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Latest News - April 2011

April 12, 2011
International Union’s Trusteeship of SEIU-UHW Officially Lifted
Newly-Elected Leadership of State’s Largest Healthcare Union Launches Ambitious Plan to Improve Quality Care and Outcomes, Lower Cost, Expand Access and Advocate for More Just Healthcare System

Source: BusinessWire
By: SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West, Lisa Hubbard Contact

FRESNO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The newly elected executive board of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) took their official oaths of office April 9 and immediately adopted an ambitious plan to improve quality healthcare and outcomes, reduce medical costs, expand access and advocate for a more just healthcare system. The board is made up of 340 hospital, nursing home and home care workers elected by the union’s membership to lead the work of the state’s largest union of healthcare workers.

“I’m excited to get out there and make sure there’s healthcare for everyone”

At the same time that the Board was sworn in, the trusteeship the local has been operating under for the past 26 months was officially lifted. SEIU-UHW went into trusteeship in early 2009 after its former leaders were found to have misused millions in members' dues and violated members' democratic rights.

"Our country is in the middle of a healthcare crisis,” said Dave Regan, the newly elected president of SEIU-UHW. “As health caregivers, our members are ready to fight in our communities and on the job for better quality healthcare and access to medical treatment.”

“I’m excited to get out there and make sure there’s healthcare for everyone,” said Leland Ferguson, a member of the SEIU-UHW executive board, and a Lab Assistant at Kaiser in North Hollywood. “People are giving up their healthcare just to pay the bills, and it shouldn’t be like that. As healthcare workers and SEIU-UHW leaders, we can make a real difference.”

This ends a two-year period in which the former officials failed to convince SEIU-UHW members to switch to a new union, the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). In all, about 140,000 of 146,000 members (96 percent) who were asked to switch chose to stay in SEIU-UHW, and NUHW is reeling under millions in debt and a failure to negotiate any contracts for its members.



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