Two words that SEIU does not know how to say

February 15th, 2012

Last Friday, Kaiser reported 2011 profits of $2.1 billion. That makes $6.1 billion in the last three years.

$4.4 billion of those profits come directly from the day-to-day operations of the hospitals and clinics where we work.

Like most of you, I knew Kaiser was profitable. I just didn’t know how much!

So, when I heard the tape of Dave Regan, President of SEIU-UHW, speaking to the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions last month, I could not believe my ears.

Despite Kaiser’s profits, Regan predicted deep cuts for healthcare workers; Regan even called Kaiser’s cuts a massive “train bearing down on us.”

You can imagine my further shock when instead of pointing out Kaiser’s profits and discussing how workers can stand up to Kaiser’s takeaways, Regan indicated that in order to “get out in front” of Kaiser’s cuts, SEIU wants us to roll over and propose cuts of our own!

Regan’s whole speech was about how Kaiser workers should expect less. At one point he said, “Kaiser wants us to give back a lot of what we have because almost nobody outside of Kaiser in America has it.”

Regan even had the nerve to warn Kaiser workers that “we could turn Kaiser into General Motors if we’re not careful.”

Like all of you, I’m proud to be a healthcare worker at Kaiser; we work hard and expect more. That’s how we’ve helped make Kaiser a great place to work. We know better than to believe that Kaiser is financially troubled. Every day we help Kaiser make some of those billions of dollars in profits.

In 2005, we worked side-by-side with the leaders who are currently with NUHW to win the benefits that we enjoy to this day. Now SEIU wants us to roll over and give up those benefits and our share of Kaiser’s success… all because Dave Regan and SEIU don’t want to fight?

When it comes to changing the benefits we won in our 2005 Kaiser contract, I’ve got a message for Dave Regan and SEIU. It’s two simple words that Dave doesn’t seem to know how to say:

No way!

In unity and strength,

Angela Glasper, Optical Cashier, Kaiser Antioch

National Union of Healthcare Workers

PS. Here’s a leaflet to share with your co-workers.