Daughters of Charity workers call on SEIU-UHW to drop challenge to union election results

Eye on SEIUMarch 23, 2015

Regional NLRB office declares NUHW winner of March 2014 election at Seton Medical Center (Daly City) and Seton Coastside (Moss Beach), urges national office to certify result

NLRB Region 20 overrules all of SEIU–UHW’s objections, says challenged ballots would not affect outcome


EMERYVILLE — On Monday, March 16, the National Labor Relations Board’s Region 20 office in San Francisco declared the National Union of Healthcare Workers the representative for workers at two Daughters of Charity Hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

On March 19, 2014, workers at Seton Hospital in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach voted to replace SEIU–UHW with NUHW, a democratic, worker-led union.

“It was a great victory,” said Suad Husary, a respiratory therapist at Seton Medical Center. “But SEIU–UHW immediately filed objections, tying up our election for a year.”

The Region 20 decision clears obstacles put up by SEIU-UHW that have delayed certification of the election and denied representation to Seton workers for 12 months. In addition to a range of unfounded objections, SEIU–UHW challenged the validity of a handful of ballots. The Region 20 office overruled all of SEIU’s objections and also ruled that the remaining ballots would not affect the outcome of the election and need not be counted.

The Region 20 director recommended “that the [National Labor Relations] Board issue a revised Tally of Ballots and a Certification of Representative in favor of Petitioner, National Union of Health Care Workers, as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of employees in the above-noted appropriate collective bargaining unit”.

SEIU–UHW has until March 30 to appeal.

“SEIU–UHW needs to honor our election and not file an appeal,” said Suad Husary. “We’ve waited long enough. We’ve been stuck in SEIU all this time while they’ve put our jobs at risk by stopping the sale of the Daughters hospitals.”

“For SEIU–UHW to drag this out any longer would add insult to injury,” said Juan Pedroza, a radiology technologist at Seton Medical Center. “They can’t force Seton workers to remain in limbo at a crucial time when their hospital’s very existence is under threat. They should retreat with what little dignity they have left.”

In the year since the election, antipathy toward SEIU–UHW has grown exponentially among Daughters workers. SEIU–UHW went against the desire of a majority of its members at Daughters of Charity hospitals by mounting an aggressive campaign to block the sale of the chain’s six hospitals to Prime Healthcare. The future of the Seton facilities and the entire Daughters of Charity system remains uncertain.