Putting the Bite On Unionbusting

  1. Contrary to the belief of some, hospitals do not care how much they spend on unionbusting because it's not coming out of their pockets. Its paid for with state taxpayer funds & medicare/medicaide monies. We'll just see in a few months how quick these employers are to try to bust our union now - when they have to pay for it themselves.

    We're about to put RN unionbusting out of business in NY state

    for immediate release

    Keeping Healthcare Dollars for Health Care

    Bill Prevents Misuse of State Funds for Anti-Union Activities

    It may soon be more difficult for employers to use state funds to oppose union organizing campaigns in New York State.

    A new bill, passed in the waning hours of the legislative session, would prohibit employers from using state funds to either promote or discourage union organizing. It does not keep them from using money from private sources to influence workers decisions about joining a union.

    Governor George Pataki was expected to sign the measure, which would take effect four months after it becomes law.

    The new legislation puts more teeth into current law, which now only prohibits employers from using state funds to train managers to participate in anti-union campaigns.

    Under the new law, state funds (mostly derived from Medicaid) also could not be used to hire attorneys, consultants, or individuals to assist the facility in counteracting an organizing effort.

    The new law would also require employers who are involved in an anti-union campaign to keep records of state funds and how they are spent. The records must be produced at the request of the state funding agency or the Attorney General. The Attorney General would enforce the law by taking employers to court. Courts could order employers to return funds that had been spent unlawfully, and also impose a civil penalty.

    The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), which has been on the receiving end of employer-sponsored anti-union campaigns, supported the measure.

    "This is definitely a positive step", said Marvin Moschel, an assistant director in NYSNAs Economic and General Welfare Program responsible for organizing efforts. "We're going to take advantage of it. We will file requests that employers show that they have not used state money to hire expensive anti-union consultants. They will have to segregate those funds and account for them".

    Moschel assisted legislative staff that developed the bill by supplying information on the possible misuse of state funds during NYSNA organizing campaigns.

    Lorraine Seidel, director of NYSNAs collective bargaining program, pointed out that the new law would also protect taxpayers.

    "Medicaid funds should be used to provide patient care, not to fund enormously expensive anti-union campaigns". she said. "New Yorkers dont want their tax dollars used for consultants whose psychological warfare and propaganda are carefully designed to prevent workers from exercising their
    right to join a union".

    Moschel said healthcare facilities currently spend up to $1 Million of taxpayer dollars on consultants and slick campaigns.

    "With the amount they spend, they could give all the nurses wonderful raises", he said.

    NYSNA is the professional association for registered nurses in New York with more than 34,000 members statewide. A multipurpose organization, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity and collective bargaining. NYSNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and its labor arm, the United American Nurses (UAN), which is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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