SEIU’s bogus ratification votes

NewsMay 16, 2012

Tomorrow, Kaiser workers will begin to vote on SEIU’s disastrous deal with its “partner,” Kaiser Permanente. When Kaiser workers cast their ballots to vote NO to this sell-out agreement, they should know one thing: SEIU’s contract ratification process is a sham.

At Daughters of Charity hospitals, we know firsthand about SEIU’s ratification misconduct. Yesterday, along with our co-workers, we filed charges against SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan for violating the SEIU and SEIU-UHW Constitutions in our recent ratification vote.

After agreeing to a contract that eliminates our pension plan, raises our healthcare premiums, and allows management to subcontract some of our jobs, SEIU refused to give us copies of the agreement and then rushed to begin our ratification votes with only nine hours advance notice. This was a clear violation of Article XIV, Section 7 of the SEIU-UHW Constitution, which requires at least three days notification before starting the ratification process.

(In our charges, we’re also challenging SEIU for wasting $5.5 million of our dues money on a phony ballot initiative and then refusing to allow us to see the deal SEIU officials cut with hospital industry leaders.)

As we said to Regan and Henry in our letter, “How can we make an informed choice when we’re not even permitted to see the actual language that would define our families’ future health benefits and our pensions? Would you vote on a deal to cut your benefits without seeing the actual language?” You can read our letter to Regan and Henry here.

At Kaiser, workers are experiencing much the same thing from SEIU. After signing the tentative agreement with Kaiser last week, SEIU officials refused to allow members to see the contract language. NUHW got a copy of the TA, and now we know why SEIU kept it a secret: it’s chock full of giveaways to Kaiser.

Follow this link to view SEIU’s agreement:

Now SEIU is rushing to get this deal ratified before members learn about all the cuts SEIU agreed to at a time when Kaiser is making more money than ever before in its history, even though the current agreement does not expire until September 30. These cuts include a major reduction in workers’ retiree healthcare benefit, an hourly tax to pay for SEIU’s Partnership with Kaiser, and a “wellness program” that allows management to monitor workers’ health and lifestyle choices.

SEIU can’t be trusted at the bargaining table, and they can’t be trusted at the ratification ballot box. That’s just another reason why workers at Daughters of Charity and at Kaiser Permanente are organizing to get out of SEIU and join NUHW.

Please print and share this leaflet with your co-workers.


Suad Husary,
Respiratory Therapist, Seton Medical Center
Donald Bolt, Respiratory Therapist, St. Francis Hospital
Maria Ventura, Laboratory Technician, St. Louise Hospital
National Union of Healthcare Workers