Alta Bates Workers Vote to Stay in SEIU-UHW

After All-Out Attempt to Win, Loss Leaves Future of NUHW in Doubt

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center have voted to remain in the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), handing another stinging loss to the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

The vote, counted today by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), was 510 for SEIU-UHW to 448 for NUHW. The victory by SEIU-UHW is the union’s fourth win this month. It comes on the heels of SEIU-UHW’s victory in October among 44,000 Kaiser workers and could be a knockout blow to NUHW, the group started by former officials of SEIU-UHW who were removed from office two years ago for misusing millions in union funds.

“We fought off bullying, lies and even racist attacks by NUHW during this election,” said Nadeia Joseph, a patient care assistant at Alta Bates’ Herrick campus. “Now that we’ve kicked them out once and for all, we can focus our energy on caring for patients and making a better life for our families under our SEIU-UHW contract.”

Agreed Rebekah Right, a biller/scheduler at Alta Bates’ Summit campus, “Our hospital campuses are not only huge centers for medical services in Oakland and Berkeley, they’re a historic stronghold of the former leaders who are pushing NUHW. If they couldn’t win here, they have no hope of winning anywhere else. They’re done.”

With the ABSMC election over, workers at eight out of eight Sutter Health hospitals in the Bay Area have now chosen to remain in SEIU-UHW over NUHW.

“The time has come for NUHW to stop interfering with workers’ lives and fold up shop,” said SEIU-UHW Trustee Dave Regan. “They have produced nothing but division at a time when workers need to be united to get through the economic crisis. They have not achieved anything for the small number of workers they represent – in fact they have not successfully negotiated a single contract in their two years of existence.

“NUHW is simply a failed experiment that has harmed working people,” he said.

Of the 130,600 SEIU-UHW members who had a choice between SEIU-UHW and NUHW, more than 124,000, or more than 95%, have voted to stay in SEIU-UHW. None of the SEIU-UHW members who have gone to NUHW have a union contract today. They have lost out on raises, their benefits are in jeopardy, and they have taken layoffs that NUHW was unable to stop.

The ABSMC election is the fourth huge defeat this month alone for NUHW. On January 14, to avoid certain defeat, NUHW withdrew from a union election among 1,000 Grancare nursing home workers at 10 facilities. On January 11, NUHW withdrew from the union election among 900 healthcare workers at Daughters of Charity’s Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach scheduled for January 13 and 14. On January 6, NUHW withdrew from the union election among more than 200 healthcare workers at Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo.

NUHW’s attempt to overturn the results of last October’s union election at Kaiser Permanente is fading fast. Last week, the NLRB ruled that 88 of the 118 objections to the election do not merit a hearing, a major step toward certifying the overwhelming vote by 43,500 Kaiser Permanente workers to remain members of SEIU-UHW. The objections were filed by NUHW after they lost the election to SEIU-UHW by a margin of 18,290 (61%) to 11,364 (37%). A hearing will be held February 7 on the remaining charges, which are without merit.

NUHW was created by former SEIU-UHW officials who were removed from office for misusing millions in union funds and violating members' democratic rights. In April 2010, a federal jury ordered NUHW and its leaders to pay a combined $1.57 million in damages to the members of SEIU-UHW.

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 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.



CONTACT:

SEIU - United Healthcare Workers West
Lisa Hubbard, 213-716-2172 (c)

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Professional Services  Human Resources

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