Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

CNA Assistants News: Nursing workers vote No union

November 30, 2011 by  
Filed under Nursing Assistant Jobs

Employees of Golden Living Assisted Living Center in Springfield voted not to unionize during an election that took place on Nov. 16-17, but another election could be on the horizon.

The November election was for the licensed practical nurse (LPN) and certified nursing assistant (CNA) employees of the center, but some of the registered nurses (RN) have also expressed the desire to unionize.

“We have a separate petition for the RNs,” said Rickey Wallace of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), the union that certain Golden Living employees contacted with the intent to join.

Lori Chambers, director of Golden Living, said that the company’s stance is that RNs are supervisors, and therefore cannot legally become unionized under the guidelines of the National Labor Relations Act.

IAMAW and Golden Living are currently in discussions with the Labor Relations Board to plead their cases.

“We presented evidence that they weren’t supervisors, and the company presented information that they were,” Wallace said. He added that if the board rules in favor of the union’s position, an election date would be set for the RNs only.

As for the LPN and CNA election, Chambers said that Golden Living employees “made the right decision in this matter.”

“This vote has been an opportunity for us to become closer to our staff and enhance our channels of communication,” Chambers said. “We have taken this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to our employees.”

Wallace said that the vote failed by one vote, so the union would be checking back on the employees again after a year – the legal amount of time a group of employees must wait before they attempt to unionize again.Wallace said that sometimes when a union vote is threatened or occurs at a business, employers will take action to see that the concerns of the employees are addressed, and sometimes employees no longer want a union. Other times, this is not the case.

“We’ve seen it work both ways,” Wallace said. “Hopefully the employer gets the message, especially in this case – their workforce is very divided. There’s a lot of promises made in these cases, and they don’t often pan out.”

Chambers said that during the period leading up to the election, Golden Living “did a lot of education on unions” for their employees, and explained their own grievance process.

“We hope that the working conditions there get better, and that people feel that they’ve got some say in their jobs,” Wallace added.