Caregivers reject SEIU’s fear campaign
San Leandro, California – Workers at Kindred Hospital San Francisco Bay Area have voted to leave the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) completed the vote count last Friday with a final tally of 46 for NUHW to 25 for SEIU, close to a 2-to-1 victory.
“Finally we’re united again in a union that we control and that puts our interests first,” said Maurice Banks, a Licensed Vocational Nurse at Kindred for over 12 years. “With NUHW, we’ll be able to win a contract that gives us a voice in staffing, workload and patient care at Kindred. We can’t wait.”
The election at Kindred Hospital is the third in two months in which caregivers voted to leave SEIU for NUHW. In November, in two elections covering 1,500 mental health professionals and optical workers at Northern California Kaiser hospitals, workers also chose NUHW over SEIU.
“SEIU tried to scare us out of voting for the union we wanted, but we stuck together. Now we have a member-driven union again, which is how it should be,” said Edna Renslow, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Kindred.
The election at Kindred covered 83 caregivers, including Licensed Vocational Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, Unit Assistants, Environmental Services employees, and Dietary workers.
NUHW was founded by the former executive board of SEIU-UHW after SEIU officials in Washington DC put the local union in trusteeship in January 2009 to stifle dissent over issues of union democracy and rank-and-file participation in collective bargaining. Since NUHW’s founding, thousands of healthcare workers all over California have voted to leave SEIU-UHW and join the new, member-controlled union.