A statewide group of Kaiser healthcare employees voted in favor of retaining their current bargaining representative, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW), rather than switching to its rival in the election, National Union of Healthcare Workers-California Nurses Association, AFL-CIO (NUHW-CNA). The results were announced this afternoon by National Labor Relations Board Regional Director William Baudler, the head of that Agency’s regional office in Oakland, California. A total of 32,588 valid mail ballots, from among over 45,000 eligible voters, were received by the Oakland regional office during the approximately three-week period of balloting. Those ballots were sorted, verified, and counted over a two-day period by Agency personnel from the Oakland regional office as well as from Agency offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland, with the count having been conducted in the presence of observers for all three parties. The results were: SEIU-UHW, 18,844 votes; NUHW-CNA, 13,101 votes; neither, 334 votes; with 520 void ballots and 309 challenged ballots. The parties have seven days to file objections to the election.
The election was a rerun of a previous mail ballot election held between September 13 and October 7, 2010. That election was set aside pursuant to an order of the National Labor Relations Board granting motions filed by Kaiser and SEIU-UHW to remand the case to the Oakland regional office for the scheduling of a new election. That order issued after an administrative law judge of the Board had recommended following a hearing that the first election be set aside based upon certain election-related conduct by SEIU-UHW that the judge found warranted a new election.
The prior election and the just completed rerun election were the largest mail ballot elections in the Agency’s history. Regional Director Baudler congratulated his Agency’s election team for their thorough planning in anticipation of this unprecedented event, and for efficiently processing the large number of ballots while ensuring security and voter confidentiality.
The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the authority to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have a union as their collective bargaining representative. The Agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions, as well as cases arising from the United States Postal Service.