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Hospital is filing ch 11 bankrupcy, what to expect?

Nurses   (2,015 Views 11 Comments)
by blackvans1234 blackvans1234 (Member)

2 Articles; 9,372 Visitors; 375 Posts

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Hey all, wondering if you have any experience with your hospital filing for bankrupcy.

Ours is, and we were told that in a few months (if bought out) we'd have to reapply for our jobs.

Any experiences you'd like to share?

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,182 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

I have worked for a hospital that filed Chapter 11 and has been bought out....we didn't have to reapply....out of curiosity...are you union?

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2 Articles; 9,372 Visitors; 375 Posts

Yes, have been unionized since September.

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applewhitern has 30 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU.

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I have worked for 2 different hospitals that went bankrupt; I did not have to reapply for a job. However, both times, the hospitals had already had lay-offs due to the financial situation, before we were bought out by another company. (Incidentally, it took years to get my retirement money back from hospital #1. Ended up having a class action lawsuit, then appealing that, so by the time I got my money, it was a whole lot less than it should have been.)

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

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When I read about bankruptcy flings, I wonder about unionization status also. I'm guessing that union benefit programs are more costly to provide in an industry whose bottom line IS the bottom line. I'd be interested to know is OP's facility is in a corporate chain with a sister facility nearby and if that place was union

Good way to consolidate costs & staff. And UNION BUST. And if employess have to reapply, it's a good way for admin to weed out unwanted, troublesome and/or high maintenance employees.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,182 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

Ahh.....interesting.....Under Chapter 11 the union will be disbanded....all employes are "dismissed" and must reapply. This is a legal way to get rid of the union. You will have to reorganize and revote...what to you want to bet the Union organizers won't be rehired.

11 U.S.C. 1113, “Rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements,” codifies under what circumstances collective bargaining agreements may be rejected in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. When a company seeks to reject or modify a collective bargaining agreement under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, Bankruptcy Code 1113, entitled Rejection of Collective Bargaining Agreements, clarifies the circumstances under which such agreements may be rejected. Section 1113(b) and © generally require the following steps:

  • The debtor must make a proposal to the union to modify the collective bargaining agreement anytime after filing a petition and before an application seeking rejection of the agreement.
  • The proposal must be based on the most complete and reliable information available at the time of the proposal.
  • The proposed modifications in employees' benefits and protections are those necessary to permit the reorganization of the debtor.
  • The proposed modifications must assure that all creditors, the debtor and all of the affected parties are treated fairly and equitably.
  • The debtor must provide the union with such relevant information as is necessary to evaluate the proposal.
  • The debtor must meet at reasonable times with the union between the time of the making of the proposal and the hearing on the application to reject the collective bargaining agreement.
  • The debtor must confer in good faith with the union in attempting to reach mutually satisfactory modifications of the agreement.
  • The union must have refused to accept the debtor's proposal without good cause.

The balance of equities clearly favors the rejection of the collective bargaining agreement.

Your companies purpose is very clear.

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so being in a union puts your job at risk? Why pay the dues then?

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There's no nearby sister (pun intended) hospital but it is a catholic hospital.

How will they know who to 'not rehire'? Certainly not on who voted for the union (that was confidential as far as I remember)

It's ironic though, because I was looking at the union website and there were employees wearing the union t-shirts, taking pictures, etc.

This facility is basically surrounded by a group / borderline monopolizing organization, which has nearly every other hospital in the county in its system. This group has already put in a bid for the assets of the facility.

Rumor has it that some other catholic hospital may also bid (they have their hands in the psychiatric dept already).

The hospital was losing a few million per week from what I heard.

It seems like the future is not in the hands of the administration, but the bankruptcy court.

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amoLucia specializes in LTC.

45,423 Visitors; 5,023 Posts

so being in a union puts your job at risk? Why pay the dues then?
'You get while the gettings good'. And then you get out before the boom!

And to OP - you said the buzz word "CATHOLIC". Catholic facilities are notoriously famous for being at the top of the list of being anti-union. I was surprised (and then not surprised) when you said you all just went union in September. My guess is that it was their last straw.

As for who will potentially will NOT be rehired - the facility may not actually know who DID vote pro, but they too know who was strong in the pro-vote activities, ie who were the 'ringleaders' and most vocally active supporters (and most likely to remain so or to do it again).

As for other staff, those with seniority and longevity will factor in. While these staff probably most likely have strong experience, they are also among the higher paid. Newbies are considered more desirable as their wages are at base as well as their accrued PTO is minimal. But sometimes when the REAL NITTY GRITTY occurs, the least senior staff are at risk.

Staff who use FMLA, LOA and sick time are reviewed. While their reasons may be legitimate and they are totally compliant with all the requirements & regulations, I'm sure they are a thorn in the side to admin.

Staff who are chronic workman comp cases. And staff who are on 'permanent LIGHT DUTY' as a result of work comp. Example - a FT nurse now doing chart audits: receiving full salary but not doing any weekends, no holidays, expendable in snow weather; and basically doing a job that a med records tech could do for a whole lot less money. Or a CNA who is folding and distributing laundry all day.

Staff who are currently receiving some kind of financial bene, such as relocation assist or tuition reimbursement. I don't know how the law works if a new employer must abide by the previous commitments. Likewise, internships and/or prolonged orientation programs are also costly.

Staff who make noise. Admin REALLY doesn't want to hear from staff who question 'why eyewash stations are in rooms requiring key entry'.

Staff who are in a progressive disciplinary process (with the implicit intent to discharge) will be closely scrutinized.

Then, there are always the 'in clique with management' staff and those who are not. These will be considered but you'll never see this discussion on any paper.

Not all job positions will be safe, like staff devel, supervisors and unit managers, incl. Those positions may be shuffled and retitled but they are higher salaried.

In these situations, it's best to be right in the middle of the pack and under the radar. Like blending into the wallpaper kind.

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4 Articles; 16,163 Visitors; 176 Posts

Never have been in a union working environment; jury is still out on that.But I wondered about the timing too- just went union in September and bust in December.

If you have a good lawyer, you can find a loophole in almost everything!

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 146,182 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

There's no nearby sister (pun intended) hospital but it is a catholic hospital.

How will they know who to 'not rehire'? Certainly not on who voted for the union (that was confidential as far as I remember)

It's ironic though, because I was looking at the union website and there were employees wearing the union t-shirts, taking pictures, etc.

This facility is basically surrounded by a group / borderline monopolizing organization, which has nearly every other hospital in the county in its system. This group has already put in a bid for the assets of the facility.

Rumor has it that some other catholic hospital may also bid (they have their hands in the psychiatric dept already).

The hospital was losing a few million per week from what I heard.

It seems like the future is not in the hands of the administration, but the bankruptcy court.

They will look towards those who have been problem children. Those with "histories" in the HR department. Union "ringleaders"....trust me they KNOW who they are. There is SO MUCH that goes on behind closed doors....it's disturbing. I know this as I have been behind those closed doors.

This may not be hat the hospital has planned....however it is likely that they will follow this path as they have already indicated by saying everyone will have to be rehired.

They did this in the steel mills YEARS AGO to break up a powerful union.

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