Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

AFSCME Union still waiting for NLRB ruling regarding LPN’s

08.23.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

AFSCME Union still waiting for NLRB ruling regarding LPN’s

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 2nd- Almost fourteen months after a unit of workers voted overwhelmingly to be represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union they are still waiting to hear from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC whether they are represented by the labor organization.

AFSCME District Council 87, which represents AFSCME members throughout 9 Counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, won a representation election conducted by the NLRB Region Four Office in Philadelphia in June 2013, 26 to 12 that involved Licensed Practical Nurses (ULP’s) employed at the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton, Luzerne County. There were forty-three workers eligible to participate in the election. AFSCME already represented a unit of workers at St. Luke’s which included dietary aids and other food service workers.

The Union won the right to represent the LPN’s despite the operators of the nursing home hiring a law firm that specializes in attempting to delay representation elections and the spending of thousands of dollars on anti-union attorney’s and consulting firms.

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. However, Region Four ruled they were and conducted the election.

However, according to Matt Balas, Business Representative of AFSCME District Council 87, the nursing home operators have made it clear they are under the opinion the LPN’s are management and will not negotiate with the union for a first-time Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Therefore, the nursing home management will not meet with the union to discuss the CBA.

AFSCME filed a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against the St. Luke’s operators with the NLRB in which the agency ruled in favor of the union. However, St. Luke’s have appealed the Region Four decision to the NLRB Washington office and the parties are still waiting for their decision of whether the LPN’s are management or can be represented by AFSCME.

Mr. Balas, told the newspaper on August 1st, “the union is waiting for the NLRB’s ruling.”