Workers at 10 more nursing homes to switch unions and join NUHW

NewsMarch 15, 2010

Caregivers at GranCare homes call on SEIU to stop misusing dues to harass and coerce members

Northern California—Caregivers at ten nursing homes operated by GranCare (formerly Mariner) have petitioned the labor board for an election to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and end their membership in the SEIU.

The 1,000 caregivers at GranCare homes have become the latest to join an exodus of more than 100,000 SEIU members across California who are fleeing the troubled union. The movement began last January, when SEIU officials from Washington, D.C. seized control of a local chapter in an effort to divide nursing home workers from hospital workers. NUHW was founded by the healthcare workers and experienced union negotiators who led the local union before SEIU’s takeover.

GranCare workers have the best union contract in the country for nursing home workers, won in 2008 by the workplace leaders and negotiators who are now with NUHW. It was the first nursing home contract ever to tie caregivers wages to wages at Kaiser Foundation hospitals. The Kaiser contract, also bargained by NUHW’s negotiators, sets the standard for California’s healthcare industry.

“We’re voting NUHW to take our union back,” said Dorothy Ray, a certified nursing assistant at Florin Healthcare Center in Sacramento. “We want to stay united with Kaiser workers, and keep moving forward with the experienced negotiators who have helped us win for years.”

Workers filed the petition on Friday afternoon, despite intense opposition by SEIU. SEIU staff, aided by management in several facilities, harassed caregivers, threatened to sue them and have them fired, and confiscated and destroyed petitions that caregivers were using to collect signatures from their co-workers. Caregivers are calling on SEIU to stop using union funds—their own hard-earned wages that they pay in part as dues—to interfere with their right to vote in a fair election.

Workers have called for an election to join NUHW at the following facilities:

  • Almaden Care and Rehab, 2065 Los Gatos Almeden Road, San Jose, California 95124
  • Creekside Healthcare Center, 1900 Church Lane, San Pablo, California 94806
  • Driftwood Healthcare Center-Hayward, 19700 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward, California 94541
  • Florin Healthcare Center, 7400 24th Street, Sacramento, California 95822
  • Fremont Healthcare Center, 39022 Presidio Way, Fremont, California 94538
  • Hayward Hills Healthcare Center, 1768 B Street, Hayward, California 94541
  • Parkview Healthcare Center, 27350 Tampa Avenue, Hayward, California 94544
  • Pineridge Care Center, 45 Professional Center Parkway, San Rafael, California 94903
  • Skyline Healthcare Center-San Jose, 2065 Forrest Avenue, San Jose, California 95128
  • Vale Healthcare Center, 13484 San Pablo Avenue, San Pablo, California 94806

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The National Union of Healthcare Workers is California’s fastest-growing union, representing caregivers in every job classification. More than 100,000 workers in hospitals, nursing homes, and Kaiser Permanente facilities have petitioned for elections to join NUHW and win a strong, democratic voice at work. |