Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spin Cycle - NLRB Announcement Edition

Not surprisingly, each side has come out with a presser in the wake of yesterday's NLRB ruling. The text of the NLRB ruling can be found here.

It's not hard to figure out how NUHW feels about the decision...

More than 2,300 healthcare professionals at dozens of Kaiser Permanente facilities across Southern California will soon vote to leave SEIU and join NUHW.

A majority of the workers filed petitions to join NUHW in February, but SEIU delayed the election by filing frivolous charges which were rejected yesterday afternoon in a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board. The election should be scheduled within 42 days.

“We’re joining NUHW because we want democracy and integrity in our union again,” said Jim Clifford, MS, a therapist at Kaiser San Diego. “SEIU has made deals behind our backs to cut our pension and lay off 1,800 of our co-workers. We’ve been waiting months for the chance to join NUHW and put members in charge of our union again.”

Clifford and 74 other workplace leaders signed a letter to their colleagues announcing the election and urging a vote for NUHW.

NUHW was founded by SEIU reformers in January and sparked a mass exodus from the troubled union. The movement for an independent union stems from efforts by the SEIU’s top Washington, D.C. officials to make secret deals with employers and push healthcare workers out of negotiations.

A majority of 100,000 caregivers at some 360 hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes have taken action to join NUHW, including more than 45,000 other Kaiser employees who are circulating a petition to quit SEIU next summer.

For its part, Zombie UHW sent out a presser stating that all of us in Kaiser are doomed, DOOMED!!!! because of the decision...
A decision issued today by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has put at risk the guaranteed raises, healthcare coverage, and pensions of Kaiser Permanente RNs, social workers, and professionals in Southern California.

"We have worked for years to achieve standards at Kaiser that give us security and allow us to provide the professional care our patients need," said Jeanette Cryer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Kaiser Corona/Riverside Psychiatry. "This decision puts all of that at risk and holds out the real threat that we will lose what we've fought so hard to achieve."

The decision by James F. Small of Region 21 of the NLRB to call for a union election among those professional employees could nullify the currently negotiated contracts covering the workers. Those agreements provide for a 2% raise in April, and profit-sharing that many of these workers are scheduled to receive in early 2010 and again in 2011.

Nullification of the agreements would put these guaranteed benefits at risk. It also opens the workers up to cuts in healthcare coverage and pensions that Kaiser has already imposed on managers and non-union employees. In all, each individual worker could lose as much as $15,000 in guaranteed income and benefits over the next two years.

The NLRB decision, which runs counter to a decision by the NLRB in northern California, calls for an election between the workers' current representative, the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West, and an organization run by the union's former leaders, who have formed an organization called the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The former SEIU-UHW officials were ousted in January for transferring $3 million in members' dues to a bogus non-profit organization for their own use, stashing another $500,000 in a lawyer's bank account, and undermining the democratic rights of SEIU-UHW members.

SEIU-UHW will seek review of this decision by the NLRB in Washington.

I suppose the SEIU position is the result of a basic misunderstanding of labor law, that being that when representative bodies change, the existing contract stays the same. SEIU will now try to convince some of the KaiPerm workers in SoCal that every little bit of their contract will suddenly go --poof-- once NUHW is elected, and that is a flat-out lie.

And SEIU knows it is.

No matter. I'm just waiting for SEIU to try to appeal the NLRB ruling on the same basic grounds that NUHW did back in June when NUHW's initial petition was rejected by NLRB because of contract bar. They can practically take NUHW's brief and that case and just insert "Zombie UHW" where it says NUHW, and it'll be darn near complete. And it will also be a darn near complete failure.

Clock's ticking, plaguesters!


  1. JEEEZEEEESSS, They're Teabaggers, Boo!..... Lions, Tigers and wage Freezes Oh NO!

    It's so sad.

  2. The more outrageous SEIU's argument the sillier they look. You'll notice NUHW doesn't use fear to communicate it's positions.

  3. The sniveling, whining SEIU scabs are desperate and up against the wall. They've alienated themselves from the labor movement and progressives throughout California and the heat will continue to be turned up until SEIU is ousted from the healthcare industry. Health and home care workers have had enough of the SEIU sell-outs because they can clearly see that the Plague and the employers have partnered-up in an effort to roll back wages and benefits. We want a union that acknowledges that workers themselves are the union and not Stern's appointed Washington bootlickers.

  4. So, SEIU's saying that you are putting your contract at risk by choosing representation by the same people who negotiated the contract in the first place, instead of the SEIU hacks who are selling out workers left and right?

    If you're dumb enough to believe that, you might as well put on a purple t-shirt and burn a hundred dollar bill every month, and you can just pretend to stay in SEIU.


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