Judge: Audubon managers broke labor law on nurses union vote

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    [color=#356863]but hospital is upheld on some nurse issues

    an administrative law judge has ruled that norton audubon hospital managers violated labor law during a campaign to persuade nurses to vote against a union….

    …in a ruling made public this week, sandron ordered audubon managers to stop suggesting to nurses that pay raises would be frozen during collective bargaining if a union won the right to represent them.
    he also said the hospital wrongly tried to limit nurse ann hurst's distribution of union literature in employee break rooms. he ordered audubon to stop restricting employees from such activity on their nonwork hours.
    sandron did uphold audubon's position on some points, however.
    he said nurse managers' statements that they might not be able to help nurses with patients if a union came in were not threats of reprisal….

    …pro-union nurses said in a statement that while they are pleased with the ruling, the case shows the need for stronger federal penalties against companies that try to squelch union activity….

    http://www.courier-journal.com/artic...ness/812200405
    HM2VikingRN, nicurn001, RN4MERCY, and 1 other like this.
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    What Audobon did was in violation of some older laws that go back to the late 19th century and the term of Teddy Roosevelt. These laws were designed to protect laborers from discrimination. Audobon should have used a different tact. They cannot harrass. They can, however, refuse to sign a contract with the union. They can also bring in others to cover if the union goes on strike. I am very wary of unions, especially those affiliated with the AFL-CIO. I have had bad experiences with them and I firmly believe in an open shop. Audobon is right in that a union contract could state that nurses would not be allowed to do CNA work. What happens if there are not enough CNA's to help or if a CNA on our team needs help? Will the union contract prevent us from cleaning a patient? I can't neglect a client just because of a union contract.
    PICUPNP likes this.
  4. 5
    [QUOTE=nursesail;3357729]What Audobon did was in violation of some older laws that go back to the late 19th century and the term of Teddy Roosevelt. These laws were designed to protect laborers from discrimination. QUOTE]

    A federal administrative law judge ruled that Norton Audubon violated federal labor law with a campaign of harassment, intimidation, and restriction of the rights of its registered nurses. Period!

    What does the "age" of the law have to do with it? Freedom of assembly, or freedom of association, is the right to come together with other individuals and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. It is one of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution that became law in 1791!

    Freedom of association has a critical meaning in the workplace and much of the jurisprudence which has developed on this issue comes from labor law. It should guarantee the right of everyone to form and join trade unions for the promotion of their economic and social interests. However some states have attempted to curtail the activity of trade unions by interfering with the rights of workers to choose and join a union.

    Nurses can't truly speak up for their patients if they fear jeopardizing their jobs, which is why they need a union behind them. It is imperative that hospitals and the NLRB acknowledge the importance of nurses as patient advocates and continue to recognize their right to union protection.

    You are apparently uninformed and misguided on the issue of "CNA" (certified nursing assistant) work. Direct care registered nurses are accountable for the safe, therapeutic and competent provision of care. That includes basic technical, manual skills, such as personal hygiene, feeding, toileting, and changing the linens, which can be done by the RN, or delegated to competent unlicensed nursing assistants or licensed vocational/practical nurses, if they have demonstrated competency to perform the task safely. The direct care RN is still responsible for supervision of the delegated tasks and evaluation of the patient's response. A union cannot interfere with the RNs professional and legal responsibility. The care the patient needs is what the RN is expected to provide, in his or her independent professional clinical judgement. It's more often employers who try to cut corners and they illegally attempt to assign RN work to unlicensed assistive personnel.

    All who receive the benefits of collective bargaining should support the work of the union by joining and sharing the responsibility of representation in by paying their dues. ( I suppose there will always be freeloaders who take advantage of their colleagues.) Open shop is part of a management strategy to weaken and erode support for the union. Naturally some resentments may form among co-workers if some pay for the benefits of having a contract, and some don't. Dividing workers against each other is an old union busting tactic aimed at chipping away at the solidarity of the workers.

    Unions, by law, must represent non-union bargaining unit members equally. The responsibility includes bargaining for wages and benefits, arbitration and grievance support — although nonmembers don’t get the right to vote, hold office or attend conventions, conferences and social activities. Labor education and collective action to mobilize colleagues to win safe staffing, worker's comp benefits, and whistleblower protection protects patients and promotes recruitment and retention of nurses are among the benefits union members enjoy.

    The dues are a small price to pay, I'm proud to pay them, and the benefits are priceless.
    I'm sorry you've had some bad experiences; would you care to elaborate? I agree that not all unions are the same.
    HM2VikingRN, nicurn001, jsrRN, and 2 others like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from nursesail
    What Audobon did was in violation of some older laws that go back to the late 19th century and the term of Teddy Roosevelt. These laws were designed to protect laborers from discrimination. Audobon should have used a different tact. They cannot harrass. They can, however, refuse to sign a contract with the union. They can also bring in others to cover if the union goes on strike. I am very wary of unions, especially those affiliated with the AFL-CIO. I have had bad experiences with them and I firmly believe in an open shop. Audobon is right in that a union contract could state that nurses would not be allowed to do CNA work. What happens if there are not enough CNA's to help or if a CNA on our team needs help? Will the union contract prevent us from cleaning a patient? I can't neglect a client just because of a union contract.
    Support Employee Free Choice Act 2009 + http://uannurse.org :typing
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  6. 3
    laborer, lindarn, and HM2VikingRN like this.
  7. 4
    The other part of this is that by being involved in your local you are helping the local represent your interests more effectively.

    The professional practice portion of representation is to ensure that management maintains safe patient ratios through adequate staffing.
    laborer, lindarn, RN4MERCY, and 1 other like this.


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