Both the SEIU and the NUHW, the two unions that have been fighting over the right to represent Kaiser health care workers, told KQED’s Rachel Dornhelm a National Labor Relations Board hearing scheduled for today has been postponed until next Monday.

Jon Borsos of NUHW says NUHW asked for the extension.

In October, NUHW, which splintered from SEIU in 2009, lost an election to decertify the larger union as the representative of 43,000 Kaiser workers in California, gaining just 37 percent of ballots cast. NUHW then filed a complaint with the NLRB, asserting that SEIU violated labor law during the campaign leading up to the vote.

As reported in the Sacramento Business Journal, the NLRB in January threw out 88 of 119 NUHW objections, scheduling a hearing on the remainder.

Last week, SEIU also prevailed (see update below) against NUHW in a decertification battle over related to the California facilities of Catholic Healthcare West.


Update Feb 8: Leighton Woodhouse, the Communications Director at NUHW, has sent us the email below, disputing my use of the word “prevailed” in the item about the decertification battle between the two unions at Catholic Healthcare West. And it’s true, the Sacramento Bee article from which I gleaned that news uses the disclaimer right in the title, “Health care workers union claims (emphasis mine) victory over smaller rival.” But I neglected to frame the item that way.

From NUHW:

SEIU sent out a press release last week claiming that because a legal window during which workers can file for a union election at CHW had closed, CHW employees can no longer choose to join NUHW. CHW workers can’t file for an election between now and the end of April, but they can file for election starting in May of this year, up until SEIU settles a new contract with CHW (their current contract doesn’t expire until 2012). If SEIU believes its own press release, they don’t understand the NLRB’s rules for filing for election.

So in no way has SEIU “prevailed” at CHW.

NLRB Hearing on Kaiser Union Dispute Postponed 8 February,2011Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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