National Labor Relations Board rules some nurses are supervisors

  1. the kentucky river case and what it means for all nurses

    09/11/06
    ana is following the actions of the national labor relations board in its anticipated upcoming ruling on kentucky river community care, inc.

    the legal battle: when are registered nurses “supervisors” & who can't be in a collective bargaining unit?

    over the years, employers have claimed that registered nurses are “supervisors” because of their oversight of other staff members' work in some settings and under some circumstances. this is significant because the national labor relations act does not protect the rights of supervisors to bargain collectively, even though the act does protect these same individuals' right to join unions. in fact, the constitutional right to freedom of association mandates that the government cannot restrict a class of employees from belonging to any organization they choose.

    as the national labor relations board and the u.s. supreme court have considered the question of whether registered nurses are supervisors, various parts of the national labor relations act have been considered. most recently, the u.s. supreme court considered and rejected the national labor relations board's longstanding view that the professional judgment exercised by registered nurses did not make rns supervisors when they directed the work of other employees when the rns served as charge nurses or delegated tasks to other health care team members. nlrb v. kentucky river community care, inc., 532 u.s. 706 (2001).

    the act defines “supervisor” as “. . . any individual having authority, in the interest of the employer, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees or responsibly to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively recommend such action, if in connection with the foregoing the exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.” 29 u.s.c. 2(11). the inclusion of the phrase “independent judgment” arose in connection with the attempt of congress to distinguish between true “supervisors” with “genuine management prerogatives” and those who are still eligible to organize under the act, even if they perform “minor supervisory duties.”
    the nlrb and the courts have long recognized that work leaders of all sorts, like charge nurses, are not “supervisors.” ana thinks that this approach is correct as a matter of law, and mirrors the realities of nursing practice.

    more...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 19, '06
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    22 Comments

  3. by   Josh L.Ac.
    If this is what I think it is, then this is a bigger concern than the average contract disagreement.



    "Hi! We don't like the way things are running so we are going to change the definitions to meet our needs, i.e., calling you all supervisors. But you aren't really supervisors, so you won't get paid more, but we will call you that so you can no longer unionize. Have a nice day."




    Molotov, anyone?
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    Pending Labor Board Decisions Could Imperil RN Protections, Standards, Patient Advocacy Role
    http://www.calnurses.org/rn-alerts/?print=t


    STOP THE NLRB: Send a letter today!
    Federal Ruling to Eliminate RN Rights Imminent
    Ability to Advocate for Patients at Risk
    http://ga1.org/campaign/stopnlrb

    Registered nurses and other working people from California to Maine held a march and rally in Chicago on Tuesday, August 8 to protest an imminent threat to nurses' democratic rights to union representation and their ability to safely advocate for their patients.
    http://www.calnurses.org/photo-album...80806/?print=t
  5. by   Sherwood
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    If this is what I think it is, then this is a bigger concern than the average contract disagreement.



    "Hi! We don't like the way things are running so we are going to change the definitions to meet our needs, i.e., calling you all supervisors. But you aren't really supervisors, so you won't get paid more, but we will call you that so you can no longer unionize. Have a nice day."




    Molotov, anyone?

    What this means is that Registered Nurses are one step closer to being legally recognized as the professionals we are. Nurses do supervise, direct and make managerial decisions every day. Not just Charge Nurses either, any of us who works with an LVN, nurses aid or patient care tech supervise and direct the care they give to our patients. The feedback we provide is directly used in their reviews.
    What about those of us who precept? New grads or experienced Nurses, we are part of the process in deciding if they keep their job, need further orientation or if they must be let go.
    This is not a threat to Nursing professionals, this is only a threat to the unions bottom line. As for getting paid to be the professionals we really are, maybe if more of us accepted more responsiblity for ourselves, our actions and our profession we would get paid more. So many want to play the blame game. We complain and moan but unless the "union" says it's right we do not serve on committees, we do not volunteer at health fairs or other nursing/hospital community service. You let the union choose the politicians you vote for and the propositions you vote for or against. Not because it's right for you, your profession or your community but because the "union" says it's so it must be true.


    Sherwood, RN, CCRN
  6. by   oneLoneNurse
    Quote from Sherwood
    This is not a threat to Nursing professionals, this is only a threat to the unions bottom line. As for getting paid to be the professionals we really are, maybe if more of us accepted more responsiblity for ourselves, our actions and our profession we would get paid more. So many want to play the blame game. We complain and moan but unless the "union" says it's right we do not serve on committees, we do not volunteer at health fairs or other nursing/hospital community service. You let the union choose the politicians you vote for and the propositions you vote for or against. Not because it's right for you, your profession or your community but because the "union" says it's so it must be true.
    Sherwood, RN, CCRN
    Sorry, I strongly disagree with you Sherwood.

    I for one do not want to bargain with the large University Hospital where I work by myself. The hospital would have me for breakfast. The union fights for my pay whether I want to admit it or not. Not admitting it would be great for my administrators who I am sure would want to pay me: $7.00 an hour and some change. They would be very happy to call me a supervisor (maybe even a super supervisor). In fact they would laugh all the way to the bank.

    My next job will be non union. BUT, I know that it is the union that decides what us nurses make. Its the union agreement that even decides what the supervisors earn at our institution. By this I mean that management looks at what the nurse bargaining unit has agreed upon to determine what to pay the supervisors. Most of the supervisors I have discussed this with agree.

    In fact when the UNA received a huge pay increase in the early 80s that agreement made me sit up and pay notice to nursing as a potential career choice. Without that agreement I would not have become a nurse.

    I am a male who did not go into nursing to primarily help people. I am not ashamed to say that I am a nurse because I make decent money. Helping people is what we as nurses do and I am pretty happy doing that. I never played nurse when I was a young one.

    We can find things wrong with the union. BUT, as long as they fight for and get me my wages they will have my 100% support.
    Last edit by oneLoneNurse on Sep 28, '06
  7. by   lindarn
    Quote from Sherwood
    What this means is that Registered Nurses are one step closer to being legally recognized as the professionals we are. Nurses do supervise, direct and make managerial decisions every day. Not just Charge Nurses either, any of us who works with an LVN, nurses aid or patient care tech supervise and direct the care they give to our patients. The feedback we provide is directly used in their reviews.
    What about those of us who precept? New grads or experienced Nurses, we are part of the process in deciding if they keep their job, need further orientation or if they must be let go.
    This is not a threat to Nursing professionals, this is only a threat to the unions bottom line. As for getting paid to be the professionals we really are, maybe if more of us accepted more responsiblity for ourselves, our actions and our profession we would get paid more. So many want to play the blame game. We complain and moan but unless the "union" says it's right we do not serve on committees, we do not volunteer at health fairs or other nursing/hospital community service. You let the union choose the politicians you vote for and the propositions you vote for or against. Not because it's right for you, your profession or your community but because the "union" says it's so it must be true.


    Sherwood, RN, CCRN

    Sherwood,

    How do you account for the fact that TEACHERS are also professionals, and have been unionized since the year of the flood. Teachers also make more money that nurses do, have far better pensions than nurses do, which by the way, also include medical and dental benefits for life. And have far better workplace protections, than nurses do. I don't recall any attempts by any school districts, to attempt to "promote" the janitors, to teach Kindergarten, or First Grade. There has been no attempt to "de-skill" the teachng profession, by replacing them with unlicensed "teaching aides, or assistants". Why is that? Because teachers have strong union, which give them workplace security, which provides them the with ability to speak out publicly to parents, and the community, without fear of losing their job.

    How do you explain away these indisputable facts? Nurses are in the sad position that we are in because of the fact that, for years, and even still today, nurses have fought unionizing. Which, by the way, would have given nurses, if nothing else, the workplace protection that we so badly needed. When the hospitals came up with the lie, known as "care redesign", nurses who did not agree with the overworking and de- skilling of their profession, and made a fuss, they where rewarded with a retaliatory discharge, and blacklisted. In other words, any and all attempt to notify the public about what was happening to their health care, was quickly squelched, for fear of being fired.

    Hospitals are quick to denigrate unions, which they are quick to inform nurses, makes them look "unprofessional", preying on their insecurities, and their need to validate thier self worth and self inportance. Much of which stems from their lack of a college degree as entry into practice. Which, by the way, is another thing that hospitals continue to tell nurses that they don't need, and refuse to reward those who earned a BSN. Which pushed them away from the bedside. Consider the source. While they reward others on the same health care team, who have earned higher degrees, with a higher salary, such as Pts, OTs, Pharmacists, Dieticians.

    You have been hoodwinked, and brainwashed, big time. I don't know where your antiunion mentality, comes from. But in the face of the obvious, your constant "unionbusting", flies in the face of reality.

    You can remain a part of nursing when, after this ruling passes, can continue to work in bedside nursing, and will probably be earning $8.00 an hour. Sadly, with no protection, for either you, or your patients. JMHO, and my $0.02.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
  8. by   pickledpepperRN
    Nurses Charge Bush Labor Board Concealing Ruling That Would Deny Democratic and Union Rights to Millions
    Monday October 2, 5:49 pm ET

    Board Claims Missed Deadline - 'They Should Have Used UPS'
    OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today charged that the Bush Administration's labor board is concealing a major decision that it has made to strip millions of workers of their democratic right to join unions.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/061002/sfm121.html?.v=46
  9. by   pickledpepperRN
    Press Release Source: National Labor Relations Board
    NLRB Issues Lead Case Addressing Supervisory Status in Response to Supreme Court's Decision in Kentucky River
    Tuesday October 3, 1:00 pm ET

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/061003/dctu026.html?.v=74

    NLRB site - http://www.nlrb.gov/nlrb/press/releases/R-2603.htm
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Oct 3, '06
  10. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from Sherwood
    What this means is that Registered Nurses are one step closer to being legally recognized as the professionals we are. Nurses do supervise, direct and make managerial decisions every day. Not just Charge Nurses either, any of us who works with an LVN, nurses aid or patient care tech supervise and direct the care they give to our patients. The feedback we provide is directly used in their reviews.
    What about those of us who precept? New grads or experienced Nurses, we are part of the process in deciding if they keep their job, need further orientation or if they must be let go.
    This is not a threat to Nursing professionals, this is only a threat to the unions bottom line. As for getting paid to be the professionals we really are, maybe if more of us accepted more responsiblity for ourselves, our actions and our profession we would get paid more. So many want to play the blame game. We complain and moan but unless the "union" says it's right we do not serve on committees, we do not volunteer at health fairs or other nursing/hospital community service. You let the union choose the politicians you vote for and the propositions you vote for or against. Not because it's right for you, your profession or your community but because the "union" says it's so it must be true.


    Sherwood, RN, CCRN
    So do you honestly believe that the average nurse's pay reflects their supervisory duties?
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Nurses Denounce Bush Labor Board Ruling on Union Rights As Fundamental Assault on Democracy, Patient Safety - RNs Prepared to Strike to Defend Their Rights

    ...The broadest and most immediate impact of the ruling is on public safety, DeMoro said. "In an era of corporate medical care, when hospital corporations make daily decisions that put patients at risk, RNs must be are able to intervene to protect patients without fear of losing their job or other retaliation.
    "Union representation is the only effective security for an RN to fulfill that role. The hospital industry wants the first allegiance of the RN to be to management and the corporation's profit, rather than to the health and welfare of the patient."...

    http://www.calnurses.org/media-cente...290479&print=t
  12. by   NRSKarenRN
    national labor relations board rules that some nurses are supervisors

    the national labor relations board ruled that nurses with full-time responsibility for assigning fellow hospital workers to particular tasks are supervisors under federal labor law and thus not eligible to be represented by unions.

    washington post, oct. 4, 2006

    interpretation: ft charge nurses are supervisors. karen
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 4, '06
  13. by   NRSKarenRN
    ana rejects nlrb decision to block nurses' freedom to unionize
    10/04/06

    the american nurses association (ana) denounced today's (10/03/06) decision by the national labor relations board (nlrb) in oakwood healthcare to broaden the definition of "supervisor," saying it could effectively deprive hundreds of thousands of registered nurses (rns) and licensed practical nurses of their right to choose to impact their work environment through collective bargaining. more...
  14. by   NRSKarenRN
    nation's largest rn union says nlrb decision threatens patients and nurses. (october 04, 2006)

    "the decision shows an incredible lack of understanding by the majority of the nlrb as to what nurses actually do and how hospitals work. every day, nurses make decisions about patients' care. that's not only our job; it is required by our code of ethics and our standard of professional practice.

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