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Are you aware of the SEIU-UHW/NUHW situation?


From UnionMaine: I know it is hard to believe, but sometimes what is happening in the rest of the country doesn’t seem to affect us in Maine.
This blog is aimed at Labor issues and this is probably one of the biggest stories going on in the Labor world at this time. We are in the middle of a fight for the EFCA, accross the country right wing nuts are ready to dump gas on a spark of labor troubles.
The SEIU seems to be refusing to accept what is the basis for the EFCA.

In some locations employees have overwhelmingly signed cards saying that they want to leave SEIU and join the new NUHW (New United Health Care West) union. Representatives of SEIU have refused to accept the “card check” vote. WTF? (Where’s the Freedom?), not what you were thinking.

Are the troubles in California a power grab by local officials or a revolt against SEIU/Andy Stern? We are part of a National organization that is in the middle of a well organized fight for it’s image and tens of thousands of members. This is From the Daily Kos. Read the snippet and follow the link for an interesting story.

NUHW: “Let us Vote!” (Source: The Daily Kos_

Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 07:55:21 PM PDT

In the five weeks since SEIU International trusteed California’s SEIU-UHW West something enormous has transpired: California’s healthcare workers have spoken.

What those workers have said is crystal clear: “We choose NUHW!

A majority of the workers from 350 healthcare facilities…representing over 91,000 California healthcare workers…have petitioned to be represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in just five weeks time. That includes an absolute majority of the 50,000 healthcare workers in California’s Kaiser network of hospitals and clinics. It also includes homecare workers in Fresno County …… That total also includes numerous workers at smaller facilities………..who gathered petitions from an absolute majority of the 500 healthcare workers at their two facilities.

Editor: (I would need proof of the absolute majority claim), a neutral party needs to verify the signatures in the same way the EFCA is would do,with a neutral vote counter and verification of eligibility. So far these are claims, not facts. )

Go Here to the DailyKos for the rest of the story

Go here for the NUHW web site and hear what they have to say.

The SEIU Response

Warning! Don’t Sign Away Your Contract Rights

Be careful about a petition going around that would put our jobs, wages, and benefits at risk.

Our SEIU UHW contract guarantees our:

  • Wages
  • Health benefits
  • Retirement
  • Job security protections
  • Grievance procedures and safeguards

In a bad economy, a strong union contract gives us peace of mind.

Sticking together in SEIU UHW is the best way for us to keep our contract in force, get involved in rebuilding UHW, and stand united with other healthcare workers to win higher standards, improved patient care, and universal healthcare.

We cannot let people divide us. We cannot allow people to confuse the issues. We’ve worked too hard and come too far to give up all that we’ve won with our union. We are the union, and our union is UHW – 140,000 healthcare members strong.

Let’s Not Lose What We’ve Won!
Do not sign petitions to decertify or deauthorize our union. Do not sign cards to revoke your dues. These efforts will only help the bosses and weaken us in this critical moment when we need to stand together to fight the employer.

If we sign the petitions, they will have no obligation to honor our open contracts. If we revoke dues, our union, UHW, won’t have the resources to help members win better contracts, take on employers, or fight for universal healthcare.

It’s time to move past the divisiveness that has prevented us from focusing on what really matters – our contracts, our wages and benefits, our patients, and our communities. With SEIU UHW, we are stronger together.

And in “The Facts for UHW members” SEIU has this to say:

Facts for UHW Members

What is decertification?
Decertification is a legal process for workers to stop being represented by a union.
Once workers are no longer represented by a union, the union contract is no longer in
effect and management no longer has to bargain with the union or recognize union
stewards. The employer can discipline or fire employees for almost any reason. The
employer has no obligation to maintain the wages or benefits in the contract.

What is deauthorization?
Deauthorization is a legal process that means workers do not have to pay union dues
as a condition of their employment. If the union security clause in the contract is
removed, it means the worksite will be like a right-to-work state. If workers vote for
deauthorization of union dues, it sends a message to management that the workers
don’t want to support or back the union.

What is dues revocation?
When individual members revoke their dues authorization cards, it means that they are
telling the employer they don’t want dues deducted from their checks. Individual
members may still have an obligation to pay dues under a union security clause. In
order to make sure that everyone carries their weight, the union may have negotiated
contract language that gives us a right to tell employers to fire employees who do not
want to pay dues.

What happens to our contract if we vote to join another union?
If members vote out UHW and vote in another union, the employer has to bargain with
the new union. The employer does not have to agree to the same contract. The
employer can stall and delay. The employer can tell the new union it wants to cut the
wages and benefits and make lots of changes. If the employer and the new union
cannot reach an agreement and there is an impasse, the employer can implement its
final offer, no matter how bad it is.

What if I signed a card or petition and I changed my mind?
If you signed a dues revocation form, or authorization form for another union, you can
sign back up for UHW. You can sign a new membership card, dues deduction card,
COPE card for UHW. You can also send a letter to UHW saying you want to stay a
member of UHW and don’t want to be a member of another union.

In a bad economy, a strong union contract gives us job security. For more information,
call UHW at 866-660-5235.

What do you think? Is the SEIU in trouble? What would you do to fix it?

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March 14th, 2009 Posted by narsbars | RIGHT TO WORK, SEIU, SEIU 1989, decertification, nuhw, uhcw | 6 comments

6 Comments

  1. Multiple blogs are covering the NUHW/SEIU battle.

    http://www.perezstern.blogspot.com
    http://www.adiosandy.blogspot.com
    http://www.kaiseroc.blogspot.com

    It’s plain for anyone to see that Andy Stern has woefully underestimated the strength of NUHW. In a month and a half, NUHW has presented NLRB with petitions to cover over 300 facilities, and over 90,000 workers.

    This was accomplished with a volunteer staff using word-of-mouth and person-to-person retail organizing – the kind of organizing that SEIU so disdains of late.

    If SEIU was so strong in its position, then they would welcome any NLRB vote. The fact that they are fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent any kind of vote is an indication of who may well be holding the upper hand in this battle.

    Comment by SierraSpartan | March 14, 2009

  2. Question regarding this fight: under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act’s secret ballot option, if enacted, and if SEIU UHW-W is replaced at a worksite by NUHW, would NUHW have access to the arbitration provisions of the law as an initial contract, for a union that has been certified or elected?

    If yes, many folks currently working under substandard CBA’s might want to start making plans now to replace their current representative.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Anonymous | March 15, 2009

  3. I am a Kaiser employee and shop steward. I am one of many who are fighting to get away from the strongholds of Andy Stern. We are use to having a voice and Andy Stern-SEIU is taking that away. There isnt a day that SEIU doesnt try something underhand to scare our members. I believe in NUHW and Andy Stern needs to call off his mob and tell the labor board he doesnt fear us and let us vote. Seiu is making our jobs and patient care almost impossible with the the greed. SEIU is coming between Labor and Management, a partnership we have worked on for so long is being damaged. Give us our voice, give us our vote. We need to get back to providing the best Healthcare we can at Kaiser

    Comment by Anonymous | March 31, 2009

  4. I have been a steward at my facility since we became uhw… I am tired of fighting this fight our contract is closed and at this time we are unable to vote a new union in so I feel we need to support the union we are in and represent our members and the contract that we currently had…one thing I find with SEIU is you don’t see all of the angry insulting names calling that you see with NUHW. It is upsetting to me that this has gotten so dirty.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 12, 2009

  5. You don’t see any of the angry insulting names from SEIU that you do from NUHW? What? How about his malicious rant about the NUHW founding convention from the web?:

    NUHW HAS ITS PATHETIC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL GYM!
    THINGS NOT TO EXPECT OR TO DO ON SATURDAY AT THE N(O)UHW LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE:
    1. DO NOT WEAR PURPLE SEIU-UHW SHIRTS.
    2. DO NOT EXPECT TO BE PUT-UP IN A LUXURIOUS HOTEL (SORRY, SAL AND JOHN SPENT ALL THE MONEY AND YOUR STRIKE FUND)
    3. DO NOT EXPECT TO SEE LARGE CROWDS, SO DO COME FASHIONABLY LATE.
    4. BRING NO-DOZE FOR THE MONOTONY OF SONOROUS SPEECHES.
    5. WEAR SUNGLASSES SO THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO RECOGNIZE YOU OR NOTICE YOU ARE ASLEEP.
    6. LOOK FOR PEREZ STERN AND HIS/HER INCOGNITO ( KAISER ) COWARD ACCOMPLICE(S) SIERRA FARTIN”…HMMM WONDER IF THEY WORK FOR KAISER AND CHW? PERHAPS X-STAFFERS? DEFINITELY ENGLISH DROP-OUTS! ANY RELATION TO THE GAY BLOGGER PEREZ HILTON? NO, NOT ENOUGH VISITS!
    7. DO BRING TOILET PAPER FOR THE MELODRAMATIC AND EMOTIONAL DIARRHEA THAT WILL FLOW FROM AMY PIGPEN’S ORAL CAVITY.
    8. DO NOT EXPECT TO GET A FREE LUNCH, A FREE BUTTON, OR T-SHIRT.
    9. BRING A LOT OF LOOSE CHANGE FOR THE PANHANDLERS (FORMER LEADERS) THAT WILL BE MALINGERING AROUND THE ENTRANCE ASKING FOR DONATIONS.
    10.DO BRING A LOT OF DEODORANT TO MASK THE STENCH OF SCAB ODOR.
    11. BRING A TOOTHBRUSH AND MOUTH WASH FOR STARLA SO SHE CAN HER CLEAN UP HER FOUL MOUTH AFTER SPEWING LIES AND BULLSHIT.
    12. BRING A COPY OF THE HIT T.V. SHOW “THE BIGGEST LOSERS” AND LET LYDIA SEE WHY SHE NEEDS TO GO ON THE SHOW.
    13. LOOK OUT FOR ELLEN DILLINGER AND DIK WOOD(S) AS THEY PLY YOU WITH CHILD LIKE CARTOONS AND PICTURES THAT WILL BE USED TO IDENTIFY YOU..AND DON’T FORGET TO ASK THEM TO SIGN A RELEASE FORM WHEN THEY PLASTER YOUR MUG ON THE n(O)UHW BLOG OR THEIR DICKTOONS BLOG.
    FINALLY DON’T FORGET THIS IMPORTANT ITINERARY:
    NUHW Founding Leadership Convention
    Date and Time:
    Saturday, April 25, 2009 — 10:00 am to 5:00 pm WOW 5 HOURS OF SAL ROSELLI’S DIATRIBE AND BULLSHIT.
    Location:
    Everett Middle School/ YUP FOLKS! IT IS AT THIS PALATIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL NOT THE SANTA ROSA FAIRGROUNDS!
    450 Church Street
    San Francisco, CA 94114

    Ask your N(O)UHW organizer how to attend! BECAUSE YOU OBVIOUSLY ARE TOO IGNORANT TO USE YOUR MALIGNANT MIND THAT IS INFECTED WITH THE N(O)UHW VIRUS TO READ MAPQUEST! REALLY, NOW WHO ARE THE REAL N(o)UHW ZOMBIE, SCAB RAIDERS?/JUST READ THE RESTRAINING ORDER THE FEDS. ISSUED.

    A $50 voluntary contribution is requested to
    support our historic organizing campaign. VOLUNTARY/ YEAH!RIGHT! JUST LIKE WHEN WE SIGNED OFF OUR DUES MONEY AND THOSE HYPOCRITE, DECEITFUL NO LONGER STEWARDS AT KAISER AND CHW AND SUTTER NEVER REVOKED THEIR DUES AND TRICKED THE MEMBERSHIP

    14. DON’T FORGET TO PACK A BOX LUNCH BECAUSE THERE IS NEVER A FREE LUNCH WITH N(o)UHW
    WITHOUT STEALING THE MEMBER’S DUES MONEY TO PAY A $700,000 CATERING FEE FOR A ONE DAY EVENT.

    15. DO EXPECT TO SEE A LOT OF DEEP COVER SPIES WORKING FOR THE INTERNATIONAL; AND DO NOT ASK SAL ABOUT THE LM-2, THE DALE-BALANOFF JURISDICTION HEARINGS; HOW CAN HE AFFORD HAIR PLUGS; WHO IS PAYING JOHN BORSO’S SALARY; WHAT DID HE DO WITH ALL THE ART WORK THAT WAS HANGING ON THE WALLS IN OAKLAND; WHY DIDN’T HE REALLY CARE ABOUT UHW AND ALL THE STAFFERS THAT ARE NOW WORKING FOR FREE; WHERE IS JORGE AND JOAN AND BARBARA AND RALPH AND PAUL AND BRIAN AND FREA AND ANDY AND HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE UNEMPLOYED; WHY DID HE LOSE THE NLRB PETITIONS FOR KAISER AND CHW; HOW CAN HE STILL AFFORD TO PAY HIS MORTGAGE AT GOLDEN GATE PARK; IS THAT A REAL TAN OR A FAKE TAN; DOES HE KNOW THE REAL MEANING OF DEMOCRACY; CAN HE DEFINE SOCIO-PATH/HYPOCRITE/LIAR AND THIEF IN THREE LETTERS(ANSWER:SAL) OH BY THE WAY, I THOUGHT BARACK WAS GOING TO RESCUE N(O)UHW; WHERE HAVE ALL THE POLITICIANS GONE AND PAID INTELLECTUALS GONE, AND FINALLY WHO EVEN READS EARLY…NOT LATELY!

    The whole post is nothing but anger and insults directed at (mostly) rank and file workers. Wake up. NUHW is the way to go. If we have to wait we will wait but we are leaving SEIU.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 27, 2009

  6. Editor:
    The activity and dedication of the NUHW believers is impressive.

    If any NUHW or SEIU people want to write their own stand pro or against SEIU or NUHW email me at NarsBars@UnionMaine.Org

    I would like to hear from you, this is not going to go away.

    Comment by Thomas Maher | April 27, 2009

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