Now there’s this at IndeOnline.com:
“Judge orders Affinity to bargain with union” (http://www.indeonline.com/
news/x1808710525/Judge-orders- Affinity-to-bargain-with- union?zc_p=1)
CANTON (OH) — July 2, 2013
A judge ruled Affinity Medical Center violated federal labor laws and
ordered the hospital to bargain with the registered nurses’ union and
reinstate a nurse fired for union activity.
Affinity says it will appeal the decision.
National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan
issued a 36-page ruling Monday based on a hearings held April 29 through
May 5 in Cleveland.
The National Nurses Organizing Committee-Ohio, an affiliate of National
Nurses United, filed several labor complaints against Affinity and its
parent company, Community Health Systems. The complaints cited the
hospital’s refusal to bargain with the union, which was certified last
… The judge ordered the hospital to reinstate Ann Wayt, an orthopedic
nurse for 23 years, with back pay and restitution of benefit or pension
losses, and withdraw efforts to have Wayt’s nursing license pulled by
the Ohio State Board of Nursing. Wayt was fired in September and never
had been disciplined before that month.
“I was confident that the truth would come out,” Wayt said in a
statement. “The judge has spoken for me. I want to thank the community,
the nurses at Affinity, and the nurses across the country for their
The judge also ordered the hospital to stop firing, disciplining or otherwise discriminating against other registered nurses.
Mentioned in the article is this:
The judge also ruled that the hospital must end threats and other acts of retaliation against nurses who submit objection forms to the employer documenting assignments they believe are unsafe. The hospital also must stop denying access to the hospital of union representatives … Two weeks ago, nurses filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB after requesting that the hospital delay a launch of the new electronic health record system, citing inadequate training and short staffing.
The nurses began to file objection forms related to the EHR.
What really caught my eye was this:
… In his ruling, the judge found one Affinity manager violated labor laws by threatening to
plaster the objection forms on the forehead of any employee who submitted one. That same manager also began scrutinizing patient charts more closely,
stated how much she would enjoy disciplining a prominent union supporter and
retaliated against employees by reducing the number of nurses in the intensive-care unit [to make others work harder, patient safety be damned, apparently – ed.], according to the ruling.
I dislike stating the obvious, but this manager, a clear bully, is a
danger to patient safety and clinician esprit de corps, and needs – at best – sensitivity training, ethics education and perhaps a psychiatric exam.