Friday, July 31, 2009
Anyone wanna guess which, of those three funds, is the only one that is currently fully funded at 100% of the requirement to pay future responsibilities?
If you guessed "the SEIU officers" pension fund, you guessed correctly.
So you say, that doesn't affect everyone in SEIU, does it? Well, let's take a look at how some other locally-controlled SEIU industry-specific pension plans are doing:
Fine, the Plague would say: It's just the economy, ya see? Everyone's pension funding is down because of the economy, right? Wrong. Look at the dates in the image above - Each of those funds (with a couple of exceptions) were floating in the high 70s to low 90s but all started a generalized downward trend in SEIU Pension funding when Our Glorious Maximum Leader was elected to the SEIU presidency in 1996 - even though we had large upward swings in the economy in the late 1990s and throughout the middle of the first decade of the 2000's. And those trendlines do not reflect what has happened to those pension funds in the wake of the Mortgage Meltdown.
Right now, it appears that the only SEIU-controlled pension fund that is fully funded is the one dedicated for the officers of SEIU.
Anyone want to guess what the Zombie UHW pension fund looks like nowadays, now that both Thug Regan and Esquirol Medina are both pulling down quarter-mill salaries for basically nothing?
"Stronger Together," indeed...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It's obvious as to the reasons why: Bureaucrats gaze in awe upon The Plague. Administrators quake in fear at the very prospect of the horde of action ready to be unleashed at the direction of Our Glorious Maximum Leader. The members of SEIU literally bask in the Warm Purple Glow, as they obviously know that their jobs are inviolate, their working conditions are better than anywhere else on the planet, and if anyone threatens to make any unfounded changes, the SEIU action machine will descend upon that person wanting to make a change and make sure that he or she knows their role.
Of course, that is the spin that SEIU sells to people when it's trying to get people to vote for SEIU to represent them in negotiations.
Then, reality sets in...
Props once again to the ACMC News crew for laying out both 1021 locally and SEIU in general.
ACMC Trustees kick SEIU’s butt – twice in one night!
In its fear and smear campaign against NUHW, SEIU says NUHW “has no clout”, implying that SEIU, with its two million so-called ‘members’ and hundreds of millions of dollars in mandatory union dues, has the ‘clout’ to protect its members. Really?
SEIU’s powerlessness and incompetence were on full display at the ACMC Trustees regular meeting of July 28 as SEIU was handed two more defeats for which SEIU members will, once again, pay the price.
Two items on the Board’s agenda had a direct impact on SEIU members, and the so-called ‘union’ that loves to brag about its size and clout took a kick to the teeth in each case. Clearly, ACMC bosses have neither fear nor respect for SEIU.
SEIU 1021 staff sit silent while ACMC ignores security guards
First up was the matter of selecting a new security contractor for Highland Hospital. Pursuant to a routine RFP, ACMC management and the Board’s finance committee recommended terminating the contract with global security giant Securitas, one of many employers for whom SEIU is a company union, and awarding the contract to non-union HSS, a security company specializing exclusively in health care settings. HSS already provides security services for ACMC at Fairmont, Eastmont and John George.
Several members of SEIU 24/7, the security guard local, pleaded with the ACMC board to retain Securitas and argued that a non-union security contractor would lower standards and bring in unqualified staff.
HSS was represented by several of their top brass in suits and all who stated they paid better wages and provided better benefits to employees than Securitas. (Is it a surprise to anyone that a non-union company would pay workers better wages than SEIU negotiated with its ‘partner’, Securitas? By the way, did you hear SEIU on KCBS radio bragging about its Securitas contract covering Kaiser security guards? They won two days of paid sick leave a year – a real breakthrough, yes?)
When questioned by a board member as to whether HSS would be open to unionization, the HSS VP stated “absolutely not”. ACMC executives then explained that of the five firms responding to the RFP, three finalists had been selected for final interviews and that incumbent Securitas had come in last. They further clarified that, under the proposed contract with HSS, guards would be paid slightly higher wages and the total cost of the contract would be lower than Securitas.
Belatedly, a local Securitas representative then gave a weak plea based on Securitas’ size and global reach. The ACMC board then proceeded to approve the management recommendation over SEIU objections.
And in a real show of purple solidarity, several representatives of SEIU 1021 (which takes mandatory dues from nearly 2,500 ACMC employees), sat there and said . . . nothing . . . while the SEIU 24/7 security guard members twisted slowly in the wind.
Articulate begging by SEIU 1021 staff falls on deaf ears
Next up was a recommendation that the board delegate to its executive committee the authority to approve specific layoffs of about 120 SEIU 1021 members as the full board is not scheduled to meet until the end of September and management wanted to expedite the layoffs pursuant to the newly ratified contract with SEIU 1021. (Yes, remember that one of the many take-aways SEIU 1021 agreed to in the recent negotiations was a management proposal to expedite the layoff procedure).
After three SEIU 1021 paid staffers (there was only one SEIU 1021 member at the meeting) made ineffective pleas against the motion – one of them was practically begging, stating that SEIU 1021 wanted to “partner” with ACMC on the layoffs, the board went ahead and approved the management recommendation, despite SEIU 1021’s pleas and so-called ‘clout’. What a partnership!
And, it’s not like SEIU 1021 didn’t know these layoffs were coming; they knew during the last negotiations, but didn’t say anything to their members about it. So how did it help SEIU members at ACMC to have their purple dues-sucking machine sell them out in the last negotiations?
How is Andy Stern’s ‘21st century union’ helping its dues-paying hostages?
Why didn’t SEIU 1021 mobilize its members for the ACMC board meeting?
Did they run out of food and purple trinkets?
At least those who get laid off won’t be paying SEIU to misrepresent them anymore.
What about those of us still here? How is SEIU helping us?
Time will tell; it always does.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
From: Michelle RinguetteNice to see Baghdad Michelle placing the blame where she believes it really lies - on Javier Morillo.
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 12:04 PM
To: Nancy MacLean
Cc: Javier Morillo
Subject: Re: Open Letter Regarding the SEIU-UNITE HERE Dispute
I just want to apologize for what Javier accidentally forwarded to you. My tone was flip and I was tired, as it had been a very long few weeks. It was in no way meant to convey the contempt that you suggest here, but I certainly see how it reads that way.
When it was suggested to me that Workers United workers were interested in reaching out directly to signers of the letter, I agreed that it would be a good thing for the workers to be able to speak their mind. Many are frustrated that their struggle has been mischaracterized. I would rather that workers take on employers (the high value target, in my lexicon) who are exploiting this situation, but I respect that they should be free to tell their stories to people who have weighed in.
To your point, I recognize that you are not interested in receiving more emails from us that show that many people want to see this dispute resolved. I am sincerely interested, as I understand that what we do looks like "spin", in how we can share more information with you and others who are committed to the labor movement. I recognize that the barrage of emails feels like spam, hence my snarky use of the term, but I am sincerely at a loss as to how to address your real concerns stated below.
Again, I apologize for what reads like dismissiveness. I would be most interested in listening, not talking, if you wanted to follow up on this.
"The wheels on the bus go bump-bump-bump..."
P.S. Welcome back, Perez!
So the folks down at SEIU 221 had themselves an election. Boy was it a doozy, too. Out of a total voting population of 7600 or so eligible members, only 750 (that's roughly 9% of all eligible members) decided to cast a ballot. The results, not surprisingly, favored the incumbent Stern-appointed president and her slate...
Case closed, right? Wrong.
It seems that, once again, the nice folks at SEIU have figured out how NOT to run an election. Go and read the supporting documentation - it tracks very well with the complaints that the former Stern-appointed incumbents of SEIU 888 were using in their challenge to the outcome of their election.
Multiple violations of law and irregularities make a new election necessary. An investigation is required to determine exactly how widespread such violations have been and to disclose this information to the membership. Existing documentation of violations is sufficient to warrant a new election.
Many members did not receive mail ballots, notice of election, and/or the candidate statements voter information booklet, which were supposed to be mailed to all members of Local 221. Many members who did not receive said election materials report that they have not changed their address and have received other mailings from SEIU Local 221, including a mailing done by the Unity Slate to campaign for this election. Mailings for candidates/slates were done by Select Mailing, using member name and address data provided by Local 221.
Matthew Fitch stated in an email of July 22, 2009, that 7137 mail ballots were mailed out (fewer than the 7,692 members reported in the local’s 2008 LM-2) and that 652 of these were returned by the post office. Thus, it appears that 1207 members in good standing did not receive a mail ballot. It is likely that these same members also did not receive the mailed notice of election and did not receive the mailed candidate statements voter information booklet (which also contained the notice of in-person polling locations and their dates and hours of operation). With only a total of 750 ballots cast, this 1207 number would clearly be determinative of the outcome.
In any event, it appears that there was a deliberate and systemic attempt within SEIU 221 to suppress the vote total in their first election since formation of that local. Suppression of the vote is a tactic usually seen in the mists of history during the bad old days of Jim Crow, but evidently it's been brought out again and given a shiny, new face by Our Glorious Maximum Leader and his appointed cronies at the California Mega-locals.
Go and read the supporting documents at Monty's site, and witness for yourselves how our dues dollars at work, folks.
Monday, July 27, 2009
A nice little crapstorm wound its way through the Northern California offices of KaiPerm today, mostly because one knucklehead at Zombie UHW decided to start bumping her gums, and people not supporting the Plague heard what she was saying, and put out a memo in that regard, which we'll go through section by section...
Nancy’s Big Announcement—Is it Real or Just Another Scare Tactic. On July 22 stewards reported that Nancy Barrett, SEIU Business Agent, announced to the Santa Rosa Steward Council that decisions have already been made regarding Pharmacy and EVS regarding job eliminations. She said Kaiser and SEIU will announce this on August 3. Is this the way Kaiser and SEIU do business? They let one rep at one facility make this type of announcement? And if Nancy knows, other SEIU reps know as well. Why aren’t they sharing this information with the members? Why isn’t Kaiser? Nancy is the spokesperson for both organizations? But then again, is it just another scare tactic of SEIU or another backroom deal?Oh, perhaps. That's kind of SEIU's modus operandi whilst playing Gepetto to UHW's Pinnochio. But, of course, there's more...
Enterprise Negotiations Are a Farce. We don’t know if it is true because you can’t believe anything SEIU says, but it is reported that Nancy says that Kaiser and SEIU have already determined that, Region-wide, they will eliminate approximately 600 positions. This means that the negotiations they will be conducting will be like the pension negotiations. The backroom deal has already been cut and the negotiations are just window dressing to try to fool us. The positions Nancy says will be eliminated are:This goes right back to the concept of LMP being dead and buried within KaiPerm in the wake of the Trusteeship.
1.) 188 EVS positions,
2.) 91 Unit Assistant positions, and
3.) Remaining 330 from various classifications including HIM Coders, Business Office, Medical Imaging, Operators, Pharmacy Clerks, and LVNs
So the negotiations they are asking folks to participate in are a farce. The decision is made.
Are We Talking Job Eliminations or Just Restructuring? How dramatic would the cutbacks be, if this were true? There are about 20 Medical Centers in Northern California. In EVS that means about 9 positions per facility, more or less. Kaiser could take care of that through attrition. In the case of Unit Assistants, that would mean two per Medical Center that would be eliminated. Again, attrition could be used—as a person leaves, he/she is not replaced. We know we have the TAP package in our contract that could be offered to folks who would love to retire early with full medical benefits for life.This is already being seen with the coders, who are being "asked" to adhere to with productivity standards that have yet to be voted upon by the coders in KP NorCal - even though the current tentative agreement explicitly states that the productivity language is subject to both a) ratification (which has not happened yet); and b) annual review (which is not going to happen while SEIU's in charge). Additional productivity is also being asked of staff in recently expanded medical centers such as South Sacramento and Roseville in order to cover for greatly expanded facilities without adding staff to help cushion that workload blow.
Since the numbers for job elimination are so small is this an excuse to make workers speed up and do more?
Know Your RightsOne other question that begs to be answered by the nice folks at KP has to do largely with KP's performance of late - which has been doing quite nicely of late, especially after the stock market crash. It looks like Greg Adams may indeed be keeping it more than real, ya know?
1. SEIU pretends there is no “Employment and Income Security.” Read it for yourself and hold both Kaiser and SEIU accountable. In the National Agreement we have the absolute right to training, redeployment and work for up to a year if our job is eliminated. (Click Here to read the EIS language from the National Agreement)
2. TAP and Voluntary Separation. Read page 397 of our contract (3. Health Benefits) that guarantees health benefits for life for workers who choose to retire early and who are retirement eligible. (55 years of age +15 years of employment). Also, workers get 1 week’s pay for each year of service up to 6 months’ pay.
Again, we don’t know that what Nancy says is true but what a screwed up way to inform workers of job eliminations. It would appear that along with not trusting SEIU we cannot trust Kaiser either. Kaiser is not such a good place to work if backroom deals seem to be the norm.
Kaiser’s Financial Status—Doing Great! So Why Job Eliminations?Okay, then.
Just this year Kaiser announced that it had increased operating revenues from 10.1 to 10.6 billion dollars and its operating income from 545 million to 624 million. Compared to this great financial report, 600 positions are small potatoes. Kaiser needs to share the wealth.
Overall, I believe that most of this - especially the part dealing with Nancy Barrett - is largely meant to create a problem for which only SEIU can provide a solution. They know that they're getting their asses kicked in and out of Kaiser, and in order to get back into the good graces of the Kaiser workforce, SEIU has to look like a Saviour of Jobs to people.
What better way than to announce far and wide that Kaiser is fixing to immediately break a whole bunch of people off (notwithstanding the precise language in the current and binding contract which governs how that process is supposed to work), whereupon SEIU can step in and claim that they "stopped" the layoffs?
The fact that they were and are the source of the layoff rumors seems to matter not to the Plague, but it does matter to people who actually have to work at Kaiser, and who have to work with, and sometimes reassure and calm down, good and honest people who are now thinking that their union is hell-bent on letting KaiPerm lay them off.
Simply put, I think this whole business will eventually prove out to be a case of SEIU just stirring the pot and keeping the rank-and-file agitated, so that when the decert petitions start circulating again next month, they will try to position themselves as a necessary element to hold back the Kaiser Management Horde from mass layoffs - even though the current contract, if fully and reliably enforced as currently written, would do just that, and without the need to stir everyone up.
But there's no percentage for SEIU in enforcing an already-existing contract, is there?
All in all, a very poor showing on the part of both KaiPerm and SEIU. Again, the KaiPerm higher-ups will always proclaim neutrality, but their actions just keep betraying their true intention.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The vengeance of Andy Stern evidently is now to be vented upon the Washington State Labor Council. And what, praytell, was the malefaction that got them such notice from Our Glorious Maximum Leader?
The WSLC invited Sal Rosselli to speak at their annual convention - for roughly 15 minutes:
The letter in question is signed by four Purple Plague presidents (no telling at this time if they were elected or selected), and it is basically a page and a half of moldy-oldie SEIU anti-Rosselli exaggerated talking points, followed by this nice little passage:
The Washington State Labor Council—the local labor lobby which represents AFL-CIO unions— has come under fire from the other big union lobby in town, the SEIU.
PubliCola got a copy of an angry letter that the Service Employees International Union sent to WSCL president Rick Bender yesterday saying the WSLC may be "undermin[ing] our ability to work together and maintain unity." (The letter is signed by four local SEIU presidents, including high profile SEIU 775 leader David Rolf.)
At issue: The WSLC invited an ousted SEIU leader, Sal Rosselli, to speak at the WSCL’s August 6-8 convention in Wenatchee.
The letter—also singed by SEIU Local 6 president Sergio Selinas, Local 925 president Kim Cook, and Local 1948/PSE president George Dockins—lists SEIU’s complaints about Roselli, including, they say, "improperly diverting $3 million in members’ dues money to a bogus non-profit organization."
WSLC spokeswoman Kathy Cummings defends the decision to bring Rosselli, telling PubliCola that "he’s a great trade unionist. And they’re [SEIU] making a bigger deal out of this than it really is. This is a 15-minute information session."
Cummings says Rosselli headed up SEIU when it was the fastest growing union in California, and that he’s simply speaking to the WSLC delegates for 15 minutes.
SEIU members in Washington State – many of whom have talked directly with members who were negatively impacted by Sal Roselli’s poor leadership in California, are outraged by this invitation and will not allow Roselli to come speak to union members here without making sure that they know the full story.Translation: Sure is a nice convention y'all are planning to have. Wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it...
Since Roselli has nothing to add to any conversation about organizing or politics in Washington State, there is no possible motivation for this invitation other than as a direct and hostile attack on SEIU.
We have a lot of work to do in the months and years ahead – to hold politicians accountable to working families, advance a progressive agenda in the legislature, and win economic and social justice for all Washingtonians. Let’s avoid unnecessary and divisive actions that get in the way of this work.
We strongly urge you to withdraw your invitation of Sal Roselli so we can continue to work together to solve the problems facing working families in Washington State.
Yes, folks, it's true. In AndyWorld, Sal Rosselli is now officially to be persona non grata anywhere outside of the Great State of California when it comes to speaking about labor issues, and woe betide any organization that would even dare to invite such an individual to speak at their convention. Such bannings evidently now will be rigorously enforced by the SEIU Thug KultureKorps.
Of course, this plays in nicely with how we all know SEIU reacts when any labor group has a speaker that they do not agree with, or whom they perceive as a threat to their organization. Right, Thug Regan?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Bruce Harland - the attorney who had to sign off on the above memo to SF IHSS workers, is a "shareholder" - e.g., partner, in the law firm of Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, who has been carrying most of SEIU's dirty water at the NLRB.
Monday, July 20, 2009
It is my belief that the organizational flaws within SEIU arise from the top of the SEIU food chain, in the person of Andrew L. Stern, and percolate down through his entirely hand-selected International Executive Board and down to the multitudes of locals who have had their locally-elected leadership yanked out from under them by Stern and his compatriots on the IEB through trusteeships and jurisdictional changes.
It is my belief that the reason why the constitutional revisions were pushed through with such fervor by SEIU's E-boards and the various appointed representatives in the 2008 San Juan convention was that the IEB needed to consolidate its "legal" power prior to commencing efforts to consolidate IEB power in locals which had proven to be troublesome in the past - chief among them being UHW.
It is my belief that efforts to reform SEIU from within are to be encouraged and applauded. People like Bruce Boccardy at SEIU 888 in Metro Boston deserve most deep congratulations for overthrowing a Stern-appointed E-board. Monty Kroopkin at SEIU 221 in San Diego also deserves support and good wishes as his group goes against Stern crony (and self-admitted union n00b and former speed dating organizer) Sharon-Frances Moore in a leadership vote.
It is my belief, notwithstanding the efforts of the individuals named in the above paragraph along with everyone else at SMART who are trying desperately to reform SEIU from within, that those efforts are ultimately doomed to failure, as they will be unable to fix the true nature of the problem at SEIU, that being the basic culture of the organization.
It is my belief that SEIU in general, and Andy Stern in particular, will never let EFCA come to vote in the Congress, because they know that to do so would mean the effective end of SEIU's power over people who can think and act and reason for themselves.
It is my belief that the corruption and ineptitude that exists at SEIU 6434, SEIU 721, SEIU 221, and SEIU 1021 are the norm, rather than the exception, and that Zombie UHW is already well on its way down the road that those four misbegotten California mega-locals have paved with the dues dollars of thousands of members held hostage for up to three years at a time by SEIU rules regarding trusteeships and jurisdictional changes.
It is my belief that the corruption and ineptitude that exists at SEIU 6434, SEIU 721, SEIU 221, and SEIU 1021 do, however, serve as excellent examples of what happens when the current SEIU culture and ethos - that being "absolute power by any means necessary" - is fully and completely applied.
It is my belief that any current SEIU locals who currently have local election and local control of their individual destinies are destined to be realigned, trusteed, or otherwise merged into a SEIU mega-local with appointed leadership - usually for three years at a time before the local electorate gets even the merest say in the matter.
It is my belief that local control, local decision, and local member service are antithetical to the SEIU model, which craves centralized decision making, centralized negotiation, centralized member service, all of which inevitably result in centralized corruption and lack of service to its dues-paying members.
It is my belief that in the current authoritarian SEIU culture, it is no longer a matter of "if" corruption, poor member service, suppression of independent thought in favor of the SEIU hive mind, or true union democracy comes to your local, it is now a matter of "when" it does, because in the current SEIU culture, that evolution is as inevitable as day following night.
For the above reasons, I believe it is imperative that those of us who believe in locally-directed union democracy must strive and fight to get out of SEIU. Doing so will require fortitude, patience, and a little bit of luck mixed in with great heaps of hard work. Fortunately, the attributes of fortitude, patience and hard work come naturally to NUHW supporters, and are in quite short supply on the SEIU side of the ledger. This concept is not just limited to those of us who are stuck in Zombie UHW, this applies to anyone and everyone who is currently in a SEIU local, because while efforts to correct SEIU from within are laudable, and maybe even worthwhile, the plain and sorry truth is that all efforts to reform SEIU will only result in a temporarily prettier face being placed on an eternally corrupt and putrefying body.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
1. Hawkins - another close NUHW loss. It appears that NUHW was placing much of its effort on Fresno (the campaigns were occurring simultaneously) and as a result SEIU was able to eke out another close victory. Once again, SEIU put out a premature victory statement with a wildly exaggerated number of "voters" supporting their cause, and this statement (much like the premature Fresno victory celebration) also represented an overestimation of SEIU support to the tune of roughly 60%. Even with this "overestimation" of SEIU support, NUHW was not able to bridge the gap. Like Fresno, the CalPERB has not certified the Hawkins vote because of objections filed by NUHW regarding the conduct of Zombie UHW during that vote. The SEIU folks are taking Hawkins as kind of a "any victory is a victory", as well they should. Memo to NUHW and its supporters - there is a maxim in politics that holds just as true in union elections: If you're explaining, you're losing. It's now getting to the point for NUHW that "moral" victories are no longer going to be enough.
2. Natividad - it appears that NUHW has (temporarily) withdrawn its petition for representation at Salinas' Natividad Medical Center.
In a letter to Assistant County Administrative Officer Keith Honda, NUHW consultant Sergio Sanchez blamed the decision to withdraw the petition on the lack of an agreement with the county on how the election would be conducted. He cited a "delay" by the county in providing employee contact information and a relative lack of access to employees in their workplaces that "placed NUHW at a disadvantage" in its effort to replace SEIU.I would interpret that to mean that the SEIU 521 team got caught seriously off-guard in the "crest" of the fervor for NUHW back in February and March, but quickly moved themselves to be able to counter NUHW's moves, and basically got their act together. Whether or not the Natividad petitioners will try again remains to be seen - they were making hopeful noises in the MPH article - but it appears that things on the Central Coast are going to remain status quo for the time being.
3. Did Andy Stern and SEIU get its ass kicked by the UNITE/HERE convention or what? About the only people who will publicly stand with SEIU right now are people who are fully bought-and-paid-for by SEIU. Unfortunately for those of us who believe in union democracy, a bunch of those individuals are currently employed by John Q. Public and have their offices located on Capitol Hill. The article by Cal Winslow on the UNITE/HERE convention did suggest that there have been some feelers between NUHW and UNITE/HERE - there seems to be a synergy there, and it was the NUHW leadership (then with the former SEIU Local 250) who got Kaiser to continue coverage of UNITE/HERE Local 2 strikers during a long-term hotel strike in San Francisco, and Mike Casey (the president of Local 2) is an old-school union guy who believes in standing firm with past allies.
4. On the day that NUHW held a protest in front of the NLRB office in Oakland, the Zombies decided to put out a presser - described by some of their partisans as a "SMOKING GUN!!!11!!!eleventy!!!" that proves the nefarious nature of anything and everything NUHW. Unfortunately for the Zombies, the material in that presser was composed of lawyer-client correspondence discovered in the lawsuit that SEIU filed against UHW prior to the trusteeship. This evidence was so compelling that the judge in that case decided to dismiss the case on a motion of the defendants (Rosselli et al.) because the SEIU suit had no law on which to base its claim. This of course did not stop the Zombies from piecing together a four-page bleat to Congress, claiming that material already dismissed by a judge as not being sufficient in fact to prevail in a defendant-filed MSJ (a situation in which evidence to the defending party - SEIU - is to be seen in the most favorable light) should now be sufficient to maintain the blocking actions at NLRB. Links to the Zombie letter to Congress can be found here...
Word to the Zombies - when you're fixing to let fly with a Smoking Gun memo, next time try to make sure your "smoking gun" isn't a pop-gun...