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Nurses Union files complaint against Medical Center

05.21.10

APRIL 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Nurses Union files complaint against Medical Center

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 27th- Informational picketing, petitions signed by the public to show support for the nurses, and political leaders letters to company officials, have not resulted in the union representing nurses at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital from gaining a new contract agreement for their members.

The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Professionals (PASNAP) Union and Community Health Systems (CHS) Inc., which owns and operates the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital located on North River Street in Wilkes-Barre, have been negotiating for more than eleven months attempting to gain a successor contract agreement. The previous pact expired on August 30th, 2009.

PASNAP, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, represents approximately 440 nurses employed at the medical center. The Union also represents nurses employed at the Community Medical Center (CMC) on Mulberry Street in Scranton.

PASNAP is affiliated with the California Nurses Association (CNA).

The two sides agreed to work under the terms and conditions of the previous contract while negotiations continued for a new pact.

CHS Inc. is the largest owner of for-profit hospitals in the United States including a facility in Pottsville.

Several of the main issues prohibiting the two sides from reaching agreement is changes to employee healthcare insurance and staffing levels.

On March 11th, 2010, the Union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Philadelphia alleging CHS Inc. is negotiating in bad faith and violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

“Since on or about September 20th, 2009 and all times thereafter, the above-named employer, by its officers, agents and representatives, has failed and refused to bargain collectively and in good faith with WVNA/PASNAP, a labor organization, designated or selected by a majority of the employees of said employer in an appropriate unit for the purpose of collective bargaining with respect to rates of pay, hours of employment, and other terms and conditions of employment. Since on or about September 20th, 2009, the above-named employer, by its officers, agents and representatives, has interfered with, restrained and coerced its employees in the exercise of rights guaranteed by Section 7 of the NLRAct.

Specifically, the employer has instituted unilateral changes to employees’ terms and conditions of employment without providing notice and an opportunity to bargain,” states the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge.

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