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    Thursday
    Dec102009

    Empire Report: Memorial Hospital Election Oversight Commission Created

    As Memorial Hospital workers prepare to vote on unionization, local religious leaders, political leaders, and educators are creating a Fair Election Oversight Commission to address continued employee complaints about anti-union activity. [Disclosure: This report’s author has been asked and agreed to be a member of the Fair Election Oversight Commission.]

    Exactly one week before Memorial Hospital employees determine if they’ll unionize, a group of local community leaders and supporters gathered with hospital workers to announce the creation of a Fair Election Oversight Commission

    The commission, which will be co-chaired by Monsignor John Brenkle and JoAnn Consignlieri, and includes local religious leaders, political leaders, and educators, is being created in response to allegations of anti-union activity by Memorial Hospital administrators

    Memorial Hospital Employees attending conference

    The commission will provide Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital employees a means to report violations of the following five (5) fair election rights:

    RESPECT for the individuals and institutions involved in the election.

    EQUAL ACCESS TO INFORMATION so that individual or group meetings about unionization are not mandatory nor held on paid work time.

    TRUTHFUL AND BALANCED COMMUNICATIONS so that all communications are factual and holistically truthful, and do not include negative campaigning or exaggerate the advantages or disadvantages of unionization.

    PRESSURE-FREE ENVIRONMENT with no harassment, threats, or coercion, and respect for employees who do not wish to engage in a discussion.

    NO DELAYS so that all parties abide by the election results and do not file frivolous legal charges.

    Any Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital employee who feels that these fair election principles have been violated may report the incident to the commission by calling (707) 206-6777. 

    Referring to the violations that already have been reported by hospital employees, Monsignor Brenkle said, “The reports we’ve been hearing from workers at the hospital are truly disturbing.” 

    By documenting complaints like those discussed by Memorial Hospital’s Mito Gonzalez, the commission will, in the words of community organizer Fred Ross Jr., help employees “hold management accountable, and to hold S.E.I.U. accountable, to respect your rights, not to intimidate, coerce, harass in any way.” 

    If a Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital employee feels that any of the above fair election principles have been violated, (s)he may report it to the commission by calling (707) 206-6777.

    Note- Fair Election Oversight Commission members include:

    • Monsignor John Brenkle, Co-Chair, Pastor, St. Helena Catholic Church
    • JoAnn Consiglieri, Co-Chair, Former Sister of St. Joseph of Orange
    • Veronica Jacobi, Santa Rosa City Councilmember
    • Father Angelito Peries, Pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Windsor
    • Martin Bennett, Santa Rosa Junior College
    • Father Raymond G. Decker, Pastor Emeritus, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice
    • Rev. Blythe Sawyer, United Church of Christ, Petaluma
    • Tony White, Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University
    • Rev. Chris Bell, Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa
    • David Walls, Professor Emeritus, Sonoma State University
    • Holly Jaramillo, Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club
    • Stephen Harper, Shomrei Torah, Santa Rosa
    • Chris Fadeff, Marin Democratic Party
    • Lisa Maldonado, North Bay Labor Council
    • Caroline Bañuelos, Sonoma County Latino Democratic Club
    • Carl Patrick, IMPACT! Petaluma
    • Michael Aparicio, Santa Rosa Junior College

    Disclosure: This report’s author has been asked and agreed to be a member of the Fair Election Oversight Commission.

    Michael Aparicio teaches philosophy at Santa Rosa Junior College.  He’s a regular contributor to Empire Report. “Rojo Reports” is our collection of his news articles. “The Gadfly” is our collection of his news commentaries. Taken together, they are Michael’s attempt to provide a balance of newsworthy reporting and thought-provoking questioning. 

    Special thanks to Jake Bayless for photographing the event and to Clinton Flynn for video recording the event. 

    Note- Hospital security disrupted the brief announcement and directed Monsignor Brenkle, the commissioners, and its supporters to leave hospital grounds.  Only one day after allowing individuals to walk through the hospital and deliver cakes with anti-union messages on them, Memorial Hospital security directed the non-partisan Fair Election Oversight Commission headed by local clergy to leave hospital grounds, charging them with union solicitation: 

    Source: Empire Report

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