Labor Board Issues Complaint Against SVMH Management for Violating Workers’ Rights

NewsSeptember 14, 2011

Salinas, California – On Monday, the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) issued a complaint against the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System for engaging in unfair labor practices that interfered with SVMH employees’ rights.

The PERB responded to two separate charges filed by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).  The Board agreed that on June 20 of this year, hospital management restricted union members from distributing literature at “two public non-working Hospital areas” at which they were lawfully entitled to do so. The Board also agreed that on June 17, hospital management selectively enforced email rules in order to stifle pro-union speech by an NUHW member leader.

In both cases, the PERB found hospital management guilty of violating sections of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act. The Board found that the healthcare system “interfered with employee rights,” commited “an unfair labor practice,” “interfered with the rights of bargaining unit employees to be represented” by their union, and “denied (the union) its right to represent bargaining unit employees.”

“This is a hospital board that meets behind closed doors, draws up privatization plans with no public input or knowledge, and considers hiring private investigators to go after whistle blowers when their secret plans are dragged out into the light of day,” said John Borsos, Vice President of NUHW. “Is it any surprise that this is also a management regime willing to break the law to prevent workers from exercising their right of free association?”

The Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System has twenty days from the date of issuance to respond to the charges.

Read the PERB’s complaint.