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Yolanda Contreras of the Hospital Union reported on facebook this evening that the employees of Alta Vista Regional Hospital have now become unionized. The end of a long struggle!
More, and clearer, info on the hospital union situation is in Friday's optic.
Apparently, Alta Vista Regional Hospital has finally recognized its employee union after 7 years of appeals by the four hospital CEOs who have departed during the process. The CEOs were Brian Gibbons 2005 – 2007, Richard Grogan—2007-2011, Maridel Acosta, 2011-2012, and Kathleen Cahill 2013-2014. The present CEO is Chris Wolf.
The union, District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, has had the same local representative the entire time. District 1199 also represents employees at University of New Mexico Hospital, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and the hospital in Los Alamos.
Alta Vista’s parent company is Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.
The union at Alta Vista represents everyone from nurses, technicians and pharmacists to clerks, housekeepers and laundry aides. The only hospital employees that will not be represented by the union, aside from management, are doctors, guards and human resources,
A secret-ballot election was held in June 2007, and employees voted overwhelmingly — 121 to 73 — for union representation. The hospital filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board objecting to the election’s procedures, but the federal agency rejected Alta Vista’s assertions and certified the union. The hospital has refused to bargain with the union and has been appealing the election ever since.
A federal hearing officer of the National Labor Relations Board found Alta Vista’s objections to the election to be without merit. More recently, The U.S. Court of Appeals shot down Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s attempt to nullify the vote. The 13-page opinion was issued by a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit.
The union has received support from many local sources, including the Las Vegas Committee for Peace and Justice and the San Miguel County Commission. In 2009 eleven local doctors joined the effort to persuade the hospital to negotiate with the union. The doctors were among 180 residents who signed a petition to the hospital chain’s CEO.
A high visual point in the conflict was a demonstration involving more than 50 protesters at all four corners of Las Vegas’ busiest intersection — Seventh Street and Mills Avenue. The group included Alta Vista Regional Hospital employees, Highlands University Students for Peace, the Concerned Citizens Committee and Amnesty International. According to the Optic the one elected official protesting was City Councilwoman Diane Moore.
--culled from the Optic web site.
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The Las Vegas Optic is your source for local news, sports, events, and information in San Miguel County and Las Vegas, NM, and the surrounding area.