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Hazleton nursing home operator continues to appeal rulings

05.25.15

MAY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Hazleton nursing home operator continues to appeal rulings

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 4th- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington DC is seeking a summary judgment against an operator of a area nursing home that could result in fines being levied against the company every day they do not honor their findings and ruling.

The newspaper has exclusively been reporting about how a Hazleton nursing home has attempted to stop some of their employees from being represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87. District Council 87 represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania including Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties.

The NLRB ruled against the operators of the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton after they appealed the agency’s findings that Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) employed at the facility had the right to vote in a NLRB conducted election to determine if they wanted AFSCME to represent them for the purpose of collective bargaining.

AFSCME won the right to represent the LPN’s after the NLRB held a representation election in June 2013 and the union won the right to represent them 26 for to 12 against.

However, according to Matt Balas, Business Representative of District Council 87, the employer immediately took the position they would not bargain with AFSCME urguing the employees were supervisors and not able to join a union. However, throughout the nation LPN’s have become members of labor unions and are represented through a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The employer challenged the right of whether the LPN”s had the right to participate in the election in which the NLRB ruled they were eligible to vote to join a labor organization.

Mr. Balas previously told the newspaper the St. Luke’s operators refused to meet with AFSCME to discuss negotiating for a first-time CBA resulting in the Union filing charges against the employer. The NLRB in Washington DC ruled in favor of AFSCME however again the employer refused to begin bargaining.

AFSCME and management of St. Luke’s have had a positive working relationship for many years, Mr. Balas told the newspaper. AFSCME has represented for many years a separate unit of workers that include dietary aids and other food service workers. The parties have reached a successor CBA for those workers late in 2014.