BY MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., has certified the National Union of Healthcare Workers as the bargaining representative for some 700 technical, service and maintenance workers at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, according to the hospital.
The decision comes a little more than a year after a majority of workers voted in a labor vote to be represented by NUHW, a spin-off of the Oakland-based health care workers’ local affiliated with the Service Employees International Union.
Workers include radiology and respiratory technicians, nurses aides, housekeepers and dietary workers. Those who voted had the choice to vote between NUHW, SEIU or no union at all.
The NUHW received 283 votes, while SEIU got only 13. The choice of opting for neither union — supported by the hospital administration — won 263 votes. The NUHW need a single vote greater than 50 percent to win.
Hospital officials said they would abide by the federal labor board’s decision and begin bargaining with the union. After the election, hospital administration called for the election to be “set aside” because of alleged election irregularities.
Hospital attorneys had brought their objections to the NLRB.
In a statement released Wednesday evening, the hospital’s executive leadership said, “Based on the law and the facts we presented, we remain steadfast in our belief that calling for the election to be set aside was the just thing to do for our employees, all of whom deserve the right to a free and fair election.”
The statement said that hospital administration was ready to begin “negotiating with the NUHW — constructively and in good faith — in the coming weeks.”