The 1,033 members of the SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Professional Patient Care Unit (PPCU) voted “Union Yes!” in the state’s first recertification election, winning the election with 97% of ballots cast.
SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin filed a recertification petition with the State of Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission in September. Under Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill, all public employee unions must hold annual elections and win 51% of the bargaining unit electorate, not just those who vote, to maintain their bargaining rights and status. Unions have been held to a higher standard for these elections than the Governor or the legislature in their elections. Over 64% of the bargaining unit voted during over a twenty-day period that ended on November 16, 2011.
“This election proves what we’ve been saying all along – that public healthcare employees want a labor union,” said Dian Palmer, RN and president of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin. “Nurses and healthcare professionals understand that a collective voice is not just about wages and benefits – this is about quality care for all Wisconsinites. Our most vulnerable citizens rely on our state centers for mental health and developmental disabilities for the affordable, quality healthcare that can’t be found elsewhere.”
“We have shown that we are on the ground and we are mobilized. We are organized and we are stronger than ever. Solidarity is the force of people standing together, not merely to survive but to thrive. With his attack on collective bargaining, Scott Walker has united the labor movement. As a union we will move forward, and as a union we will succeed!”