What’s SEIU hiding?

May 15th, 2012

SEIU wants us to take their word for it. They say that they’ve bargained a “great contract with no takeaways.” But why should any of us believe what SEIU says?

Two years ago, SEIU and Kaiser broke the law, violated our rights and lied to us. The federal government overturned our 2010 Kaiser S + T election because of SEIU’s unlawful and dishonest conduct.

Now, SEIU officials are telling us that Kaiser workers should approve a new contract while refusing to allow even members of SEIU’s own bargaining team to so much as read it. In fact, at SEIU’s ratification votes, we’ll only be provided with what SEIU is calling “summaries” of the tentative agreements.

What’s SEIU trying to hide?

At Daughters of Charity, SEIU refused to provide members with copies of the tentative agreements and rushed through a ratification vote claiming the agreement included no takeaways. It turned out SEIU had given away Daughters of Charity workers’ defined benefit pensions, agreed to a “wellness plan” that pits worker against worker, and reduced workers’ healthcare benefits and job security protections.

At Dignity Health, formerly Catholic Healthcare West, SEIU members were told that SEIU officials had reached an agreement with management to improve their pension plan. Those workers later learned that SEIU had in fact given away their defined benefit pension plan, profiting Dignity/CHW to the tune of $217 million.

Kaiser workers have every reason to vote NO on ratification

From what little that SEIU has shared with Kaiser workers, we know that SEIU has agreed to change our retiree health benefits and to institute a “wellness program” that will let Kaiser management monitor our private lives. We also know that SEIU has given up on local bargaining and has agreed to a contract that will widen the wage gap between workers in Northern and Southern California.

With Kaiser sitting on $7 billion dollars in profits since 2009, there’s no reason for any of these takeaways. Knowing that Kaiser CEO George Halvorson gave himself a million dollar raise in 2010, Kaiser workers have every reason to demand no takeaways to retiree healthcare, a decrease in the wage gap between North and South and to exercise our right to engage in meaningful local bargaining.

We recommend that Kaiser workers vote NO on SEIU’s proposals and on any contract that we’re not allowed to see for ourselves.

Please print and share this leaflet with your co-workers and tell them to vote NO when SEIU asks us to ratify their secret deal with Kaiser.

Sincerely,

Isaiah Arvizu, OR Attendant, Kaiser South Bay
Marie Foster, Program Assistant, Kaiser San Jose
National Union of Healthcare Workers