SACRAMENTO: California Hospital Association, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, unionization effort: "Healthcare union abusing initiative process, critics say"....
* Los Angeles Times: "Healthcare union abusing initiative process, critics say" - "Union's filing of two ballot measures after talks failed show how the initiative process can be used as a weapon, critics say." - From the LAT:
SACRAMENTO — Duane Dauner, president of the California Hospital Assn., emailed the group's board in September with a warning: The leader of the state's largest healthcare workers' union had told him that if hospitals did not pave the way for the organizing of 20,000 workers, the union would launch ballot measures taking aim at hospital pricing and executive pay.
But negotiations on organizing agreements between the two sides stalled. In November, the union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, filed two initiatives for the 2014 ballot that would limit hospital prices and cap executive compensation at nonprofit hospitals.
The union disputes Dauner's characterization that the initiatives were filed to force cooperation with its organizing efforts. But the standoff underscores how the initiative process, often used as leverage for legislative action, can also be used as a weapon beyond the Capitol.
Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said he supports the aims of the ballot measures but disagrees with the tactic of "using the ballot initiative process and SEIU's money to basically shake down the hospitals."
Dave Regan, the union's president, said Dauner's characterization of the labor group's position is "very narrow, inaccurate and incredibly incomplete." . . . . . . . .
Jan Emerson-Shea, the hospital association's vice president of external affairs, said the group stands by Dauner's memo.........................