying people off, when it was your organization who was complicit with KaiPerm in allowing those layoffs to happen, well...

Let's just say that whenever you bring a skunk into a room, you shouldn't be the ones who start complaining about the odor.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dear Mr. Adams...

I am in receipt of your message of today announcing that there would not be 600, or even 900 positions, but now 1200 positions were eliminated today by Kaiser Northern California.

Quite bluntly, sir, I find this action taken by you and by KPNC to be reprehensible, and I would humbly request that you submit your immediate resignation, and said resignation should include not just yourself, but the entirety of your management team.

Based on the events of the last two weeks, I have to assume that you think that the rank-and-file of KPNC is collectively deaf, blind, stupid, or some combination of the three. You must remember, sir, that KPNC announced, just last weekend, a year-to-date net income of $1.1 Billion dollars, a figure which was improved by $500 Million from the same period last year. This was achieved despite a net loss in membership, and holding capital spending at a steady level relative to last year.

Any fair-minded individual would look at those numbers and believe that KPNC is well-positioned in terms of income, expenses, and staffing to handle the next six months, having already weathered last year's stormy economic conditions. The normal CEO would take those results, be very happy with them, and make damn sure that those results repeat themselves in the next two quarters.

Unfortunately, you evidently believe that a profit of $1.1B is not enough, and you have decided to make more profit for the allegedly not-for-profit KPNC, and you have now decided to make that profit by cutting out the very people who are responsible for making sure your organization is profitable.

Make no mistake, Mr. Adams: The main reason that KPNC is a profitable organization is its people, not its management. It is the people of KPNC that provide the services for which our patients - our customers - pay good money. By cutting so many positions, you are cutting the very lifeblood of the company in order to make sure that KPNC management people, like yourself, continue to have nice, cushy positions. By cutting these positions in EVS, you have guaranteed that the Medical Centers and office buildings will be less sanitary than before. By cutting unit assistant positions, you have guaranteed that communications between the various levels of staff will no longer be as seamless. By cutting nursing assistant positions, you have guaranteed that patients in the hospitals will get far less attentive care. And by cutting transcriptionists and coders, you have guaranteed that KPNC will receive less revenue then they already might, unless you pay people (contractors) to cover those necessary and critical positions in the Revenue Cycle.

Mr. Adams, how many senior managers in Oakland got pink slips today?

How many senior managers in Oakland could stand to lose about 20% to 30% of their already-extravagant salaries and still be able to make their rent or their mortgage payments? And how many jobs would a cut such as that save?

How many senior managers in Oakland could work a four-day week and still have the company continue on as it is doing?

Mr. Adams, when you were hired as the President of KPNC back in April of 2008, you made a big deal about the fact that you started your career as an ED Nurse in Atlanta, and that you have been able to navigate your way through the management ranks while still remembering what it is like to be in the rank-and-file of the hospital. You continue to keep on that air with your "Keepin' It Real" series - what a farce.

It is now obvious to almost anyone watching that you have plainly forgotten what it is like to work for a living.

Your actions today belie your true interest. You and your management team have colluded with a corrupt union to cut jobs in an economic downturn, even though your company is reporting a level of profitability that would qualify your photograph on the front cover of Forbes. Just on that basis, sir, if you had one shred of decency or honor, you would resign your position forthwith, for it is obvious that you have neither the fortitude nor the integrity to conduct the business or management affairs of KPNC in the manner to which Henry Kaiser would have approved.

On your watch, the Labor-Management Partnership - which helped save KPNC back in the late 1980's - has been shattered.

On your watch, you have allowed a corrupt international union to trample upon the very basic organizational rights which Henry Kaiser insisted upon in the 1950's for his workforce.

On your watch, the morale and spirit of KPNC employees, which enables KPNC to remain at the top of performance and quality surveys despite its lower costs, has plummeted to lows not seen since the 1986 strike.

On your watch, Kaiser has become a hospital, and is no longer an avocation. Your employees used to care about their jobs; now about all they care about is punching a time clock.

On your watch, management has actively colluded with the union in order to eliminate union jobs, without any input at all on the part of the affected employees.

For those reasons above, Mr. Adams, it would be best for KPNC, its members, and its employees, if you and your management team were to tender your collective resignations, as soon as possible.

I close, sir, with the words of Oliver Cromwell, whom Leo Amery quoted to Neville Chamberlain in 1940:

"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go."

Your pal,


Monday, August 10, 2009


Kramerica has officially taken over negotiations at SEIU.

One of the great triumphs of the prior leadership of UHW was the elimination in the 2005 contract of the old multi-tier wage scale (one scale for the Bay Area, another scale for Central Valley, third scale for Fresno) that was the casus belli of the strike in 1986.

Now, in what is described by the SEIU folks as "a great victory," the most recent salary proposal for the Securitas security guards has not one level, not two levels, not even three or four levels, but FIVE levels of hourly wage depending on location:

But wait, as they say, it gets better:

TWO days of paid sick time per year?!? No family coverage for three years?

And for that the guards are being asked to pay 2.3% of their gross salary in dues?!?

Sweet. Weeping. Jaysus...

About the only thing more appalling than the details of this contract is the fact that the guards voted for it. The guards (with the assistance of UHW rank-and-file and former UHW management) moved overwhelmingly to unionize up to three years ago but Kaiser's contractor at the time, Inter-Con, is a notoriously anti-union outfit, and they were replaced in the past year with Securitas. The new guards brought in by Securitas did not know the history of what has been happening, and SEIU and KaiPerm took advantage of that fact to lock the guards into a criminally substandard contract that pegs the guards at a salary-and-benefits level that is somewhere between half and three-quarters that of the "Custodian/Watchman" description in the current UHW contract.

The cruel irony is that, for most of the guards, the raise will barely pencil out when compared to the extravagant union dues that they will have to absorb (from none currently to 2.3% of gross salary) in order to get that raise.

Kaiser should be ashamed of themselves for allowing the guards to be mistreated in this way, especially in light of its most recent announcement about improvements in the gross margin as well as the bottom line in the second quarter of 2009, despite a decline in enrollment.

On the other hand, SEIU collectively should be sued by the Securitas guards for malfeasance for their performance on this contract.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One Quick Question...

Before the Trusteeship, it was clearly spelled out in the KaiPerm contracts (both the National Agreement and the local UHW contract) that there would be negotiation, retraining, and offers of early retirement prior to layoffs.

Now that SEIU is running Zombie UHW, it appears that layoff notices are about to come out this week for somewhere north of 600 NorCal KaiPerm employees - without interested party bargaining, without alternative offers, without offers of retraining - just accept the new position within 45 days or be gone. All of the above has been accepted by SEIU, without elected member participation in the process. The normal layoff process, which is spelled out in the UHW contract, generally takes something on the order of three to six months from the word "go", but this process is not being followed by KaiPerm management, and this process is now being expedited by SEIU, ostensibly for the benefit of Zombie UHW members.

This, according to SEIU, is called "representation," and is also sometimes referred to by SEIU as "defending our contract."

Can someone, somewhere tell me exactly why it is that KaiPerm employees should continue to pay dues to SEIU?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mike Casey: A Stand-Up Guy

Randy Shaw of has once again smacked Our Glorious Maximum Leader upside his potato-shaped head, this time with a story on the president of UNITE/HERE's Local 2 in San Francisco, and how SEIU has, once again, managed to make enemies where none existed before...
A large cadre of Cantonese speaking UNITE HERE Local 2 members, many with family members who are San Francisco SEIU home care workers, are joining NUHW’s efforts to qualify for a decertification election against SEIU this fall. Nearly half of SEIU’s 17,000 member bargaining unit is Cantonese speaking, and the influx of Local 2 members – who have deep roots in the city’s Asian-American community – is a major boost to NUHW’s campaign. Although Local 2 has a long relationship with NUHW’s leadership, and has expressed support for the new union since its January founding, its decision to commit significant resources to NUHW’s San Francisco campaign appears to have been incited by an SEIU flyer produced and distributed over three weeks ago. The flyer features a mug shot-type photo of Local 2’s elected President, Mike Casey, and was only discovered by the union last week. The caption above Casey’s photo states “Beware of the NUHW Liars,” directly attacking the integrity of one of San Francisco’s most respected and popular labor leaders. This attack on Casey has galvanized Local 2 members to defend their leader, escalating the already heated conflict between SEIU and UNITE HERE.

If SEIU President Andy Stern is still optimistic that peace with UNITE HERE is at hand, he might consider visiting San Francisco. Such a trip would show him Cantonese and Russian speaking members of UNITE HERE Local 2 coming out in droves to help NUHW qualify for a decertification election among SEIU’s home health care local, and confirm that SEIU’s California problems in are escalating.
For those of you wondering what this photo looks like, here it is:

The flier does not name specifically Casey, but it does display his image and has a caption of "Local 2 President" (and I do not read Cantonese so I cannot tell what the characters may say). The article goes on...
SEIU has long maintained that UNITE HERE was secretly helping NUHW, as the leadership of the latter union has a long and deep relationship with the hotel workers union. When fourteen hotels locked out Local 2 in 2006, the NUHW leadership went to Kaiser to ensure that hotel workers maintained health benefits, and used their clout in Sacramento to ensure that locked out hotel workers got unemployment funds.

Such actions left Local 2 workers with a great sense of loyalty to NUHW leaders. But despite this loyalty, Local 2 did not publicly join NUHW’s fight when the former leadership of SEIU-UHW broke from SEIU last March to form a new union.

Now, Local 2 is gearing up for a major contract campaign with the hotel industry. Negotiations begin next week, and Local 2 has tried its best to focus on what will be a tough battle with global hotel corporations in these economically tougher times.

With emotions high as hotel workers prepare for an historic fight, SEIU chose this moment to distribute a flyer attacking Mike Casey’s integrity. It was like lighting a match to a pool of kerosene, and Local 2 workers – who have overwhelmingly voted for Casey in a series of union president elections – decided they could not sit back and allow SEIU to attack their leader, raid their union, and wage war against the NUHW leadership who backed Local 2’s 2006 campaign.

Ringo Mak, a twenty year employee of the Hilton and native of Hong Kong, expressed the sentiments of many of Local 2’s Cantonese activists when he explained to me why he was so committed to helping NUHW: “We are telling workers that SEIU does not work for the workers, but that they work for the bosses.”

With UNITE HERE vigorously attacking SEIU’s raids, I asked an international union staffer how he would respond to charges that Local 2 is now doing the same. He told me, “after eight months of repeated SEIU attacks across all of our industries, not once have we responded with a raid. The final straw in San Francisco came when SEIU printed and distributed what appeared to be a mug shot of Local 2’s elected President, calling him a liar. They haven’t given us any choice but to respond.”
One has to wonder what the "thought process" inside SEIU is. The only thing I can figure is that they are so East-Coast-centric (for want of a better term) that they do not regard any leaders on the West Coast as anything to be worried about. Either that, or they already figured that opposition from Mike Casey during the SF IHSS fight was baked into the cake, and this would serve as an appropriate opening salvo. Either way, the pure tone deafness of this flier bespeaks the lack of integrity that so permeates SEIU in general, and Zombie UHW in particular.

SEIU is running an aggressive “Do Not Sign” campaign in San Francisco, seeking to prevent NUHW from obtaining the 7000 signatures needed to trigger a decertification election. NUHW has until the end of September to get these signatures, and SEIU has put great faith in the ability of Leon Chow, who stayed on with SEIU after the NUHW split to use his contacts in the city’s Chinese-American community.

With a chance to put NUHW on the ropes by preventing decertification, who at SEIU had the brilliant idea of branding Local 2 President Mike Casey a “liar”? Logic dictated that SEIU do everything in its power to keep Local 2 happy at least through the end of August, when the signatures for decertification must be turned in.

Instead, SEIU attacked a labor leader who has proved his popularity over a long period of time among rank and file Local 2 activists. Mike Casey is a key figure in San Francisco labor and political circles, and his union has deep roots among the electorate SEIU is trying to get not to sign.

The great mystery here is how SEIU, which houses brilliant strategic leaders like Eliseo Medina and Stephen Lerner, continues to make mistake after mistake in California.

In Fresno, UHW Trustee Dave Regan foolishly announced that a 52-48% victory would not be good enough, so when SEIU narrowly won it was widely seen as a defeat. Now, SEIU decides to publicly attack Mike Casey’s integrity so as to provoke San Francisco’s most activist and Cantonese-speaking union into making a major commitment of people power to NUHW’s decertification campaign.

And SEIU distributed the flyer attacking Casey at the same time Andy Stern was telling his staff and the general public that his union was “standing down,” and that peace with UNITE HERE was imminent. This creates the impression that one hand of SEIU does not know what the other is doing.

If SEIU does not realize that its attack on Local 2’s Casey will backfire, it will become clear by the end of September when the decertification petitions are submitted. The election between SEIU and NUHW for San Francisco’s 17,000 home health care workers could then occur as soon as October.
It seems that SEIU has put all its eggs in the basket of preventing a vote, because they probably know that a vote in a group as large as SF's IHSS consortium will take up resources several times that of what was spent down at Fresno, with even less likelihood of victory than what was offered down at Fresno.

Given the above, if the signature drive is indeed successful, could it even be possible that SEIU would concede the election?

In short, no. That's not how Andy Stern rolls.

So instead, he will (again) parachute hundreds of paid "volunteers" into SF, put them up in hotels (which are considerably more expensive in SF than in Fresno), and try to track down as many Asian-language experts as possible.

I'm thinking somewhere north of $10M for this upcoming SF IHSS fight, unless SEIU and Andy Stern somehow manage to suppress the vote enough to prevent it from happening.

Not a pleasant choice if you're a SEIU supporter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"Mr. Blutarsky: Zero...Point...Zero..."

The six-month grades are in for Zombie UHW. Some of you may recall the three-month grade report for the Purple Plague. Regrettably, their study habits have not improved...

Some folks, ya just can't teach...