Labor board OKs 2,300 Kaiser professionals to quit SEIU and join National Union of Healthcare Workers
December 2nd, 2009
Ruling by federal government ends nine months of obstruction by SEIU officials
LOS ANGELES—More than 2,300 healthcare professionals at dozens of Kaiser Permanente facilities across Southern California will soon vote on leaving the SEIU to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).
A majority of the workers filed petitions to join NUHW in February, but SEIU delayed the election by filing frivolous charges which were rejected yesterday afternoon in a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board. The election should be scheduled within 42 days.
“We’re joining NUHW because we want democracy and integrity in our union again,” said Jim Clifford, MS, a therapist at Kaiser San Diego.
“SEIU has made deals behind our backs to cut our pension and lay off 1,800 of our co-workers,” he said. “We’ve been waiting months for the chance to join NUHW and put members in charge of our union again.”
Clifford and 74 other workplace leaders signed a letter to their colleagues announcing the election and urging a vote for NUHW.
NUHW was founded by SEIU reformers in January and sparked a mass exodus from the troubled union. The movement for an independent union stems from efforts by the SEIU’s top Washington, D.C. officials to make secret deals with employers and push healthcare workers out of negotiations.
A majority of 100,000 caregivers at some 360 hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes have taken action to join NUHW, including more than 45,000 other Kaiser employees who are circulating a petition to quit SEIU next summer.
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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is an independent, member-led union, dedicated to improving the lives of healthcare workers and the people they care for. More than 100,000 workers in hospitals, Kaiser Permanente facilities, homecare, and nursing homes have petitioned to join NUHW since January 2009. | NUHW.org