More USC workers vote to join NUHW

NewsApril 25, 2024

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Perseverance paid off for 19 workers at USC Engemann Student Health Center who voted this month to join more than 2,000 of their colleagues as NUHW members.

The workers, who include licensed vocational nurses, medical assistants, and radiology technologists, were blocked by the university from holding a union vote last July. USC challenged the organizing effort, which led to a week-long National Labor Relations Board hearing during which workers testified about the nature of their work and why they wanted to unionize.

After nine months, the labor board sided with NUHW and ruled that the three classifications constituted an appropriate organizing unit, paving the way for the election.

“We won!,” said a very pleased Genetter Green, a medical assistant at the health center. “We waited nine months to get a decision from the NLRB, and it was a difficult road, but we got our victory.”

Green said that her coworkers are excited to join their NUHW counterparts in USC as they fight to raise their standards and working conditions.

“I’m ready to fight for better benefits at USC that are on par with other major healthcare employers,” Green said. “One of the major reasons I fought for a union was to establish fairness in the workplace. I’m ready to get to work and win our contract.”

These caregivers will now begin preparing for negotiations with USC.

“We’re proud to continue growing our membership at USC with the workers at the student health center who have already shown that they will fight for their rights and not be intimidated,” NUHW President Sophia Mendoza said. “This should be a lesson to USC to honor the will of its workers instead of wasting time and money trying to beat them in legal proceedings.”

The vote is the latest organizing victory for NUHW in the Keck–USC system after approximately 366 workers from Verdugo Hills Hospital voted to join the union in December. NUHW now represents more than 2,000 workers at USC facilities.