National Board Forces MMC to Agree to Settlement Stating it Won’t Coerce or Threaten Nurses for Raising Concerns About Their Working Conditions
In July our union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (the NLRB), a federal government agency that enforces the rights of workers to unionize.
We asserted that, among other things, the Medical Center had violated federal law by threatening to discipline a nurse who had made legally protected complaints about excessive hours of work.
After investigating the charge at length the NLRB concluded that the charge had merit and as a result the Medical Center agreed to a settlement. The settlement requires that the Medical Center post a notice for 60 days that states as follows:
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act Gives you the Right to:
WE WILL NOT restrict your rights to discuss your terms and conditions of employment with each other in non-patient care areas including the Operating Room department lounge
WE WILL NOT in any like or related manner interfere with your rights under Section 7 of the Act
The posting will be physically posted within the Medical Center, posted on the Medical Center employee intranet, and will also be emailed to all employees in the bargaining unit.
This settlement is independent confirmation of the repressive and often intimidating culture that we nurses at Munson Medical Center have experienced for years. It is only in exposing these practices that we will we begin to stop them.
It is always our goal to work with our employer, but that must be a shared goal that recognizes our legal right to advocate for better working conditions without intimidation. You can view the settlement and the posting here.
Munson Gives Notice of New Badge Pull Policy Designed to Restrict Nurses from Displaying Union Gear
Last Thursday, November 21st, at our regularly scheduled labor-management meeting, we received notice from the Medical Center of a new dress code policy that it plans to implement starting January 1.
The policy contains, among other things, a new requirement that all Munson nurses wear only badge pulls with the Munson logo on them. This policy was created after many of us began to wear our new TCMNA custom badge pulls.
When challenged about the Medical Center’s reasons for implementing this new policy, it stated that it was for uniformity and cleanliness and cited examples of badge pulls that were large or made of fabric.
When we suggested we would be agreeable to size restrictions on badge pulls as well as restrictions that they be made of plastic or metal so they could be sanitized, we did not receive a clear response.
The Medical Center had proposed a similar restriction during contract bargaining, and at our insistence, later withdrew that proposal. It is now seeking to implement what it otherwise was unable to directly bargain.
The policy is obviously being implemented to stop nurses from expressing their solidarity and pride in our own union.
The fact that it is trying to implement this change at the same time as it is posting a settlement from the NLRB as a result of threatening nursing staff is disappointing and tone deaf. We have demanded to bargain over the new policy, filed a grievance, and we will also be filing a new unfair labor practice charge.
Please also keep an eye out for new, dress code-compliant MNA swag that will be rolling out soon. Our voice in the workplace will not be silenced.