Nurses Seek Ejection of Union at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center; Union Bows Out Of Two Other Hospitals
Union Officials and Healthcare Company Collaborated to Foist Unwanted Union on Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center
Houston, Texas (May 12, 2009) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, nurses at the Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center have filed a decertification petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to remove an unwanted union from their workplace.
The nurses’ decertification petition comes on the heels of the California Nurses Association (CNA) union’s decision to withdraw its controversial petitions for unionization at the Park Plaza and Houston Northwest medical centers. Hospital employees became increasingly disillusioned with union officials after many nurses raised concerns about conflict in the workplace and the quality of patient care.
The California Nurses Association union originally obtained its monopoly bargaining privileges at Cypress Fairbanks through a once-secret deal with Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Company officials agreed to provide union organizers with assistance as part of an “Election Procedures Agreement,” allowing CNA operatives to unionize the facility with relative ease.
The CNA-Tenet “Election Procedure Agreements” used in Houston and elsewhere typically included several provisions designed to quash anti-union dissent. Tenet managers were forbidden from answering hospital employees’ questions about unionization, and employees who opposed a union presence were prevented from using company facilities to express their views. CNA organizers, on the other hand, were given wide-ranging access to company grounds to facilitate unionization, as well as a list of employees’ home addresses.
The agreements between Tenet and the CNA also subverted the NLRB’s oversight role for workplace elections. Under the union’s scheme, the NLRB would merely count ballots and rubber stamp the union’s monopoly bargaining privileges instead of supervising the entire process.
After enduring a coercive CNA organizing campaign, nurses at Cypress Fairbanks filed an employee decertification petition to eject the union from their workplace. Once the NLRB confirms that the petition includes signatures from at least 30 percent of Cypress Fairbanks employees, federal administrators will supervise a secret-ballot election to determine whether the union hierarchy will retain its monopoly bargaining privileges.
“CNA operatives forced their union on these health care professionals using legally questionable tactics,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We’re happy to report that these nurses will finally have their chance to send the CNA union bosses back to California.”