Why we are choosing NUHW, and leaving SEIU

NewsSeptember 6, 2012

On Tuesday morning, a supermajority of 1,100 healthcare workers at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center submitted petitions for an election to leave SEIU-UHW and join NUHW.

Just like 49 workers at San Francisco’s Mission Neighborhood Health Center who voted 43-2 on Wednesday to join NUHW, we can’t wait to get out of SEIU.

In January of 2010, after being subjected to a relentless campaign of lies and intimidation by SEIU, we narrowly lost an election to join NUHW. Since that time, whether through non-existent representation, union-agreed-to layoffs or contract giveaways, SEIU has shown over and over again that SEIU-UHW is the union for management, not for healthcare workers.

In fact, SEIU is so in bed with management at our hospital that the former SEIU-UHW rep at our facility left to take a job with Human Resources. You read that right. Just months after our election, SEIU’s rep went to work for our employer where he now works with our employment files and issues layoff notices and terminations to this very day.

You can’t get any closer to management than that. And it shows.

Just like SEIU’s “partnership” with Kaiser, at ABSMC, SEIU-UHW has bargained away our health benefits and given up our workplace rights in successive contracts. For my co-workers in the business office, SEIU-UHW literally bargained away their jobs, letting management find “cost savings” by outsourcing more than 100 jobs at our hospital to another state, with more to come.

We know that there’s a better way. United in NUHW, healthcare workers at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, Keck Medical Center of USC, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and many other facilities have bargained strong contracts with raises and no takeaways.

If you share our commitment to NUHW, won’t you share this leaflet with your co-workers today?


Oscar Medina, Transport, ABSMC
National Union of Healthcare Workers