Trusteeship to Be Lifted as Executive Board of 340 Hospital, Nursing Home and Home Care Members Prepare to Lead Union’s Work for Quality Care and Quality Jobs Under Health Care Reform
(OAKLAND, CA) Members of California’s largest healthcare union have elected 340 new leaders of their union in results announced today by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), which administered the mail-ballot election.
Members of the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West voted to elect Dave Regan as president, Stan Lyles as vice president and an executive board made up of nearly 340 union members representing hospital, home care, and nursing home workers throughout California. Both Regan and Lyles received more than 82 percent of the vote.
“Now more than ever, our nation needs the visionary and compassionate leadership of healthcare workers,” said Regan, who has served as trustee of SEIU-UHW for the past two years. “We’re fired up, and 150,000 SEIU-UHW members are ready to work together in our communities and workplaces to ensure that as many people as possible get quality, affordable healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.”
“As tens of thousands of new jobs are created in healthcare, we’ll work to make sure they’re good jobs that support families while building healthier communities,” said Lyles, a respiratory care practitioner at Catholic Healthcare West’s Northridge Hospital Medical Center.
The new officers and board will be installed on April 8-9 in Fresno, at which time the trusteeship the local has been operating under will be lifted. SEIU-UHW went into trusteeship in early 2009 after its former leaders were found to have misused millions in members’ dues and violated members’ democratic rights.
The election effectively ends a two-year period in which the former officials failed to convince SEIU-UHW members to switch to a new union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). In all, about 140,000 of 146,000 members (96 percent) who were asked to switch chose to stay in SEIU-UHW, and NUHW is reeling under millions in debt and a failure to negotiate any contracts for its members.
Ballots in six languages were mailed to SEIU-UHW members on February 19 and due by return mail to the San Francisco office of the AAA March 15.