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Nursing home operator fails to respond to bargaining request

08.28.13

AUGUST 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Nursing home operator fails to respond to bargaining request

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 30th- The union that was successful in winning a representation election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia at a regional nursing home, has not been able to get a meeting with management representatives to begin bargaining for a first-time labor contract.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was “exclusively” reported that despite the spending of tens of thousands of dollars on anti-union attorney’s and employment consulting firms, the operators of a local nursing home were unsuccessful in convincing their employees from voting for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 as their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

In previous articles published in the newspaper it was reported that AFSCME Council 87 in Dunmore filed a representation petition with the NLRB on March 18th, 2013 requesting the agency conduct a election to determine if full-time and regular part-time Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and other professional employees of the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton want to be represented by the union. District Council 87 represents other St. Luke’s employees including aids and food service workers.

The operators of the Hazleton nursing home hired a lawfirm to represented them that specializes in attempting to delay representation elections.

The petition was filed by Robin Calabria, a union organizer for AFSCME Council 13 in Harrisburg, which District Council 87 is affiliated.

It was reported that AFSCME withdrew the petition on April 1st, 2013 but refiled it on the same day. However, the employer challenged the right of whether the LPN’s had the right to become union members claiming they are supervisors and under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) are ineligible from joining unions.

The NLRB ruled in favor of AFSCME and scheduled a election for June 13th, 2013. The fourty-three workers eligible to participate in the election voted in the NLRB conducted election to be represented by AFSCME, 26 to 12.

According to Matt Balas, Business Representative for District Council 87, management has not responded to certified letters requesting meetings be scheduled between the parties to gain a first-time labor agreement. Mr. Balas stated labor charges may be filed if management continues to ignore correspondence from AFSCME.