For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
TOMS RIVER, NJ, March 19, 2008 – Acting on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an administrative law judge has overturned a January 2007 union election for registered nurses at Community Medical Center (CMC) and ordered that a new election take place.
The nurses had been seeking representation by the New York State Nurses Association in order to improve their working conditions. The judge found that management’s actions had unfairly affected the outcome.
“We welcome the order because it acknowledges that the medical center broke the law,” said CMC nurse Catherine Heuschkel, RN, a member of the Nurses Association organizing committee. “It’s what we’ve known all along and waited 14 months to hear. The ruling will give us the ability to make a free choice.”
“This is a groundbreaking decision, not only for the CMC nurses and the Nurses Association, but for the entire labor movement,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, Nurses Association CEO. “It establishes that many of the anti-union tactics used by employers and their high-priced consultants are illegal.”
Bruce D. Rosenstein made the ruling after hearing testimony from both the nurses’ union and the hospital at hearings held in Philadelphia from August through December 2007. He sustained the Nurses Association’s complaint that CMC violated the National Labor Relations Act and ordered that the election be set aside. These violations included:
“It’s rare for the NLRB to set aside an election, so that’s an indication of how serious these violations were,” said Lorraine Seidel, RN, director of the Nurses Association’s collective-bargaining program. “The NLRB report confirms that these improper activities were carried out under the direction of the union-busting firm of Brent Yessin and Associates. This was the same firm that was hired to attempt to break a recent nurses’ strike in Kentucky and West Virginia.”
Dated March 14, the order requires medical center management not to interfere with the nurses’ right to support a union, nor intimidate nurses into voting against unionization. Management must post notices throughout the facility stating that it will not engage in such illegal behavior.
Nurses Association representatives will soon meet with CMC nurses to discuss the ruling and possible future actions.
With more than 36,000 members, the New York State Nurses Association is the nation's oldest and largest state nurses’ association. NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education, research, and practice; engages in legislative activity; and provides collective bargaining services to registered nurses. Its mission is to advance the profession of nursing and protect the public's health.