[May 13, 2013] OAKLAND, CA – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certified the overwhelming victory by SEIU–United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) in this month’s union election for 45,000 employees at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics across California.
The NLRB’s action brings to an end a nearly three-year effort by Kaiser workers to confirm SEIU-UHW as their chosen union after the National Union of Healthcare Workers and the California Nurses Association attempted to woo Kaiser workers into their organizations. Kaiser workers overwhelmingly chose to stay in SEIU-UHW.
Neither NUHW nor CNA filed objections to the election, despite months of wild accusations that they were not being treated fairly.
“It’s clear that NUHW-CNA couldn’t prove any of their claims because there was never any substance to them,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW. “Today’s certification brings closure to this election and allows Kaiser employees to focus our time and energy on providing the best possible care to Kaiser patients.”
The May 2 results – 18,844 votes (58.4 percent) for SEIU-UHW, 13,101 votes (40.6 percent) for NUHW, and 334 votes (1 percent) for no union – were tallied and overseen by the NLRB, and nearly mirrored those of the previous Kaiser election between the two unions in 2010. This month’s vote was the largest private sector union election in the United States since 1941 at the Ford Motor Company.
SEIU-UHW has represented caregivers at Kaiser Permanente in California for nearly 70 years. Members voted to stay in SEIU-UHW to protect their three-year agreement, negotiated in 2012, that guarantees 12 percent wage increases, employer-paid family healthcare with no cost increases, job security protections not found anywhere else in the industry, full pension, and retiree health insurance. It was negotiated by members who were elected to a 119-person SEIU-UHW bargaining committee supported by thousands of union members.
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