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Labor Board Decision Puts Kaiser Workers' Pay, Healthcare, Pensions in Jeopardy

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A decision issued today by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has put at risk the guaranteed raises, healthcare coverage, and pensions of Kaiser Permanente RNs, social workers, and professionals in Southern California.

"We have worked for years to achieve standards at Kaiser that give us security and allow us to provide the professional care our patients need," said Jeanette Cryer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Kaiser Corona/Riverside Psychiatry. "This decision puts all of that at risk and holds out the real threat that we will lose what we've fought so hard to achieve."

The decision by James F. Small of Region 21 of the NLRB to call for a union election among those professional employees could nullify the currently negotiated contracts covering the workers. Those agreements provide for a 2% raise in April, and profit-sharing that many of these workers are scheduled to receive in early 2010 and again in 2011.

Nullification of the agreements would put these guaranteed benefits at risk. It also opens the workers up to cuts in healthcare coverage and pensions that Kaiser has already imposed on managers and non-union employees. In all, each individual worker could lose as much as $15,000 in guaranteed income and benefits over the next two years.

The NLRB decision, which runs counter to a decision by the NLRB in northern California, calls for an election between the workers' current representative, the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West, and an organization run by the union's former leaders, who have formed an organization called the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The former SEIU-UHW officials were ousted in January for transferring $3 million in members' dues to a bogus non-profit organization for their own use, stashing another $500,000 in a lawyer's bank account, and undermining the democratic rights of SEIU-UHW members.

SEIU-UHW will seek review of this decision by the NLRB in Washington.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at

Contact: Steve Trossman


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