NEWS: SEIU-UHW Members Vote to Keep Their Union at El Camino Hospital

Workers Continue to Hold Management Accountable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Contact: Carlyn Foster, (510) 587-4528

OAKLAND, Calif. –Workers at El Camino Hospital in Santa Clara County overwhelming voted to stay united in SEIU-UHW.

Healthcare providers who serve the patients at El Camino Hospital at campuses in Mountain View, Los Gatos and two Dialysis Centers turned out in record numbers to vote for SEIU-UHW. Results were tallied late last night after ballots were impounded Jan. 5 by the State Mediation Conciliation Services.

“We knew in our hearts last Thursday that we had won the election to keep our union,” said Kary Lynch, who has worked at the hospital for more than 30 years. “There was a great energy in the room among workers last night when we were counting the ballots. We demonstrated in record numbers that we are keeping our union, SEIU-UHW, and we’re going to continue to hold management accountable.”

Last fall, SEIU-UHW members filed charges with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) when the El Camino Hospital District Board declared impasse on the contract and implemented benefits cuts without having negotiated with the union in good faith.  On December 19, 2011, PERB filed a complaint stating El Camino Hospital: 1) Illegally withheld information from SEIU-UHW members during bargaining; 2) Prematurely declared impasse in the bargaining without having bargained in good faith, and 3) Illegally implemented a 10% cost share to employees on health insurance without bargaining in good faith.

“The majority of us know the value of our union and we voted to protect it. Now we can focus all of our energy on holding management accountable for forcing a contract on workers when they didn’t negotiate with us in good faith in the first place,” said Anna Williams, a certified nurse’s assistant in the Critical Care Unit at El Camino’s Mountain View Campus.

“Hopefully management is getting the message—workers are staying united in our union, SEIU-UHW,” said Norma Beltran, a certified nurse’s assistant at El Camino’s Mountain View Campus. “We recognize that having our union improves the lives of working families and helps us better serve our patients and community.”

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SEIU—United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.

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