Employees at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri this week voted to end their representation by the International Union of Service Employees, according to a press release released by HCA Midwest Health, which runs the hospital.
Employees, including patient care technicians, certified nursing assistants, food and nutrition service workers, environmental service workers, imaging technologists and respiratory therapists, first appeared to decertify the union in March. Employees had from May 17 to June 14 to send in mail-in inquiries.
“I have worked at Research Medical Center for 10 years and I love this hospital and all my colleagues,” Kelly Pirman, an imaging technologist at Research Medical Center said in a statement. “The SEIU did not represent us fairly, nor did it give us the value they claim. This process, which was our choice and our voice to remove the SEIU from the Medical Research Center, began in March. .Today, we can finally realize our efforts. “
HCA said wage increases for workers represented by SEIU have often been delayed due to negotiations. The company said it expects the SEIU and the Medical Research Center almost a year to complete the negotiation, which has delayed the 2020 increase until 2021.
SEIU Healthcare Missouri Kansas member and pharmacy department worker Ernesta Reese said HCA management at Research Medical Center has used a series of syndication efforts aimed at deceiving and intimidating front-line health care workers.
“Health workers will present serious legal objections to HCA’s conduct during the election. We hope that these results will be set aside so that the medical heroes of the Research Medical Center have the right to vote in elections free of charge. illegal harassment and intimidation by management, “Reese said in an email statement. “Through our union, we have earned life-changing improvements in our salaries and benefits, and we are confident that we will prevail if HCA leaders are prevented from engaging in illegal intimidation and harassment.”
Ashley McClellan, Chief Executive Officer of Research Medical Center, said she is proud of the employees for their efforts to decertify the union.
“We are grateful that our colleagues at the Medical Research Center have chosen to drive SEIU and work directly with our management team for a better future together,” McClellan said.
Decertification comes at a time when health workers across the country have been organized and take collective action to demand better protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, United National Nurses criticized HCA for its profits during 2020, saying the company should invest the money in public health and safety COVID-19. And, in October 2020, SEIU-Workers Healthcare United West denounce HCA to create an unnecessarily dangerous work environment during the pandemic at a hospital in California.
SEIU Healthcare represents workers at more than 24 HCA facilities in the United States
HCA, based in Nashville, operates 186 hospitals and about 2,000 outpatient care sites, including surgery centers, independent ERs, emergency care centers and medical clinics in 20 states and the United Kingdom.