Press-Democrat: Memorial workers vote to join NUHW

NewsDecember 19, 2009

After almost six years of labor organizing, health care workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital voted for representation by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, according to the union.

The two-day vote was a showdown between the breakaway healthcare union, and the much larger Service Employees International Union.

The decision affects almost 700 employees at Memorial Hospital, including radiology and respiratory technicians, nurse’s aides, housekeepers and dietary workers.

St. Joseph Health System of Orange County, which runs Memorial, had strongly opposed the organizing effort.

The vote was 283 for the National Union of Healthcare Workers, 263 for no union, and 13 for the Service Employees union, according to a statement issued by NUHW representatives.

“We are all so excited to finally have a voice to make our hospital a better place to work and better for our community,” said Nancy Timberlake, a telemetry technician at the hospital. “We stuck together for six years and we finally did it. I’m so relieved and so happy that we won.”

The release noted that the labor board overseeing the election had not certified the results, and that 17 ballots were being challenged because the workers were not identified as eligible voters.

Source: Santa Rosa Press-Democrat