Caregivers File Charges Against Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Prepare to File Lawsuit on Layoffs

NewsDecember 19, 2010

Salinas, California – Last Thursday, hospital employees represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) against Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital (SVMH) for its refusal to bargain with their union over approximately 100 proposed layoffs. Through their union, workers are also preparing to file a lawsuit against the hospital for its failure to comply with both the federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Acts.

To date, SVMH has refused to negotiate in good faith with the union over the implementation of the proposed layoffs, a violation of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, Government Code Section 3505 and PERB Regulation 32603(c), which prohibits “refus(al) or fail(ure) to meet and confer in good faith with an exclusive representative” by the employer.

SVMH also failed to provide affected workers and the state of California with 60 days’ advance notice of the layoffs, a clear violation of both the state and federal WARN Acts.

“We’re going to the Board of Directors on Monday to ask them to step in and stop the layoffs and tell the administration to start bargaining in good faith,” said Marilyn Benson, a 36-year Licensed Vocational Nurse at the hospital.

The hospital has announced the date of December 30 for the layoffs to take effect, just five days after Christmas.