Healthcare Unions Eye Gains in 2014
"Look for NLRB go back to the rulemaking and look for expedited elections," Trivisonno says. "That is the biggest concern that employers should have. When you get a petition you have to communicate as an employer the implications and consequences of unionization. If you only have 10 to 14 days to communicate your message to thousands of people, it is going to be extremely difficult, particularly because you can't shut the place down with healthcare. We have had situations with six months and barely prevailed. I don't know how we are going to do it in two weeks."
In addition, the NLRB will review dozens of decisions it made from 2008 to 2010 when the board contained only two members owing to Republican objections to Obama's candidates. The U.S. Supreme Court in Process Steel vs. the NLRB in 2010 ruled that the two-member NLRB did not have the authority to decide cases, so many of those cases will be reviewed again by the five-member board.
With the current pro-labor makeup on the full board, Trivisonno says "there are a bunch of cases lined up that they are waiting to hear and they will overturn previously decided cases and change the way the pendulum swings."
While much of what happens at the federal level is beyond the control of most hospital executives and administrators, Trivisonno says steps can be taken to deflect union organizing efforts. It starts with being proactive and communicating your hospital's stance on organized labor and why you oppose it.
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