Kaiser Caregivers in Southern California Receive Their Raises

January 17th, 2011

Over the last few days, 2,300 Kaiser workers in Southern California who voted to join NUHW have been receiving paychecks reflecting the 2% raises promised them under their prior contract.

We voted NUHW and we didn’t lose anything,” said Irma Dufelmeier, a 24-year RN at Kaiser Los Angeles Medical Center. “We kept our raises, our healthcare, our seniority and we’ve never been stronger.”

These new paychecks prove what NUHW worker leaders have been saying for a long time: under federal labor law our wages, benefits and our scheduled pay increases are protected while we bargain a contract.

Kaiser tried to illegally withhold raises and benefits from employees who joined NUHW, but a judge called Kaiser’s position “without legal merit” and “inherently destructive” of basic worker rights, a second judge agreed, ordering the company to reinstate the raises and benefits, and Kaiser filed an affidavit in federal court confirming its compliance with the judges’ orders. Shortly thereafter, NUHW members received checks with their raises intact.

These facts aren’t stopping SEIU from misinforming workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, telling them that they’ll lose if they vote to join NUHW. But like so much of what SEIU says in moments of desperation, it’s plainly and demonstrably false.