NLRB Orders Hearing on SEIU collusion with Employer in January Election at Sutter Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

NewsApril 26, 2011

Labor Board hearing could result in overturning of election results

OAKLAND – Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered a hearing to investigate whether the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Sutter Health violated the law by teaming up to prevent workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (ABSMC) in Berkeley and Oakland from voting to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in an election in January.  The hearing could result in a Board decision to overturn the election, which SEIU won by 62 votes out of nearly 1,000 cast.

Among the charges that the NLRB found to have sufficient merit to warrant a hearing were that:

  • “The Employer granted unlawful access and knowingly assisted SEIU to campaign against NUHW.”
  • “(T)he Employer, by its agents, unlawfully granted SEIU non-employee representatives superior and enhanced access to its facilities…”
  • “The Employer and its agents unlawfully conducted surveillance of known employee-adherents of NUHW…”
  • “SEIU engaged in unlawful surveillance of NUHW supporters.”

In a separate hearing concluded last June, an Administrative Law Judge for the NLRB ruled that ABSMC officials illegally fired an employee due to her support for NUHW and also cited the hospital for “serious unfair labor practices” designed to “squelch” employees’ “growing support for NUHW.”

Notice of the hearing comes less than two weeks after the conclusion of testimony in a similar NLRB hearing on SEIU collusion with Kaiser Permanente in an election between SEIU and NUHW last year.  A decision on that case is expected this summer.

See the NLRB’s announcement of the hearing: