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by Sadie Crabtree
Thursday, Dec. 03, 2009 at 7:52 AM
Ruling by federal government ends nine months of obstruction by SEIU officials
LOS ANGELES—More than 2,300 healthcare professionals at dozens of Kaiser Permanente facilities across Southern California will soon vote on leaving the SEIU to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).
A majority of the workers filed petitions to join NUHW in February, but SEIU delayed the election by filing frivolous charges which were rejected yesterday afternoon in a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board. The election should be scheduled within 42 days.
"We're joining NUHW because we want democracy and integrity in our union again," said Jim Clifford, MS, a therapist at Kaiser San Diego.
"SEIU has made deals behind our backs to cut our pension and lay off 1,800 of our co-workers," he said. "We've been waiting months for the chance to join NUHW and put members in charge of our union again."
Clifford and 74 other workplace leaders signed a letter to their colleagues announcing the election and urging a vote for NUHW.
NUHW was founded by SEIU reformers in January and sparked a mass exodus from the troubled union. The movement for an independent union stems from efforts by the SEIU's top Washington, D.C. officials to make secret deals with employers and push healthcare workers out of negotiations.
A majority of 100,000 caregivers at some 360 hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes have taken action to join NUHW, including more than 45,000 other Kaiser employees who are circulating a petition to quit SEIU next summer.
Read the NLRB's ruling: http://bit.ly/NLRB-Kaiser-Professionals
Read the letter from 75 Kaiser professionals: http://bit.ly/KaiserPro75
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