NLRB approves settlement in nurses’ union dispute
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org June 7, 2012 9:04PM
Updated: July 9, 2012 6:07AM
The National Labor Relations Board has approved a settlement between Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and the nurses’ union there that includes the withdrawal of a July 5, 2011, written warning given to one nurse who was promoting union activity in the workplace.
A notice to employees the hospital posted also states the hospital will not bypass the union and deal with the Clinical Leadership Council (CLC) on changes in wages, hours and work conditions.
“The Illinois Nurses Association is happy that the law is being enforced against Provena, against the hospital, and that nurses’ rights are being protected,” said Alice Johnson, labor attorney and program director for the INA.
“The fact is that the National Labor Relations Board never issued a ruling in this case,” Lisa Lagger, chief relations officer and spokesperson for Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center, said in a written statement.
“The matter was settled by (the) Board, despite the objections of the INA,” she wrote. “In settling, the Medical Center avoided a long and expensive litigation and hearing process.”
Last year the nurses’ union filed a complaint about the CLC as well as a complaint about the nurse who was disciplined.
“They were direct dealing with the employees through the Clinical Leadership Council, which turned into basically an entity where the employer was ... circumventing the union,” Johnson said.
Nurses were told the CLC was created to address clinical issues, but was instead addressing employment conditions such as breaks and safety, she said.
After a review of the union’s complaints in the fall, the labor board decided to schedule a hearing.
On Feb. 25, however, the regional director for the labor board approved a settlement agreement.