SANTA ANA, Calif., April 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 300 healthcare workers at Coastal Communities Hospital voted by a supermajority to be represented by SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West (UHW) in a secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board on Friday.
"Uniting with thousands of other caregivers as a member of UHW gives us power to make a positive difference on the things that matter most," said Ruth Calderon, a Licensed Vocational Nurse at the hospital. "With our union, we plan to make improvements at the hospital that will protect patient care, increase staffing levels and help recruit and retain the most qualified healthcare workers."
The union election victory includes service, technical and professional workers at Coastal Communities Hospital, owned by Integrated Healthcare Holdings Incorporated. IHHI operates three additional hospitals in Orange County including Western Medical Center Anaheim, Western Medical Center Santa Ana and Chapman Medical Center.
In contract negotiations in 2007, UHW members at Western Medical Center Anaheim won the right for non-union employees at other IHHI hospitals to join UHW under a "free and fair" election agreement, which establishes binding ground rules for union elections.
"We voted for our union to gain a stronger voice on the job, because as frontline caregivers, we know the best way to improve medical care," said Respiratory Therapist, Monica Chin. "We're excited about our new opportunities to advocate for our patients and achieve better wages and benefits."
Today's election is the latest in a recent series of UHW organizing victories as UHW keeps its place as the fastest growing local union in SEIU. Recently, nearly 2000 California caregivers have chosen UHW as their union. In the last two weeks, over 1500 workers at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, nine CHW Medical Foundation health clinics in greater Sacramento and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside united into UHW.
The 150,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largest, fastest-growing hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service classifications. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.
SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers - West