Kaiser workers seek election between rival unions

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Thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers have filed petitions to change unions in what could be the biggest battle yet between Service Employees International Union and its upstart rival National Union of Healthcare Workers. If called by federal regulators, the election would involve more than 45,000 workers, the biggest private sector organization since Ford Motors employees joined United Auto Workers in 1941.

“This is the election everyone has been anticipating for the last year and a half,” NUHW spokesperson Sadie Crabtree told us.

That was when Sal Rosselli and other former leaders of the Oakland-based United Healthcare Workers were ousted by former SEIU President Andy Stern and other leaders of their parent union, SEIU, and formed NUHW. Since then, the two unions have clashed bitterly and regularly, in various workplaces, through the media, in leadership battles, and in a San Francisco court case that ended in April.

“The NUHW petition, if the National Labor Relations Board agrees it was filed appropriately, could force an election between SEIU-UHW and NUHW at Kaiser. Voting for NUHW would risk all the gains SEIU-UHW members made in a hard-fought four-month contract campaign against takeaways by Kaiser,” was how an SEIU-UHW press release cast today's action.

NUHW opted for a nod to the Fourth of July in its release: “Thousands of Kaiser healthcare workers fired the first shot today in a long-anticipated battle for independence that will determine the future of California's largest union, SEIU. They filed a petition that will trigger elections for 45,000 SEIU members to choose between the troubled incumbent and the state's fastest-growing union, the new National Union of Healthcare Workers.”

About 2300 Kaiser workers – representing three of the seven bargaining units – already voted in January to join NUHW, but the petitions now being turned in by the remaining four unions represent the most significant segment of Kaisier workers, including the 44,000-member service, technical, and clerical unit.

Federal law calls for elections when at least 30 percent of a union's members ask for one, and Crabtree told us, “We have more than we need.” Now, the NLRB must verify the petitions and schedule the election.

Comments

Again - no one cares.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

I hope you don't work at Kaiser Lucretia. If you do, you should be ashamed of yourself. Where is your social conscience? This battle will determine our relationship with our employer for years to come.
If SEIU wins, we will continue on the downward spiral they initiated last year. We can be assured of more take-aways, more bargaining behind our backs and less representation.
What Kaiser workers need to keep in mind is this: SEIU is on its BEST behavior right now. This is as good as it gets, and its pretty bad. We don't want to see what they can do when they aren't trying to win an election.
For all of you on overload, I'm sorry you even have to be involved. If it were possible we would fight this battle for you but it's not. The end is in sight, so ask your questions, don't be intimidated by SEIU and lets just get this done so we can get back to the work that needs doing.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 5:53 am

You obviously are not a union employee so shut up/get a life! This is important to us...

Posted by Sarygirl on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

Lucretia , I wish you well in your job if you are with Kaiser or any other hospital. Believe me, Many people do care and are fighting for people like you and others. I've been around many unions in the past and I never seen one like SEIU selling thier people out. I say this because it has been proven over and over again. I witness SEIU do many crooked things. Lying is one of the biggest things they do. Whenever, I provide actual proof of thier lies. SEIU reps are at a loss of words and tell me that they didn't know about that. I find that funny, because the info was from them. I hope you see my point. I look at both sides and I find the lies have been coming from SEIU. take care

Posted by oscar on Jul. 11, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

This is in response to Lucretia ...Thousands care and this is why it is happening!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 6:07 am

It is an exciting time for Kaiser Permanente workers that hope to regain the right to democratically elect union representation and have some one to stand up to the Kaiser's law breakers in the workplace. Hold Kaiser Permanente accountable to the values they openly preach in the media and have a worker control of the people that gets paid with the union dues. After the inmoral imposed trusteeship the trustees of SEIU-UHW, Dave Reagan and Eliseo Medina have come to empty our union coffers and put our local in the red they are expending our union dues by figthing workers right to democracy and their right to vote. I hope the NLRB does not denies this time their right to vote.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 6:47 am

Lucretia, you are one of our most frequent blog commenters, regularly making ridiculously uninformed, spiteful, and petty comments with very little self-awareness or sense of how you sound to others, so your judgment about what people care about doesn't matter much to me, and it shouldn't to our readers either. OK, that was one troll-indulgence for the week, I'm now going back to ignoring you and the equally vile Mr. Matlock.

Posted by steven on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

the thing that irritates me the most about NUHW is their constant demands of more money, more rights, more perks, more benifits more more more, not just a little but lots more, from my vantage point all kaiser employees should be greatful for having a job at all with 18 million people out of work in the USA. Not get greedy or you'll end up just like GM did where the union demands bankrupted the company.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 01, 2010 @ 2:38 am

How do you think we got to where we are now? By fighting for MORE...
Kaiser employees don't have the best benefits for no reason...Think about it Miss MORE MORE MORE...

Posted by Sarygirl on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

I agree!!! Thank you!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2010 @ 12:02 am

When i say i agree,,it's pertaining to the comment statement with "the thing that irritates me" not the comment by the ignorance below that!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 10, 2010 @ 12:11 am

WOW! do you really believe what you are saying. I hope you know that everything you have is from people who fought hard and struggled to get good wages and benifits. I have heard your kinds of statements before from other employees in the past , who are now fightning with NUHW. I only get irritated when people make statements without thinking about it. Anyone with a job is greatful, but that doesn't mean we have to be taken advantage of. Companies like GM will always blame unions for thier money issues. But why did they make does contracts if they were not workable. You know as much as I do and america , that GM screwed themselves and hurt our people. My hospital has billions of dollars and talks about cutting cost. However; i don't see them not building new hospitals and paying thier CEO's less money. Also remember that SEIU will cost people thier jobs in the future , unless your people are going through it now. I know we are. I never heard the mention of lay- offs until SEIU took over our hospital. Summit hasn't had lay-offs for 10 or more years.

Posted by oscar on Jul. 11, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

Last year at this time, NUHW tried to file a petition signed by (it claimed) a majority of the members of SEIU at Kaiser. That petition was rejected by the NLRB as being untimely filed. Now NUHW has some number signing petitions which it will not disclose, but says only that it has more than the 30% it needs to show some level of interest, and does not even try to claim a majority. Isn't that kind of a downward spiral for NUHW--especially since more than half of the eligible Kaiser SEIU members recently voted on the new contract, and of those, approved it by something like 10 to 1 in favor?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 02, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

The current SEIU stewards should be ashamed of themselves! They push lies for SEIU! They have not been there for us when we've needed them! I've asked them to tell me why I should support SEIU along side them, and they tell me stories of revenge! They tell me nothing that would make me begin to support them or vote for them! NUHW will win this election and many others will fallow! NUHW is on it's way to being the strongest union for healthcare workers and I will not be left behind!

NUHW leaders on the other hand have proven time and time again that SEIU and Kaiser are in bed with each other and are trying to take Kaiser workers down. I've seen in for myself! They would not allow home healthcare workers a chance to vote! They have also eliminated more than 1,300 SEIU jobs. Started something called flex positions, and take aways to our pension. Now with this so called new agreement they brag about a big old 3% pay increase.... nothing when you factor in the benefits committee page that they didn't hype up! They choose to keep that undercover. SEIU stewards have nothing go to tell me when it comes to that! One said to me, "oh you know Kaiser and how they like a committee for everything" I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!! Now they are allowing them to talk about how Kaiser can save money on our healthcare cost! So bye bye little bitty 3% raise! Our union dues are soooo high and I would not be shocked if they raise it again!

SEIU is not just messing with us and our job security and benefits we once had but are also doing this to others workers at other hospitals.

NUHW is NOT asking our employer for more than what we deserve but only building on what we have already had! SEIU bargains TAKEAWAYS!!!

JOIN ME IN VOTING IN NUHW ✔

Posted by They are crazy to say we should be happy to have a job! on Jul. 08, 2010 @ 9:26 pm

you're an idiot, if SEIU bargained takeaways then why did 94% of the members at Kaiser just ratify the contract. People aren't stupid they know a great contract when they see one. It's all documented. Stop the lies NUHW!!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

Do you honestly believe you have a great contract. From what I could remember with our contract at summit. Most of it was take aways. Oh by the way, our hospital voted for this contract without even getting a chance to see the TA until the day of voting . I find that kind of strange. I hope the documents that you read are true. Many of the Kaiser employees that I know are not happy with it. You should post the documents that you have and prove your point. Once you actually see what is in your contract word for word. I believe you would change your mind. I say this because I see both sides and I seen the proof of what SEIU has done and is doing now.The truth is out there, you just have to take the time to find it. We are losing staff at our hospital and we are not being represented at all in meetings with management. Also , people don't have to be stupid to vote for a bad contract. They just have not been informed enough and was pushed into it. Many staff members in summit voted for the contract without even looking at it. 44,000 members wanting to leave SEIU should say something to you . Shouldn't it ? take care

Posted by oscar on Jul. 11, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

your the idiot!! if u really believe %94 voted!! It's laughable what u idiot's believe!!! %94 yea people want SEIU so bad that they r still tryin to block our right to vote!!! GO NUHW

Posted by Guest on Jul. 14, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

Shows how ignorant you are , you don't even know the latest info, SEIU isn't blocking anything. Get educated and read!!! Maybe you should go ask the oakland police officers if they could get what SEIU bargained...NO TAKE AWAYS...!!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 15, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

NUHW supporters should be ashamed of themselves there only wanting to win this so they can go back to using our dues money for there own personal gain. SEIU just ratified a great contract. When I asked an NUHW so called "steward" how do you know that you can get us better contract when so cal doesn't even have one there response was "it's just a feeling I have". How rediculous of an answer is that??? Yeh and i have a feeling that I'm gonna win the Lotto too!!! Anyone who's thinking about voting for NUHW needs to gather the facts and think about how they will be putting there families future at risk. Remember "hell hath no fury than a UNION scorned" and NUHW is a exactly that "scorned". They will stop at nothing and they care nothing about the working people. If they cared so much about the members then why did they all step down??? Left the employees in the lurch and SEIU was and still is there helping and doing the best they can. Who was going to stay and help the members when all the other NUHW supporter stewards stepped down?? No one can answer that question, yet they are quick to criticize and ridicule,even after SEIU bargaining team won our GREAT contract. Only a fool would take chance with NUHW!!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

I was a steward and Bargining team member with SEIU UHW. When SEIU decided to start working against thier members, which shocked me because I never thought i would see that. i worked in many jobs with unions and I never seen one sell thier people out. All of us left because we were not going to do that and SEIU reps didn't want us there anymore because we were working hard for the employees and not holding hands with HR or Management. Like I told someone else on this site. We still help our co-workers with anything they need and lately been assisting them with the SEIU screw ups. I have no idea were you are coming from making statements about working people , when the working people are the ones standing with NUHW. The facts are clear as day light about how NUHW was formed and why many hospitals are under NUHW because the people voted for them. By the way, our contract from the new SEIU Staff , has more take aways then I could believe. This is in the bay area. Please take the time to look at all the info and make sure it is good info. I look at both sides info and I go with real facts not lies. Oh yeah! I told my co-workers that we will get a better contract as NUHW because we had a good one before SEIU did thier take-aways and I showed the members what they lost and what we could gain with NUHW back at the bargaining table and we will still have a contract when we go to NUHW. It will be the one we have now and NUHW will go back to the table to get back what SEIU has given away. Take care and good luck in the future.

Posted by oscar on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

Please don't lie there are NO take aways, please show me where your getting these lies from..where are the fact?? whats been taken away??? SEIU all the way. I agree with the single mom of 4, be greatful for what you have.

Posted by NOT!!! on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 5:07 pm

If Nuhw had any kind of sense they would "conceed" and be thankful for what they have just won with SEIU. I have a question for you NUHW supporters. Why is it that you seem to have done nothing wrong???? It's all about blaming SEIU. You have an answer to everything and NUHW is this knight in shining armor that thats going to somehow get a better contract with Kaiser. What makes you think that a weakened union like yourself with out the backing of the Kaiser coalition of unions which is 33 unions strong will give you more bargaining power??? You need to learn when enough is enough, you had your chance and fooled people for many years, enough rope was given and you hung yourselves(proven with guilty verdict in court). You still have time to bow out gracefully! You will have more respect from your peers. The employees at Kaiser are sick of you "beating a dead horse"

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

I agree with you, finally some one who makes sense to me. You're right if they cared so much for the employees welfare why did they step down. If the SEIU stewards were not here to help us who would we go too??? I've been a Kaiser employee for over 20 yrs and thankful to have a 3% raise and NO take aways for thru 2013. In this world of uncertainty, I am thankful. Voting for NUHW would put all of our futures at stake, only to satisfy there narcissistic greed for money and power!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 09, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

STEP DOWN! are you serious! From what I can remember, They were actually kicked out. I was removed from the bargaining team right after the trusteeship. Which by the way , Happened because we would not give up 60,000 members. It is all documented in court. No union is perfect, the only thing I see going on right in front of my eyes, is that we are being sold out quickly by SEIU. I find that kind of strange when every Kaiser member I know feels like SEIU screwed them and 44,000 or more are leaving SEIU for NUHW. That is a lot of people wanting to leave SEIU. Bow out is a funny term to use when SEIU is losing hospitals fast. You must be one of those SEIU spies trying to upset people. lol Take care and I hope you don't get screwed by the contract.

Posted by oscar on Jul. 11, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

I came across this site and while researching some other things on the internet, and I'm disgusted at what I'm hearing. I am a single parent with 4 children, just lost my job and all you're doing is complaining. At least you have a job and were just given a good contract. You're making a mockery of God and the blessing you have. If you don't let this rest this will all back fire on you. I would be so thankful if I had half of what you have.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 5:46 pm

Most of the leadership was taken down...the stewards stepped down shortly thereafter. They wrote a letter to the fact. Get your facts together before making statements you know nothing of.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

yes I'm with you, the NUHW stewards chose to step down! They had a choice and they decided to leave the members without representation. Hypocrites that claim to be Christians.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

I stepped down because SEIU wanted me to agree with them on a contact that was going to hurt my co-workers and no SEIU rep was listening to me about what we should be fighting for. I still help my co-works against SEIU lies and set ups. Many of former SEIU UHW stewards still help our people, even though we were told to leave the UNION issues to SEIU. The only problem is that when my co-workers went to handle an issues with HR or managers. SEIU reps sided with management. Many of the former stewards went with the employees as witnesses during meetings with HR and Union reps. Thank goodness that we do that or the employees would be gone from thier jobs. So, don't make judgements on stewards because many of us still help our people and still leave the door open for SEIU supporters who changed how they feel and believe in a workers union. It is nice to see people coming over after they had witness SEIU screw them over. take care

Posted by oscar on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

This whole argument of the NUHW/SEIU lawsuit is moot, since the whole Sal Roselli/ NUHW lawsuit wass a HOAX. He was accused of stealing 1.5 million, which the jury whittled down to 500,000, and it for the use of UHW facilities. Not a guilt/not guity sort of determination that the SEIU is trying to make it out to be. In fact, the jury dropped all but three of the charges, which were basically just finacial liability. The jury and judge even ruled that the NUHW doesnt have to pay the whole amount. Three Federal judges WARNED SEIU after the judgement to stop filing frivolous and baseless lawsuits against its competitors. SEIU is now being taken to court for the REAL crime of embezzling 15 million dollars from UNITE HERE in the midwest!!! The fact remains that DOZENS of locals across the nation are trying to rid themselves of the CANCER that the SEIU is!!!

Posted by garagehero on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

Get out from under NUHW now, while you still have half a brain left..and before they get you to drink the rest of the kool-aid...!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

Wow! I am amazed by some of the statements made on this site. I'm sorry to tell you that i'm not brainwashed, Just have knowledge of what is really going on by co-workers that were at the court case that SEIU was trying to make NUHW look bad and I witnessed SEIU lies to my co-workers. Well , it didn't work. The truth came out and people are seeing what SEIU is all about. I hope that you take the time to get the information from good sources. By the way, are you telling my that more then 44,000 members of SEIU wanting to go to NUHW are loss in the brain. Please! What are you Drinking? Either way, I wish you well in the future with your job and I hope SEIU doesn't hurt you in the long run. take care

Posted by oscar on Jul. 19, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

Theres a video on you tube with Sal Roselli sitting there trying to convince these poor brainwashed employees what happened in court. His body language says it all. You can tell hes grasping at straws.Jim Jones was good at this too. I agree with the comment above about "drinking the kool aid". It's sad to see actual brainwashing happening right before my eyes. The Devil is very busy right now and will stop at nothing to get back in action. Living the good life on our hard earned dues money. These kind of power hungry people (NUHW) prey on the weak minded,just like Jim Jones did. I am sick to my stomach behind this. I will continue to pray That GOD give these people the strength to come to there senses and stop following this cult called NUHW!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

LOL...it's obvious SEIU Stewards and Supporters still don't know how to read. Or Comprehend what they have read. NUHW is not the aggressive Union here...We ..NUHW, do not go into people's workspace and threaten them..( just happened yesterday). So those of you who have no clue what it is like to work at a Kaiser facility and to be interrupted by these Purple People Eaters while trying to assist members who are ill need to step back and put yourself in that ill member's shoes! All we are asking for here is a FAIR,DEMOCRATIC VOTE...let the member's who pay nearly 80.00 a month who they want to represent them. Period.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 16, 2010 @ 7:09 am

The union dues implementation was voted on by the members when the former so called leaders were still in office. There's paperwork and proof on that. Also wheres the proof that SEIU comes into the workplace and threatens??? If SEIU comes to work place it's to educate and pass out info. Also you haven't been reading or researching have you?? The vote wasn't denied, NUHW isn't prepared. They came to the NLRB with 2 atty's and no one else showed up. Stop spreading lies...you're a follower.

Posted by again read............ on Jul. 16, 2010 @ 10:49 am