OAKLAND – Avoiding another certain defeat, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has withdrawn from a union election among 1,000 Grancare nursing home workers who are members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). This is the third bid defeat for NUHW in 2011.
On January 11, NUHW withdrew from the union election among 900 healthcare workers at Daughters of Charity’s Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach scheduled for January 13 and 14. On January 6, NUHW withdrew from the union election among more than 200 healthcare workers at Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo.
“We decided some time ago to stick with SEIU-UHW because we have won 7% raises, fixed our healthcare and together with other nursing home workers will continue raising standards for the industry,” said Angela Salgado, a certified nurse assistant at Driftwood Healthcare Center. “NUHW only provides management with tools to distract workers from improving our lives.”
Today is the final day of a ratification vote on a new contract extension by SEIU-UHW members at Grancare’s 10 facilities. The contract brings Grancare workers closer to the higher wages set by SEIU-UHW members at Kaiser and begins to raise standards for nursing home workers across the entire industry.
With this election, only 40 of the 4,000 SEIU-UHW nursing home members who have faced a choice of the two unions have chosen NUHW. Overall, of the SEIU-UHW hospital, nursing home and home care members who have chosen between the two unions, more than 95% have now chosen to remain in SEIU-UHW. This includes members at Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest health system, where 92% of employees decided in elections last year to stay in SEIU-UHW.
NUHW was created by former SEIU-UHW officials who were removed from office for misusing millions in union funds and violating members’ democratic rights. In April 2010, a federal jury ordered NUHW and its leaders to pay a combined $1.57 million in damages to the members of SEIU-UHW.
Since its creation two years ago, NUHW has failed to win a single contract for any of the roughly 6,000 workers it now represents.