CATHOLIC HEALTHCARE WEST: Health System Must Recognize Nurses Union
Catholic Healthcare West must negotiate with the California Nursing Association on behalf of registered nurses at St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge James Ware also ordered CHW to rescind several workplace policy changes unilaterally imposed on nurses in recent months, the San Jose Mercury News reports. After consolidating its Morgan Hill facility with the Gilroy hospital last year, CHW refused to bargain with the union unless it represented the majority of the combined staffs. The union filed unfair labor practice allegations with the National Labor Relations Board, which took the case to federal court. Union officials argued that the hospital changed seniority rules, reduced overtime and on-call pay differentials and altered sick leave policies. Under yesterday's decision, CHW must recognize 35 of 100 hospital nurses. CNA spokesperson Linda Gouriluk said the union will initiate contract negotiations for the St. Louise nurses "very soon" (6/22). But CHW spokesperson Harry Joel said the ruling will not resolve the situation, maintaining that the health chain did not agree to honor union contracts when it took over the Gilroy hospital. He added the he expects the hospital to be vindicated by an NRLB judge ( San Francisco Chronicle, 6/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.