Kaiser Southern California
Like corporate officers, officers of the Guild owe the organization and its members a FIDUCIARY duty of loyalty.
Charged with breach of their fiduciary duties, Robin Borden and Zdenka Manthei, joined by Houry Abajian, resigned their offices only AFTER they had let the Guild and its members down. Faced with the prospect that a hearing on the charges would shine the light of day on what appears to be their secretive campaign to delay an agreement – a delay which facilitated a raid attempt by a rival union – the three made unfounded accusations that the Guild Board believes should be answered.
MYTH – The [negotiations] team has been given a time limit to conclude a contract, and a budget, though no other bargaining unit is subject to these restrictions; why the double standard?
FACT – The SCAL committee was given the same charge as every negotiating team – get a contract that the members want and will accept. This committee, while under the direct control of Robin, Houry and Zdenka had MORE bargaining sessions and spent six times MORE money than any other negotiating team ever – and yet FAILED to get a contract. Once it was clear they had no intention of getting you a contract, the Board stepped in to protect the SCAL pharmacists and to prevent a RAID by UNAC.
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– The Board held an unconstitutional telephonic special meeting to reinstate nine members of the prior bargaining committee without Presidential appointment, with the intent to facilitate a hasty acceptance of a TA identical to the one these committee members approved previously and which the bargaining unit members overwhelmingly rejected.
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– The majority of Board members called a special meeting, as allowed by the Guild Constitution (Article 6, Section 6). The Constitution assigns the authority over negotiating committees to the Board, not the President (Article 13, Section 3). Prior to the Board’s action, Robin had “fired” all but one of the bargaining committee members. The Board reversed that decision and reinstated the original team. The Board did that not because of a power grab, but because it believed that a larger, more diverse committee was needed to insure the voice of the entire membership would be heard.
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– The Board, led by the non-KSC Board members on the KSC negotiation committee, has authorized the KSC lead negotiator to unilaterally determine which committee members will sit at the table for bargaining at any given time, to exclude any member he chooses, and further, to meet alone with the Kaiser negotiator in sidebar, without a witness.
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– Nothing the Board authorized was out of the ordinary. To the contrary, every negotiation has sidebars; and successful negotiations require the leadership to use all tools at their disposal. What the Board did do was to reverse a highly unusual tactic deployed by Robin, Houry and Zdenka to make sure that they—and not the lead negotiator or the bargaining committee as a whole—decided whether and when a sidebar was appropriate and who would participate. It would appear that they did this to slow the process down, thereby assisting a UNAC raid on the SCAL bargaining unit (a move which will increase YOUR dues without any guarantee of better results).
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– The Board, informed of claims that Northern California Board members are composing conspiratorial e-mails misrepresenting themselves as fellow KSC members to counter a KSC decertification drive voted not to investigate this unethical practice. The lack of accountability is deplorable.
FACT – SCAL pharmacists are among the most highly compensated in the market. This is due to years of hard work and dedication by hundreds of Guild pharmacists both in collective bargaining and, more importantly, in the workplace, delivering high quality, affordable health care. The Guild will spare no effort to help pharmacists hold onto those gains. Murky, unsubstantiated allegations like this one are designed to deflect attention from charges of breach of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty against Robin and Zdenka. Our duty of loyalty runs to YOU, the SCAL pharmacists. It always has and it always will.
MYTH – Southern California members rejected the current TA by 72% yet you direct KSC Board members to go out and “sell” the TA by “educating” our members. The Guild gave away our pension in the 2011 negotiations and now thinks it is okay to give away our medical retirement. We refuse to go out and lie to our members.
FACT – The Guild Board respects the vote of the membership and is working hard to improve on the TA. However, the vote against the TA reflects, in part, the failure of the Guild to do a good job explaining the elements of the TA, especially in the face of a “negative sales job” done by Robin, Houry and Zdenka. Do you know the TA achieved many of the things the SCAL members asked for?
?Improved retirement provisions?Annual bonuses
?Created a committee to look at workload issues
?Improved differential pay rates – Per Diems, PIC, lead pharmacist
?Provided guaranteed hours for Part Timers
?No change to current Flex Benefits co-payment structure
?Seniority established for Per Diem pharmacists
?Guild leave for union work
?Day retreat rights grace period when changing jobs
The Guild did NOT give away the pension in 2011. The contract SCAL members ratified in 2011 froze the defined benefit pension and added a defined contribution pension – and achieved wages increases (6%/6%/6%) that far surpassed anything that was expected at the time.
Did some pharmacists see a potential decrease in the value of their overall retirement package in the 2011 contract? YES – but many will have an equal or higher lump sum at the end of their career.
Did the GUILD work to address this in during these negotiations (initial TA)? YES
Can we go back in time and change the 2011 contract? NO
Must we start from the contract we have, and improve on it? YES - AND WE ARE DOING JUST THAT as we have for 30 years
While we must deal with Kaiser’s intention to reduce retiree medical coverage costs, the Guild has NO INTENTION OF “GIVING AWAY” RETIREE MEDICAL.
DON’T BE FOOLED. INFORMATION IS POWER. EMPOWER YOURSELF. STAY INFORMED.