Palomar Pomerado Health District Technical, Service Workers Submit Petition for Union Representation
About 1,600 Palomar Pomerado Health district technical, service and maintenance employees yesterday submitted a petition to district officials to recognize their membership in the Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Many of the employees, which include nursing assistants, laboratory assistants and emergency room technicians, said that union representation would lead to improved wages, health benefits and working conditions in future contract negotiations (Berhman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/5). The employees decided to unionize after about 600 district nurses in June joined the California Nurses Association (California Healthline, 6/7). Gil Taylor, vice president of human resources for Palomar Pomerado, met with union representatives and said that the district would work with employees. "We recognize the right of our employees to unionize. If the CHEU is certified as the official union representative for our employees, we expect the union and management to meet and bargain in good faith," he said. The district and the union must determine which employees qualify to join CHEU; the union must receive approval from a majority of the eligible employees to obtain representation (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/5). Under a state law (AB 1281) that took effect Jan. 1, supporters can collect signatures of a majority of the employees to approve unionization, rather than hold an election (California Healthline, 6/7). Fernando Losada, a union director, said that an "overwhelming majority" of the eligible employees have signed union certification cards (San Diego Union-Tribune, 12/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.