The Californian: Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital workers to vote on union switch

NewsMarch 17, 2010

By Mike Hornick

Caregivers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital will have from April 22 to May 13 to vote by mail whether to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers and leave Service Employees International Union.

A majority of hospital workers petitioned last month to join NUHW. California’s Public Employment Relations Board has validated their petition and scheduled the dates for the 850 workers to vote. Votes will be counted May 17.

“We’re bargaining our contract next August, and we need a union we can count on,” Esther Nuñez, a cashier and chief steward, said in a news release. “We want to bring back democracy and integrity in our union. We’ve seen the takeaways SEIU agreed to at Kaiser and at other hospitals this year, and we’re not going to let that happen to us.”

In three elections in January, 2,300 Kaiser members became members of NUHW, voting 1,657 to 257 to make the switch. The group at Salinas Valley includes respiratory care practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, clerical workers and others.

Source: The Californian