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LABOR: Board finds in favor of nurses’ union

Riverside Press Enterprise, 4/16/14

Nurses seeking a contract in Fallbrook received a favorable ruling from the National Labor Relations Board this week.

BY JACK KATZANEK The Press Enterprise

Originally Published: April 15, 2014; 03:12 PM

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld a judge’s ruling that found that management of Fallbrook Hospital did not negotiate in good faith with a union representing registered nurses, and has also ordered the hospital to reimburse the union for its expenses.

Nurses at the hospital voted to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United in 2012. But negotiations for a first contract went on through much of the year with no breakthroughs, and the union filed an unfair labor practice charge accusing hospital management of failing to bargain.

That charge was heard by a federal judge in San Diego in 2013, who ruled that the hospital was not making an adequate attempt to reach a contract agreement. However, at that time, Administrative Law Judge Eleanor Laws turned down the union’s request to make the hospital pay the expenses union negotiators say they accrued while the negotiations dragged on.

However, a three-member panel of the labor board, presidential appointees who interpret and enforce labor laws, issued a ruling on Monday, April 14 that overturned the judge’s decision on the reimbursements, finding that hospital negotiators’ conduct was “egregious.”

Fallbrook Hospital is owned by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, a public company that owns, leases or operates 206 medical facilities in 29 states. A spokesman for the company did not return a call seeking comment, and Dan Camp, the director for human resources, said he would refer questions to attorneys.


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