Monday, February 27, 2017
SEAT: Executive Board
Healthcare Justice Team
Ghandi said "be the change that you would wish to see in the world"I am a firm believer and I am trying to embody this in my role of representing Employees at LAMC. I will keep trying to make a change for better contracts, better wages, better benefits and better working conditions for all Kaiser employees. Continually educating others AboUt Contractual language and rights will help bring about this change.
Ward Clerk Transcriber
Running for: Executive Board
Healthcare Justice Team
I believe in fairness and equality. Members need someone who will enforce the contract and make sure their rights are honored. I am "That Girl", I will continue to educate members of their contractual and legal rights. I will continue to fight against disparity and bullying tactics.
I've been working for Kaiser for 31 years at LAMC. I'm a Union steward and represent members with concerns in their departments and help with any contract violation ... Healthcare Justice team trains me for skills in representing and informing members for updates.
Kaiser Baldwin Park
Candidate Statement: Desiree Pedroza
Lead Licensed Vocational Nurse II
SEIU-UHW Healthcare Justice Team
I am an experienced Union Steward of 10 years.
I served on the SEIU-UHW Executive Board from 2014-2017.
My experience as a Contract Specialist and UHW Chief Steward gave me the effective leadership and great experience of protecting our members, improving their lives by negotiating superior wages and benefits as member of the Contract Bargaining Team.
Together we will uplift not only Kaiser workers but also improve the lives of people in the communities we live and serve !
In the upcoming union officers election, Vote straight the Healthcare Justice Team !! Together We Win !!
Lead Radiologic Technologist Kaiser Baldwin Park Representative Chair Steward Council
Running for Executive Board Kaiser Division BPK.
Mark A Matthews RT, Seiu-UHW Kaiser member for more than 35 years of service in good standing. I am running for a second term for the Executive Board, Kaiser division Baldwin Park, Ca. Healthcare Justice Team. Over my years of service I have served on many leadership positions as a union leader and advocate for our members. I currently hold the position as the Representative Chair at KP Baldwin Park. I have also participated on many Bargaining sessions, locally and national bargaining teams for SEIU-UHW. A coalition leader in our Labor management Partnership since year 2000. I also hold the position as the Labor Co-Lead on Baldwin Park’s LMP council. I am a Master trainer and facilitator for most of our Partnership programs.
I believe as a Labor leader we must be advocates for our members, I do that. I believe in developing a foundation of positive relationships between our members and the Union leadership to establish how we get the work done. Organize the un organizied and building a just society for a stronger Health care labor workforce. I believe and support getting to our retirement and keeping our stuff.
Helping a new generation ( Millennium generation), of union workers understand what they have, and how important it is for them to carry on the mission for healthcare workers in America.
If you can support some of these core values of mine and you believe in the importance of having good people, a team of leaders, Health care leaders, that will fight our fight, then we’re the team for you!
Thank you for your support
Mark A Matthews RT
Representative Chair February 4, 2017
Running for Executive Board
Kaiser Division Baldwin Park
I welcome the opportunity to be a leader in the Executive Board Team:
I’ve had the pleasure of working at Kaiser Permanente for over 18 years as a Surgical technician in Labor and Delivery. I’m committed to unifying, listening and problem solving issues of the employees. I aim to empower others to stand up for our rights on the job. I strive to work in solidarity and to be accountable. My experience has been as a Chief steward and Mobilization Chair. I’ve served 2 years in the Executive Board for SEIU-UHW. I’ve also served 1 year in the financial budget team. By which I am able to explain to the members how our dues are allocated and the goals of our union. Most importantly I want to continue to fight to keep our benefits and provide job security. I will continue to grow by getting the tools and training for bargaining our contract. It has been a rewarding experience and I hope to continue.
Thank you for your support
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
July 15, 2016
By Perry Diaz
It must have been fate that brought President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa together 30 years ago in the aftermath of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. Duterte was appointed acting vice-mayor of Davao City by then President Cory Aquino. Dela Rosa, then a fresh graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1986, was commissioned Lieutenant and assigned to the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) in Davao City. Their paths crossed and their lives have since been intertwined. Their personal relationship was also enhanced when Duterte stood as a principal sponsor at Dela Rosa’s wedding.
Over the years, they remained loyal to one another. In his Facebook account, Dela Rosa posted a greeting on Duterte’s birthday: “I never feared to enforce the law and prevent crimes because you are always there watching my back. To the greatest leader on Earth, Mayor RRD, happy birthday Sir!” Indeed, “Bato” – Dela Rosa’s moniker, which means “stone” – had nothing but warm words for hismentor and ninong. And when Rody ran for president, Bato posted, “Those who will cheat and will manipulate this May 9 elections, be warned! We will crush you!”
Born on January 21, 1962 in Barangay Bato, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Ronald Marapon dela Rosa earned his moniker “Bato” not because of where he was born but because of his rock-like persona. It’s a reputation that he lived by. And when Duterte won the presidency last May 9, he picked his loyal friend Bato to become Chief of the 160,000-strong PNP, bypassing more senior police officers who were Bato’s upperclassmen at the PMA. Traditionally, they are the ones on the “short list” for promotion to the top police job. Yep, one-star police general Dela Rosa’s promotion earned him the four stars reserved for PNP Chiefs; thus, bypassing several two-star and three-star police generals on the PNP hierarchy.
He took over the top PNP job on July 1, 2016, a day after his boss, “The Punisher” – Duterte’s street moniker – was sworn in as president of the country. On his first day on the job, Bato warned the policemen involved in illegal drugs that “they have 48 hours to surrender to him.” He didn’t waste any time going after them. Calling him “Bato” would be kinder than what I’d call him – a pit bull… on the loose.
On the second day, it was rumored that 20 imprisoned drug lords have put a P1-billion contract on his and Duterte’s heads. But instead of cowering in fear from the jailed drug lords’ threat to assassinate them, Duterte and Dela Rosa went on the offensive.
To put an end to the corrupt culture inside the New Bilibid Prison, where the drug lords are given VIP privileges, Duterte ordered the replacement of the correctional officers with commandos from the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF), the equivalent of the SWAT teams in the U.S.
Face the music
A few days later, during his speech at the 69th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Duterte named and relieved five high-ranking police generals from their posts whom he said were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
The following day, three of the five named police generals,who are still in active duty, reported to Dela Rosa in his office at Camp Crame. They professed innocence and sought due process. “They were very sad. I want to cry with them,” Dela Rosa said of the three officers. “My advice to them is face the music,” he said.
While it might take some time to investigate and prosecute the erring generals, one immediate result of exposing their alleged illegal activity is that it will serve as a warning to all police officers that coddling with drug lords will not be tolerated under the Duterte administration and Dela Rosa will see to it that nobody – regardless of rank – is spared.
Drug pushers surrender
In Camp Tolentino in Limay, Bataan, Dela Rosa was on hand to witness about 600 drug pushers who surrendered to the PNP. In a press conference that followed, he said that the PNP was ready to wage war against politicians involved in the illegal drug trade. In particular, he mentioned “local chief executives” with links to drug lords. He said they’re part of the Duterte administration’s goal, which is to stop – or suppress – corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs within six months. According to Dela Rosa, there are at least 23 local chief executives on the list that Duterte provided him. However, he said that it’s up to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to “handle” the erring mayors.
The question is: Why did Dela Rosa say it’s up to the DILG to “handle” the mayors involved in the illegal drug trade? Is it not a police matter? Or is it best handled politically by the DILG, which is a “political” body?
But going after the local chief executives would be like fishing in small ponds. More than likely all you’d be catching are the butete -- tadpoles. Why not go fishing in larger bodies of water where bigger fish abound? And who are these “bigger fish” in the illegal drug trade? And who is the “biggest fish” among them? Could it be that there exist powerful politicians or political dynasties that condone – nay, protect – the drug lords in their political turfs, which makes one wonder: Are they untouchable? Is someone protecting the “protectors” of the drug lords?
This would certainly be Duterte’s – and Bato’s – biggest challenge. And this could be the root of corruption that Duterte detested so much. Surmise it to say, the bigger the amount of “dirty money” generated in illegal activities, the larger corruption becomes. And what could generate more “dirty money” than the illegal drug trade?
Needless to say, Duterte and Dela Rosa, working in tandem, are off to a good start. They have a goal and a timeframe… six months. All they need now is a plan that works. And this is where they can fail miserably or succeed modestly. I said “modestly” because I don’t think they can achieve their goal within six months. But it would definitely be a great start because the alternative is unthinkable.
We all know what Duterte wants. But what we don’t know is if he has the political will to go after the corrupt politicians who are involved in the illegal drug trade, some of whom might be his friends and political allies. It would clearly be a test of his leadership.
We also know that Dela Rosa has the ability to fight the illegal drug lords. He’s proven it when he was with the Davao City police force under the guidance of his mentor and ninong. But what we don’t know is if he has the gumption to fight them in a much larger arena where there are no rules of engagement, and where only those who are tempered with fire and hard as the Rock of Gibraltar survive. If there is one such crime-fighter that fits the mold, Bato is the man. He is a hard rock to crack, indeed.
Monday, May 30, 2016
Like all relationships and marriages, both parties will try to work, or live, harmoniously and reconcile their differences, if any. This is called the “honeymoon” period and it could last for a long time or it can be abbreviated depending on how they relate to each other. It may sound simplistic, but they hope that by the time the honeymoon is over, they’d remain married, partners, allies or friends. Nobody could predict the denouement of their relationships, but as someone once said, “There are no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests.”
It did not then come as a surprise that America’s enemies during World War II – Germany, Japan, Italy – became her allies, and her allies USSR and China became her enemies during the Cold War that followed World War II. And these alliances – North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and U.S.-Japan Security Treaty – have endured for more than 65 years. And today, NATO has become the bulwark in the defense the 28 NATO countries against enemy invasion, which is crucial to the U.S. national interests.
And in Asia-Pacific, the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty has become a formidable deterrence against Chinese expansionism. Other treaty allies of the U.S. in Asia-Pacific are South Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines. These alliances form a line of defense along the First Island Chain – linking Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, and Borneo -- which would deter China from breaking out into the Western Pacific.
To prevent China from breaking out, the U.S. has to have a strong military presence in Japan and the Philippines, where she can control two major choke points to the Western Pacific. These are the Miyako Strait between Okinawa (Japan) and Taiwan, and the Bashi Channel between Taiwan and the Batanes Islands (Philippines). With several air force bases, a naval base, and 50,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan, the U.S. maintains strategic dominance over the Miiyako Strait. But it is a different situation in the Bashi Channel, which is wide open and defenseless. However, the U.S. had shown interest in deploying her forces to the Batanes Island and the Laoag City airport in northern Luzon. If the Philippines agrees to this proposal, it would shut off the Bashi Channel from Chinese intrusion… and effectively makes the First Island Chain impenetrable.
Recently, the Philippines and the U.S. agreed on the locations for four American air force units and one army base under the U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperative Agreement (EDCA), which was signed in April 2014. In addition, the former U.S. Subic Bay Naval Base is a frequent destination for U.S. warships while the former Clark Air Base is used to host American surveillance planes that keep an eye over the South China Sea.
It’s interesting to note that EDCA was signed as an executive order under the Aquino administration. As such, it can be terminated by the incoming administration of presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte, who considers himself as a left-of-center politician. However, he admits that he had been on friendly terms with the communist New People’s Army (NPA), which makes one wonder: How is he going to deal with China in regard to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea?
It is no wonder then that a week after Duterte’s landslide victory last May 9, China’s ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua paid him a courtesy call in Davao City. Zhao congratulated him on his victory and expressed his country’s expectation of working with his administration to “properly deal with the differences, deepen traditional friendship, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to bring the ‘bilateral ties’ forward.”
Obviously, Zhao was referring to “differences” on the South China Sea territorial disputes, which the Philippines under the Aquino administration had submitted to the United Nations’ Permanent Court of Arbitration. It challenged the legality of China’s “nine-dash line” claim over the South China Sea under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). However, China refused to recognize the authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and indicated that she will reject its decision on the matter.
As Duterte’s “honeymoon” with China begins, there would be a lot of posturing by both sides. But the crux of the dispute is China’s iron-clad claim to her indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea demarcated by the “nine-dash line,” which has no fixed coordinates simply because it was arbitrarily drawn on a map in 1947 by China’s Nationalist government under Chiang Kai Shek. China considers the South China Sea as one of her national core values, which are “non-negotiable.”
If Duterte were to initiate bilateral talks with China, he’d be faced with a dilemma. China had in the past offered joint development in the Spratlys. However, she has one pre-condition: That the Philippines concedes to China indisputable sovereignty over the Spratlys. If China sticks to this pre-condition and Duterte accepts it, the Philippines must vacate all the islands she occupies in the Spratlys including the populated Kalayan Island Group (KIG), which is part of Philippine national territory as defined in the Philippine Baselines Law (R.A. No. 3046, as amended by R.A. No. 5446 and R.A. No. 9522) and in Article I of the 1987 Constitution. This would be a violation of the Constitution, which is an impeachable act. Either way, the honeymoon would be over before it started, which begs the question: What would be Duterte’s next step?
Faced with pressures from militants to scrap EDCA, Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT), Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), and Logistics Support Agreement (LSA), Duterte will be confronted with the problem of national security. While he had said during the campaign that he was willing to junk EDCA, he is now saying that his administration will continue EDCA since the external defense of the country is weak. Indeed, with no warships and no warplanes to defend her territory, the Philippines would be at the mercy of China.
And once American forces are out of the Philippines – again – what do you expect China would do next? One needs to remember that when the Philippine Senate removed the American bases from Philippine soil in 1992, China took possession of the Panganiban (Mischief) Reef within two years, without firing a shot. With the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal completely controlled by China, the province of Palawan -- which is less than 100 miles from the Spratlys -- would be an easy target. China could then claim that the Chinese had been in Palawan since ancient times. And like what she did with the Spratlys, Scarborough Shoal, Paracel Islands (claimed by Vietnam), and Senkaku Islands (claimed by Japan), she would probably come up with another “ancient map” showing Palawan as part of her territories. And pretty soon, the Philippines could become a vassal or client state of China, which would effectively deprive the Filipinos of their sovereignty.
Bully vs. bully
Duterte, street smart – or “kanto boy” -- as he is, should know that it takes a bully to fight a bully. He should also be aware that size matters. In other words, a little boy cannot fight a big bully. So what the little boy would do is to call his big brother. In the case of the Philippines, Duterte would turn to big brother America, a bully bigger that China, for help. And this is where EDCA, MDT, VFA, and LSA would level the playing field.
At the end of the day, one might say that Duterte’s honeymoon with China would just be an exercise in futility. But the lesson learned would provide him with a clear direction of how – and where -- he should lead the country in the next six years.