SEIU Seeks Quick New Vote To Resolve Kaiser Union Election Issues
The Service Employees International Union is pressing federal officials to quickly schedule a re-voteÂ of an October 2010 election by about 43,000 Kaiser Permanente employees, Modern Healthcare reports (Carlson, Modern Healthcare, 8/17).
In October 2010, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West defeated the National Union of Healthcare Workers 18,290 to 11,364 in an election to represent the Kaiser workers.
NUHW challenged the outcome of the election (California Healthline, 7/19).
In July, an administrative law judge invalidated the votes, ruling that Kaiser's management improperly withheld some benefits from workers who had switched to NUHW.
The National Labor Relations Board recently voted to accept the judge's recommendations and order a new vote. The election date has not been set (Modern Healthcare, 8/17).
Elizabeth Brennan, a spokesperson for SEIU-UHW, said that although SEIU disagrees with the administrative judge's ruling, SEIU now wants a "speedy election" (Maher, Wall Street Journal, 8/17).
Union officials said they had collected 18,000 signatures on a petition asking for the quick election.
Meanwhile, NUHW said it plans to ask for further investigation of the October election.
Leighton Woodhouse, an NUHW spokesperson, said the union will file new complaints about Kaiser's conduct in the previous election because of similar concerns about the new election (Modern Healthcare, 8/17).
NUHW also said that Kaiser in recent weeks has filtered out emails from NUHW while allowing campaign messages from SEIU to move through its system, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kaiser Permanente spokesperson Won Ha said the not-for-profit health system was not aware of NUHW's new allegations and would remain neutral in the dispute between SEIU and NUHW (Wall Street Journal, 8/17).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.