DECEMBER 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News
Nursing home operators finally responds to NLRB complaint
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION, November 30th- The operators of a Luzerne County nursing home has finally responded to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia claim that they violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).
In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported the National Labor Relations Board found merit in a labor complaint filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 against the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton.
AFSCME filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint against the nursing home operators because management clearly stated they have no intention of negotiating for a first-time labor agreement for the newly created bargaining unit.
The newspaper in previous articles reported that AFSCME was successful in winning a representation election conducted by the NLRB at the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home and the union was not able to get a meeting with management representatives to begin bargaining for a first-time labor contract.
Matt Balas, Business Representative of AFSCME District Council 87 in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, stated management believes the employees are excluded from being represented by a labor organization because the workers are “management”.
AFSCME won the right to represent all full-time and regular part-time Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and other professional employees of the nursing home after easily winning a NLRB conducted election despite the objections of the nursing home operators. The NLRB disagreed with their opinion that the workers are “management” and excluded under the NLRAct from participating in unionization. Mr. Balas told the newspaper the NLRB has scheduled a hearing on the ULP for February 2014 on the matter.
Also, the employer delayed responding to the alleged NLRAct violation for several months but has recently told the NLRB that they are under the opinion of legal counsel they have no intention of negotiating with AFSCME because the workers are management, and excluded from joining a labor organization.
District Council 87 represents other St. Luke’s employees including aids and food service workers.