Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Where are we?

Well, well, well between the Measure “A” revenues and Wright Lassiter’s management team ACMC has enjoyed close to three years of blog free smooth sailing. This time was scarred by a Labor Day layoff, the Fairmont fiasco and a sudden outbreak of health which lowered the inpatient census and hospital revenues. With the fiscal budget year approaching, inpatient census still stagnant and the county of Alameda still ripping off revenue, times seem to be getting tough. Veteran ACMC employees have been here before and wait quietly for the signal to fight. Clearly the voting public of Alameda County supported Measure “A” for just this reason with a huge number of new clients who “used to have Kaiser” or “private insurance” this is not the time to make slash and burn cuts.

The voters of Alameda County agreed to tax themselves so that in the event that they “lost their Kaiser” due to economic changes they could get basic medical services. The economic downturn has given the medical center the opportunity to fulfill the campaign promises of Measure “A” and help those affected by the crisis. Unfortunately the Alameda County Board of Supervisors don’t agree they want the medical center to keep giving money to them (for new readers shortly after the citizens of Alameda County passed Measure “A” the county asserted that the medical center owed them millions and they expected to be paid). The county supervisors still haven’t found the IOU, but we haven’t checked Gail Steele’s knitting bag, Nate’s Miley’s stash drawer or Susan Muranishi’s push-up bra.

Maybe CEO Lassiter should call one of those debt consolidation companies and see if they could negotiate a better interest rate with Nate Miley or Keith Carson. Do the County Supervisors use the medical center for payroll advance? Maybe we could do some revolving credit deal with Susan Muranishi? We have bad debt, toxic assets we need a bailout. Come on Nate let’s negotiate; you know the public didn’t expect the medical center to give the Measure “A” revenue back to the county. It’s bait and switch. I know you county supervisors think the public are too dumb to figure out your scam but since Joe and Jane Public lost their jobs and their Kaiser they have lots more time to think about where their tax dollars really go.

According to the Alameda County Medical Center Statement of revenues and Expenses Report for November and December 2008, the county debt service was 1,250,000 dollars. While Measure “A” revenues plummet with the ailing economy the Measure “A” induced county debt stays the same.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

SEIU 1021 Toots Their Own Horn

SEIU 1021 updated their website with the Fairmont Hospital media coverage it's complete with movie clips. SEIU sources say executive heads are already rolling, but I've only heard rumors no official announcements or retirement parties.

Official SEIU 1021 site

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lost in the Vegetable Isle (the aging politics of Oakland)

Mom: Mommy, when you get older you and daddy are going to wear diapers.
Mom: Emma who told you that?
Emma: Marcos
Mommy: Really, Emma did Marcos tell you that you would have to change mommy’s diapers?

My daughter along with the rest of the county lives in willful denial of the huge care giving crisis moving toward them like a Tsunami toward a Cruz Ship. The boys at the East Bay Express and “Chip” Johnson (the San Francisco Chronicle’s affirmative action hire) have made great sport of Ms. Dellums constant presence and influence at Oakland’s City Hall. As a healthcare provider I feel the need to defend and clarify the increasing important role that caregivers have come to play in medicating, escorting, and bathing and moisturizing aging statesmen and politicians.

Jerry Brown, another aging politician also required a personal attendant at most; if not all times to insure that Mayor Moon Beam got to meetings, remembered memos and didn’t get lost between appointments. Jacques, Brown’s Boy Friday, was given a number of well paid positions at Oakland’s City Hall to justify and fund his constant presence as Brown’s personal attendant. Now, Jerry took a more alternative lifestyle approach to meeting his care needs: he surrounded himself with an entourage to assist him with everything from shopping to governing. The local men of the media have shown more tolerance toward Brown’s caregivers than they have to Ms. Dellums; perhaps because Brown tended to have male escorts and courtiers.

Like most men their age, our local journalists lack personal experience and professional understanding of care giving. Care giving remains a predominantly female chore, responsibility and profession and so it is sad but not shocking that “Chip” and the white boys at the Express remain ignorant of one of the fastest growing job markets in the country and unaware of the already dominant role that caregivers play in local and national politics. For the record caregivers keep our government going, aging politicians govern better if they take their medications, and have helpers who know their limitations and assist them to compensate. While Ms. Dellums meddling in Oakland’s affairs clearly vexes and frustrates our local media, medical professionals like myself find Attorney General Brown’s inability to find his way to meetings or even select his own vegetables without an attendant far more worrisome.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Excerpt from Nuclear Jelleyfish

But today pharmaceutical companies encourage us to whine like babies and take a bunch of pills that aren't supposed to be handled by woman who are preganant or may become pregant: My bad cholesterol's too high, my good cholesterol's too low, sometimes I'm sad, I pee a lot, I can't nod off, my legs are restless, my acid refluxes, diarrhea interupts my active lifestyle, uninvited relatives show up right after I've taken a pill to bang my wife.....

Tim Dorsey

Monday, April 13, 2009

There’s Bars on the Windows

Help, I’m trapped in a Zombie union and I can’t get out! While the Public Employee Relations Board (the PERB) has a team of lawyers working overtime insuring that no SEIU members get an opportunity to actually vote on choosing a different union, Andy and SEIU claim a robust victory for the democratic process. SEIU keeps saying, they did nothing wrong. If over fifty percent of your Kaiser represented members petitioned to leave, it stands to reason you made at least a couple of boo boos.

Here at Highland, SEIU 1021 gave us Ruben Garcia to negotiate our contract, nice guy but not a reader or a writer for that matter. After spending a month frustrating and frightening the negotiating team and making love to his I Phone; the team broke into outright revolt and demanded that SEIU provide the team with a real negotiator. Now, one would think after that kind of performance that Mr. Garcia would be quietly re-assigned to a more appropriate environment like Club Med or a Tiki Bar but no Ruben was then put in charge of the “field campaign.” After another month of failure and embarrassment Mr. Garcia was re-assigned yet a third time, this time as a labor representative to work on work-site problems. Now, that’s what I call executive leadership, a single employee demoralized the negotiating team, the workers at large and is now assisting management in firing union supporters in specific departments. SEIU members may not be employed long enough for the PERB to deny them a vote, Ruben’s on the job.

Way to go Andy with people like Ruben working for you, you may succeed in convincing one of the most pro-union hospitals in the country that they would be better off without a union. That might be the only way to make Ruben go away.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fairmont Skilled Nursing

Here's the Oakland Tribune piece on ACMC skilled nursing facility at Fairmont. I think this reporter, Chris Metinko, does good healthcare reporting.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Adios Andy Blog

Want the lastest on the statewide union war check out:
Adios Andy

Big Labor Barbie in the Shwag Wagon

Posted by Picasa


I’m “Andy” big labor’s tough new work action doll and work-site organizer. I come in five different ethnicities and three different sexual preferences. As part of the Change to Unite to Win Unity strategy I will be at every SEIU work-site and answering the phones at the call center. I look forward to servicing all your labor needs.

Your Plastic Labor Sister

Friday, April 03, 2009

Union Wars: 2009

The labor movement is engaged in an aggressive strategic military operation against itself, the war for workers (between NUHW and SEIU) keeps bubbling up into the mainstream media. This distresses and confuses liberals who wring their hands about the left’s circular firing squad and delights the right. Byzantine union bureaucracy stifles any real understanding or discussion about the roots of the dispute; and no sane news agency wants to spend the time and resources necessary to explain; much less understand the problem. Completely left out of the discussion, and increasingly at risk for injury due to friendly or unfriendly fire or simply collateral damage are the union members themselves. Their stories remain untold.

Union members at the Alameda County Medical Center stand before the rising tides of uninsured, violence in Oakland, decreased funding from the State, Measure “A” revenue rip-offs from the county and in between Andy Stern and Sal Roselli two warring union heavy weights. In the interest of full disclosure and in giving a name, a face and a voice to the dues paying masses; I offer myself as an embedded reporter and participant in, Union Wars 2009: Ground Zero Highland Hospital.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Randy Shaw

If anyone wants to understand organizing or how regular people can change the world they live in "The Activist Handbook" is a must read. The author, Randy Shaw, local genius and hero edits the Beyond Chron blog, he has written on the dispute between SEIU and NUHW. He also wrote a piece on the SEIU and CNA agreement. The face and mood of "big labor" will profoundly impact the shape of healthcare and healhtcare reform. If you want to unnderstand what happens next I'd keep reading Randy.