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Dear NUHW members:
We’ve had another great year. NUHW continued to set the bar for improving standards for patients and workers, winning fair contracts that secure the future for our members and for our union.
We started the year by voting to affiliate with the California Nurses Association. CNA has been a strong and vital union in the state’s healthcare industry for decades and we are proud to stand together with them in fighting for worker and patient rights. By uniting the power of both unions in our common cause, NUHW-CNA serves as a model union for healthcare workers across the country.
Our reputation is growing. Due to our success and our democratic principles, healthcare workers throughout California are taking notice, and our membership continues to expand. In the last six weeks alone we have won five elections. As a result, we remain the fastest growing healthcare workers union in the country.
In 2013 we welcomed new members from the San Rafael Nursing and Wellness Center, Santa Cruz Visiting Nurses Association, Kindred Hospital Westminster, and Corizon Health, which provides care to inmates at the nation’s fifth largest jail, located in Alameda County. And Radiology Associates of Marin General
Hospital, a forty-member independent union in operation for three decades, voted unanimously to affiliate with NUHW.
Meanwhile, NUHW members continued the fight against Kaiser. In June, California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) hit Kaiser with a $4 million fine as a result of NUHW’s complaint that Kaiser is understaffing its mental health services and forcing patients to wait too long to receive care. The DMHC demanded that Kaiser put an end to these violations and come into compliance with state law regarding patient care and patients’ rights to timely appointments. And NUHW filed a lawsuit against the state’s Health Benefits Exchange for failing to enforce its eligibility rules on Kaiser given these violations. Together with CNA and UNITE HERE, we will continue to exert the power of more than 20,000 Kaiser workers to hold Kaiser accountable for providing better care for patients and better working conditions for employees.
In October, NUHW conducted its first annual Leadership Conference. Two hundred rank-and-file members gathered at Emeryville’s Hilton Garden Inn to discuss our union’s future and to recommit ourselves to winning industry-standard contracts, empowering work-site leaders, organizing the unorganized and those trapped in
undemocratic unions, and fighting for healthcare for all.
Our union is growing stronger by the day and we expect continued growth and progress in 2014. On behalf of the 10,000 members of NUHW and the many thousands more who await the chance to organize a powerful union in their workplace, we wish you and your family a healthy and peaceful new year.
Sal Rosselli, President
John Borsos, Secretary–Treasurer