By Elizabeth Kim
About 1,500 Kaiser mental health professionals and optical workers in Northern California have voted to leave the Service Employees International Union and join the National Union of Healthcare Workers, the union reported Friday.
The National Labor Relations Board concluded the ballot count with a final tally of 603 for NUHW to 196 for SEIU in the Integrated Behavioral Health Services unit, and 154 for NUHW to 142 for SEIU in the optical unit.
Kaiser’s Northern California mental health and optical workers will join 2,300 psychologists, social workers, dietitians, audiologists, speech pathologists, health educators and nurses in Southern California Kaiser hospitals and clinics who voted to join NUHW in January.
“As NUHW members, Kaiser professionals’ priorities at the bargaining table will include reversing the takeaways SEIU agreed to in its latest round of negotiations with Kaiser, and winning improvements to job security, health insurance benefits and patient care standards.” the union said.