SEIU’s sell-out agreement at Dignity

June 26th, 2012

First, Dave Regan and SEIU forced a disastrous contract on their members at Kaiser with cuts to workers’ retiree health benefits, an increased wage gap between North and South, and a “wellness program” that violates employees’ privacy rights.

Now, they’ve done the same to 14,000 of us at Dignity Health.

Last week, desperate to avoid having to actually take a stand for their members, SEIU officials concluded bargaining at Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West) with a tentative agreement full of the same kinds of giveaways they handed out to their “partners” in Kaiser management, including:

  • a one year wage freeze
  • the end of employer contributions to our education fund
  • a wellness program that invades our privacy
  • cuts to dependent care coverage 

This is the second round of bargaining in a row at Dignity in which SEIU officials sided with management over their own members. In 2009, SEIU gave Dignity executives permission to strip us of our defined benefit pension plan, saving our employer $218 million. Then they lied to us about it, saying that the change to our retirement plan was an “improvement!”

Our co-workers at the California Nurses Association, whose members also work at Dignity-owned hospitals, have exactly the right read on SEIU leaders’ recent conduct. In a letter to SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan, the CNA told Regan that he and the “bosses” at Dignity are “one and the same,” and reported that “members from your bargaining team are telling our nurses that it appears that you cut a deal with management behind closed doors.” You can read the full letter here and print a CNA leaflet to share with your co-workers.

SEIU’s sell-out agreement at Dignity is just another reminder that the only way we can protect our hard-fought contract gains is by getting out of SEIU and joining NUHW.