Major Labor Board Ruling Begins to Clear the Way for Union Elections at 51 California Healthcare Facilities
NLRB Dismisses Latest Attempt by Ousted Union Leaders to Block Votes for 6,715 Workers
Workers affected in: Antioch, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Chico, Chowchilla, Clovis, Concord, Dublin, El Cerrito, Fairfield, Fresno, Freemont, Galt, Gilroy, Hayward, Inglewood, Kingsburg, Lynwood, Marysville, Millbrae, Monterey, Oakland, Oakridge, Richmond, Ross, Salinas, San Francisco, San Jose, San Leandro, San Rafael, Stockton, Union City, Vallejo, Yuba City
OAKLAND, Calif., March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has rejected an attempt by a group of ousted union officials to halt elections at 51 California healthcare facilities (full list below) -- elections the former officials themselves originally sought, but now want to stop.
The elections would cover 6,715 members of the Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW). It would ask workers if they want to decertify SEIU-UHW as their union and move to a group started by the ousted union officials.
The former officials were removed from office in SEIU-UHW more than a year ago for misusing millions in union funds and violating members' democratic rights. Shortly afterward they formed an organization called the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and filed the decertification petitions with the NLRB.
Now, instead of heeding the NLRB ruling and agreeing to either withdraw their petitions for elections or allow the votes to take place, the former officials have switched tactics and are trying to block the votes on a facility-by-facility basis. NUHW officials have already filed individual blocking charges at six facilities (see list below), and are scrambling to seek blocking charges at every facility in which they know they cannot win an election.
"After a year of holding rallies and demonstrations insisting that the NLRB schedule elections, NUHW officials reversed course and are trying to block the very same elections because they realize workers don't support them and they would lose," said Vicki Wren, who works in Radiology at St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy. "They are showing their hypocrisy, their lack of concern for our well-being, and their lack of respect for our rights as workers."
Union members say NUHW officials are trying to use the election petitions to divide workers, and that employers are taking advantage by running anti-union campaigns or pushing for concessionary contracts in negotiations.
"We have always been committed to quality jobs and quality care for the people we serve," said Helen Docena, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Willow Pass Healthcare Center in Concord. "These former union officials don't care -- they are in it for their own personal power even if workers and those in our care suffer."
In recent weeks, SEIU-UHW members have stepped up pressure on the ousted officials to either withdraw their petitions to hold the elections or allow the votes to proceed.
More than 70 percent of the SEIU-UHW members in the affected facilities have now signed petitions stating their support for their union, SEIU-UHW. And more than 1,000 nursing home workers signed a letter -- hand-delivered to the former union officials Monday -- demanding that NUHW withdraw the petitions and stop putting the workers' future and union at risk.
The affected facilities where NUHW has filed individual blocking charges with the NLRB are:
Antioch: Sutter Delta Medical Center, 420 workers
Gilroy: Saint Louise Regional Hospital, 200 workers
Inglewood: Centinela Hospital Medical Center, 700 workers (NUHW filed a petition for a decertification election last fall and filed blocking charges to halt the election on the same day)
Lynwood: St. Francis Medical Center, Service Unit (600 workers), Tech Unit (320 workers)
San Jose: O'Connor Hospital, 400 workers
Vallejo: Sutter Solano Medical Center, 210 workers
NUHW has refused to sign election agreements and has indicated it is about to file frivolous blocking charges at the following places where workers have made it clear they want SEIU-UHW:
Berkeley: Elmwood Care Center, 60 workers; Kyakameena Sanatorium, 40 workers
Castro Valley: Sutter Eden Medical Center, 310 workers
Chico: Enloe Medical Center (Crothall), 80 workers
Chowchilla: Chowchilla Convalescent Center, part of the Avalon Healthcare System, 50 workers
Clovis: Clovis Convalescent Hospital, 50 workers
Concord: San Marco Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 90 workers; Willow Pass Healthcare Center, 80 workers; Windsor Manor of Concord, 170 workers
Dublin: Prison Health Services (also has a location in Oakland), 140 workers
El Cerrito: Shields Nursing Center, 50 workers
Fairfield: Greenfield Care Center of Fairfield, 60 workers
Fremont: Windsor Country Drive Care Center, 100 workers; Windsor Park Care Center of Fremont, 60 workers
Fresno: Golden Living (Beverly Manor) Convalescent Hospital, 160 workers
Galt: Golden Living (Beverly) Center, 70 workers
Hayward: Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center (also Union City), 120 workers; Hayward Convalescent Hospital, 80 workers; Windsor Gardens of Hayward, 60 workers
Kingsburg: Kingsburg Care Center, 70 workers
Marysville: Marysville Care Center, 60 workers
Millbrae: Millbrae Serra Convalescent Hospital, 90 workers
Monterey: Windsor Monterey Care Center, 50 workers
Oakridge: Oakridge Care Center, 90 workers
Richmond: Shields/Richmond Nursing Center, 50 workers
Ross: Cedars of Marin, 20 workers
Salinas: Windsor the Ridge Rehabilitation Center, 100 workers; Windsor Skyline Care Center, 60 workers; Windsor Gardens of Salinas, 90 workers
San Francisco: Central Gardens Convalescent Hospital, 80 workers; Convalescent Center Mission Street, 50 workers; In-Home Supportive Services Consortium, 480 workers; Mission Bay Convalescent Hospital, 35 workers; University Mound Ladies, 20 workers
San Jose: Empress Care Center, 60 workers; Lifehouse, 120 workers; Vista Manor Nursing Center, 80 workers
San Leandro: All Saints Sub-Acute and Rehabilitation Center, 80 workers; San Leandro Healthcare Center, 60 workers; Washington Care and Rehabilitation Center, 60 workers
San Rafael: Country Villa, 60 workers
Stockton: Creekside Care Center (Heritage), 50 workers; Golden Living (Beverly) Center -- Hy-Pana, 70 workers
Yuba City: Yuba City Care Center, 50 workers
Despite NUHW's attempts to divide and distract SEIU-UHW members, the healthcare workers have successfully negotiated new contracts covering more than 68 hospitals and nursing homes in the past year, with wage increases for the first year of the contract nearly double that of the national average.
SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.
Contact: Adriana Surfas
SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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