Labor board overturns Seton election, orders new vote

NewsJanuary 18, 2013

Just like they’re doing at Kaiser, SEIU-UHW teamed up with management and cheated in our election at Seton Medical Center—and they just got caught.

The decision came down yesterday from the federal government. The Labor Board overturned the tainted results of our election at Seton, a part of the Daughters of Charity Healthcare System, and ordered a re-run “because the Employer discriminated in favor of SEIU” (p.33) and “Employees would have reasonably concluded that the Employer was favoring SEIU.” (p.34)

As a Seton worker I want you to know that this is a massive victory for me and my co-workers.

Following our election, SEIU-UHW bargained  a contract full of takeaways that eliminated our defined benefit pension, forced us to pay a 25% premium share on a health plan that used to be free, and hit us with big increases to our out-of-pocket costs for doctor’s visits and prescriptions. It’s a story that’s familiar to workers at Kaiser who, like us, are organizing to escape management’s hand-picked union and join NUHW-CNA.

There’s a reason why employers like Kaiser and Daughters of Charity break the law to help SEIU-UHW win elections: it’s because SEIU-UHW is letting management cut our benefits and our jobs. That may be good for the bottom lines of our employers and the union they prefer, but it’s awful for healthcare workers.

The Labor Board even cited SEIU-UHW’s campaign hypocrisy in the decision, noting, “SEIU reasoned that employees would see professional union representatives come and promise a lot when their support was being solicited but disappear when the election or negotiations were over.” (p.21)

Sound familiar?

At Seton, we stand in solidarity with 43,000 Kaiser Service and Tech workers who’ve experienced exactly the same thing as we did at Seton.

After a 2010 election full of violations and employer discrimination against NUHW supporters at Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser workers have realized that SEIU-UHW has bargained away workers’ retiree health benefits, imposed a privacy-invading wellness plan, and even agreed to 1,000 layoffs, giving up workers’ bumping rights in the process.

A federal judge overturned the 2010 Kaiser election, and Kaiser workers now have another chance to leave SEIU-UHW as well. We want you to know that Seton workers stand with you.

Now is the time for healthcare workers to stand up and speak with one voice. Now is the time for us to vote to join NUHW-CNA.


Ricardo Leiva, Sterile Processing, Seton Medical Center
National Union of Healthcare Workers – California Nurses Association