Woodland, California - Following on the heels of a near-unanimous vote on Wednesday by workers at the Cottonwood nursing home to leave the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), employees of the Woodland skilled nursing facility near Sacramento voted yesterday to switch unions by a vote of 40 for NUHW to 4 for SEIU.
“Our co-workers at Cottonwood made their decision yesterday, and now we’ve made ours,” said Marva Bailey, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Woodland. “We’ve all been waiting for two years to take our union back from SEIU. Now that we’re in control of our union as NUHW members, we’re ready to get to the bargaining table and win the contract we deserve.”
As with their co-workers at Cottonwood, a majority of Woodland’s 84 employees signed petitions to join NUHW in 2009. North American Healthcare, Inc., the owner of both facilities, agreed to recognize the union based on clear majority support among Woodland employees. However, SEIU filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board to prevent workers from having their decision respected, delaying recognition for two years.
Among NUHW’s new members at Woodland are Dietary workers, Certified Nursing Assistants, Restorative Nursing Aides, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Laundry workers and Maintenance workers. Forty-five employees at North American-owned Valley Skilled Nursing Facility in Sacramento are already represented by NUHW.