Full report from our Founding Convention

April 30th, 2009

More than 700 workers gathered on Saturday in San Francisco for NUHW’s founding convention. We celebrated our record-breaking accomplishments, and developed plans to make our new union even stronger. Here are the highlights:

  • We voted to adopt a provisional Constitution and Bylaws to safeguard member democracy in our union:
    • We guaranteed our right to elect our co-workers to represent us in contract negotiations, and our right to elect stewards and officers.
    • We made it easier for members to run for office, by reducing the number of signatures needed to 25.
    • We lowered our dues to 1.5 percent (from SEIU-UHW’s 2 percent dues rate), with no initiation fee.
    • We’re still working to improve our Constitution and Bylaws before we make them permanent. If you want to participate, contact your steward or NUHW organizer.
  • We elected a founding committee of leaders who are accountable to us, not to Washington, D.C.—the committee is made up of almost all of the same rank-and-file leaders we elected to lead SEIU-UHW before Stern’s takeover of our union.
  • We committed to stay strong and build organizing committees in every one of our worksites. These committees will help us advance and defend the interests of our co-workers at work and with SEIU.
  • We committed to get the resources we need to win our first elections. We have several elections to win in the next two months—in Fresno, the Bay Area, and Southern California—but we can’t win without people power and money. We all need to volunteer to work on organizing campaigns, and we all need to help raise money to win our upcoming elections.
  • We committed to ask elected officials to help secure our right to vote. SEIU is holding up many of our elections at the NLRB, by using the same tactics the worst bosses use to deny workers our legal right to vote and choose our union. We need to tell our senators and representatives that no one should be able to stand in the way of a free and fair union election—not employers, and not SEIU.

You can read our new Constitution and Bylaws here. Don’t forget to sign up for updates at NUHW.org/signup. We’ll post video from the convention, and messages of support sent from workers across the country.

Click here to download this report as a leaflet to share with your co-workers.

Talk to your steward to find out what you can do to help build our NUHW!

Carla Garcia“At Kaiser, SEIU has already started giving away benefits we fought for, without even letting us vote on it. SEIU is trying to threaten and harass us the same way they’re trying to intimidate hospital and nursing home workers. That’s why all have to stick together, and help each other win elections so we can all get out of SEIU and into a union where we have respect and control.”
—Carla Garcia, Kaiser Baldwin Park

Tenny Jane Brocchini“By being in a union with all healthcare workers, and through bargaining together with the leadership of NUHW, we achieved the highest standards anywhere for nursing home workers. We have a real voice in staffing, and wages linked to hospital workers. SEIU has never listened to our voice—that’s why we need to fight to stay with NUHW.”
—Tenny Jane Brocchini, Monterey Pines nursing home

Tzamy Vang“We found out that SEIU is going to move us out of a union with Kaiser and Hospital workers. There’s no way we can let them do that.”
—Tzamy Vang, Fresno Homecare

Mary Duarte“I was inspired to see all nursing home, Kaiser, and hospital workers united to help us win our election.”
—Mary Duarte, Fresno Homecare

DeAnn Horne“We’ve been fighting Sutter for years, united with healthcare workers across the state. It’s great to see old friends who marched with us on strike for our last contract, and know we have the support of thousands of workers across California in beating Sutter’s takeaways.”
—DeAnn Horne, Sutter Alta Bates Summit