Southern Ocean Medical Center Nurses Union Suffers Setback - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Southern Ocean Medical Center Nurses Union Suffers Setback

Taken from

October 24, 2018

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Last week it was reported that Health Professionals and Allied Employees Local 5138, the union that represents almost 300 nurses at Manahawkin’s Southern Ocean Medical Center, had scored a victory when the National Labor Relations Board threw out a petition calling for a decertification election at the hospital.

A nurse had collected signatures asking for the vote; if more than 50 percent of the nurses at the hospital voted to dump the union, that would make SOMC a non-union shop. HPAE would no longer have the authority to negotiate for the nurses in their current contract standoff with the hospital’s parent company, Hackensack Meridian Health. Instead, individual nurses would have to negotiate their own work contracts, losing the power of numbers a union provides. On the other hand, nurses would no longer have to pay union dues.

But for the NLRB to order a decertification election, the petition needed the signatures of at least 30 percent of the hospital’s nurses. The NLRB determined the filed petition did not have enough signatures to reach the 30-percent mark and dismissed the petition, a big win for the union.

A representative of Hackensack Meridian Health said the petition had fallen short by just a few signatures, so the anti-union nurses apparently collected those few more signatures and submitted a new petition to the NLRB. The HPAE announced the new petition had been filed last Thursday.

Now the NLRB will once again confirm the legitimacy of the signatures and count them up to see if the 30-percent hurdle has been crossed. If it has, an election – with a secret vote – will be ordered by the NLRB, usually to take place within 60 days.

Read more here.