Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NLRB rule change

This summer I had the great honor of traveling to Washington DC at the request of our union, AFT, to testify before the National Labor Relations Board.  At stake was a proposed rule change that would make it harder for companies to delay union elections and to use that time to intimidate workers, thus denying them their constitutional rights to organize and collectively bargain.  There were 2 days of testimony, by both those for and against the rule change.  I spoke for a brief 3 minutes. 

In a win for organized labor, the National Labor Relations Board on 12/21 approved sweeping new rules that would speed the pace of union elections, making it easier for unions to gain members at companies that have long rebuffed them.
The rules, which take effect April 30, simplify procedures and reduce legal delays that can hold up union elections after employees at a work site gather enough signatures to form a union.
"This rule is about giving all employees who have petitioned for an election the right to vote in a timely manner and without the impediment of needless litigation," board chairman Mark Pearce said.
The old rules allowed companies to file frivolous appeals, stalling elections for months or years.

My role was vary small but I was proud to be a part of the process.  Every nurse at Backus should share that pride.  We have come a long way and we have made a difference.  We will continue to make a difference. 

I never wanted to be involved in politics, but one of the roles of a nurse is to advocate.  Lesa Hanson, one of our organizing and negotiating committee members, eloquently said that advocating means at the bedside, in the boardroom, in Hartford and in Washington. 

We cannot be good nurses if we cannot advocate for our patients without fear of retribution!
THAT is what this is all about.

(if you want to see my testimony)   http://youtu.be/zT_8DQYi9dc

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