Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital Workers are Certified as NUHW Members
In a major step forward for workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, yesterday hospital management informed the union in writing of its “intention to move forward and commence negotiations for an initial collective bargaining agreement with NUHW.” The news caps a seven-year struggle by SRMH caregivers to win union recognition at their hospital.
The hospital’s letter follows a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to certify a December 2009 election in which workers voted for NUHW over “No Union” by 283 to 263, with 13 votes for SEIU. The election was the largest successful hospital organizing drive in the country for 2009.
After the vote count a year ago, the employer filed election objections with the NLRB in the hopes of overturning the election. In May, an administrative law judge rejected those charges and certified NUHW as the workers’ exclusive collective bargaining agent.
Seven months after announcing his decision, the NLRB has complied with the judge’s order and certified the election for housekeepers, dietary workers, clerical employees, Certified Nursing Assistants, Respiratory Therapists, Radiology Technologists and other caregivers.
“For years, management tried everything they could to stop us from having a voice, including working with SEIU to silence us. But we persisted, and we prevailed,” said Melissa Bosanco, a Care Partner at SRMH. “Now it’s time to get to the bargaining table and win a contract that improves the lives of workers and that makes our hospital the best place in the region for patients to receive care.”