Sunday, March 4, 2012

A struggle worth fighting, a struggle we are winning

Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against Backus Hospital.
A "complaint" from the NLRB is similar to an indictment. The NLRB is charging management with breaking the law and is taking them to court, a trial is scheduled for May 14.

The NLRB gave management a chance to settle this without a trial but management refused.

This is one of 7 times that management has broken the law, first with the security union and now six times with the nurse's union. Each time, until now, they have settled without a trial. 

The complaint charges management with withholding our performance bonus, wage increase, and 403(b) contribution, and with prohibiting us from distributing union stickers while on non-working time in a non-working area and denying access to public areas to a non-employee union representative while permitting such access to other members of the public.

It charges management with "failing and refusing to bargain collectively and in good faith" and "interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of guaranteed rights."

The government has done an investigation and found merit in the case. They have offered the hospital a chance to make it right before filing a charge.  In this case the government was very clear with management.  They offered a settlement to management to avoid filing a complaint and going to trial.  The settlement is clear.  If management pays out the pieces of the shared rewards program to the nurses they will be in compliance with the law and avoid a complaint. 

This has been a long and difficult struggle and repeatedly we have had to stand up for our rights.

It is worth the struggle.

We are starting to get movement at the negotiations table because we are standing up for ourselves.

We cannot control the actions of management, but we can and will refuse to be pushed around. Every time management violates the law we will seek corrective action.  We have a legitimate right to stand together, protected by law, defended by every military veteran who ever fought for our rights on the front line and every worker who ever walked the picket line.

It is a struggle worth fighting and a struggle we are winning.

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