Labor board OKs election for 2,300 Kaiser professionals to join NUHW

NewsDecember 2, 2009

Jim Clifford, MS, Therapist at Kaiser San Diego Psychiatry

“We’re joining NUHW because we want democracy and integrity in our union again. SEIU has made deals behind our backs to cut our pension and lay off 1,800 of our co-workers. Now’s our chance to put members back in charge of our union.”

More than 2,300 healthcare professionals at dozens of Kaiser Permanente facilities across Southern California will soon vote to leave SEIU and join 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.

Jim 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.