union avoidance and hospitals

NLRB Resurrects Card-Check Under Joy Silk Mills

By | Uncategorized

August 25 – This morning the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took another giant leap in further restricting an employer’s right to respond to union organizing.

In their decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific, LLC., the board has announced their intention to return to rules applied under a case from the1940’s (Joy Silk Mills Inc., 1949).

In a nutshell, in Cemex, the Board lays out a new framework for determining when employers are required to bargain with unions, a framework the Board intends to apply retroactively:

  • “Under the new framework, when a union requests recognition on the basis that a majority of employees in an appropriate bargaining unit have designated the union as their representative (through signed authorization cards), an employer must either recognize and bargain with the union or promptly file an RM petition seeking an election.”  
  • “However, if an employer who seeks an election commits any unfair labor practice that would require setting aside the election, the petition [for election] will be dismissed, and—rather than re-running the election—the Board will order the employer to recognize and bargain with the union.”

The Cemex decision is consistent with the position this Board has taken since General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo took over as policy-maker at the agency. 

Under her direction, the NLRB’s posture has undergone a tectonic shift – from neutral arbiter of disputes between unions and management, to an agency that is squarely and unabashedly in the corner of organized labor (promoting union membership).

Mark Mix of The National Right to Work Foundation, which represents workers who oppose unionization, said “the card-check process revived by Friday’s ruling is prone to abuse and lacks the protections of secret ballot elections.” He went on to say, “the decision gives a blank check to unions to force workers into their ranks.”  

We agree!  

Stay tuned for more information and in-depth analysis of this and other developments at the NLRB.

Chessboard Authors the 2023 ASHHRA Healthcare Labor Activity Report

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

January 11, 2023 – Happy New Year! We are pleased to announce that Chessboard has authored the 2023 ASHHRA Healthcare Labor Activity Report.

The new ASHHRA Healthcare Labor Activity Report is a comprehensive resource for healthcare human resources professionals and provides an accurate and timely analyses of union organizing activity in the healthcare industry, including what leaders need to know now to best prepare for an anticipated rise in healthcare union organizing in 2023.

This report comes with a PowerPoint presentation reflecting report highlights you can use for briefing your board of directors, senior leaders, or mid-level/front-line leaders.

The report and companion PowerPoint are free for ASHHRA members.

Click here to get your copy free for ASHHRA Members!

Seeking Advantage, Unions Blame Hospitals for Staffing Crisis

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

January 20, 2021 – The COVID-19 crisis has impacted hospitals like nothing we have ever seen before. What started as a public health crisis has resulted in an unprecedented disruption of the entire healthcare workforce. In fact, the impact is so severe we will likely be dealing with staffing shortages for a significant period going forward – long after COVID subsides.

Unfortunately, our challenges are opportunities for unions like National Nurses United (NNU). The organizing team at NNU understands the addage, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” So NNU leaders are working overtime to forward a false narrative that goes something like this: “Greed, on the part of healthcare leaders, is the real cause of the staffing crisis – not COVID-19.” Below are some examples of how the NNU is forwarding this false narrative:

  • December, 2020: NNU releases “Deadly Shame” videos and a report entitled, Deadly Shame: Addressing the Devaluation of Registered Nurse Labor through Pandemic Equity.
  • December, 2021: NNU releases a report entitled, Protecting Our Front Line: Ending the Shortage of Good Nursing Jobs and the Industry-Created Unsafe Staffing Crisis. 
  • January, 2022: NNU holds a National Day of Action press conference to demand the hospital industry invest in safe staffing, and to demand that President Biden follow through on his campaign promise to protect nurses and prioritize public health.”

From the beginning, NNU leaders have sought to use this crisis to spread the false and misleading narrative that somehow healthcare leaders are responsible for the current staffing crisis and that hospitals are deliberately understaffing patient care units to increase profits.

Yesterday, this narrative made its way into the opinion section of the New York Times in an article and video entitled: We Know the Real Cause of the Crisis in Our Hospitals. It’s Greed. (click here to read article)

Thankfully, the American Hospital Association quickly issued a response to set the record straight (click here to read the AHA response).

NNU leaders are trying to boost membership, dues income, and the political power of their union.

The challenges facing healthcare organizations and employees are real and we should honor and respect those who are on the frontline facing these challenges. At the same time, we should encourage our employees to question the motives of groups like the NNU, who seek to use the pandemic for their own financial and political gain.

Remember, the NNU is not seeking to foster unity – unity is not good for their business model. NNU organizers know that they have a much better chance of organizing thousands of new nurse members if staff nurses and nurse leaders are divided.

Unfortunately, the confusion and stress created by the pandemic has given the NNU a golden opportunity to create that division – and they seem determined not to let that opportunity go to waste.

Nurse unions – like NNU – betray the public trust when they put their own financial and political objectives above what’s really in the best interest of healthcare employees, patients, and communities.