Hearing Begins on State Complaint of Anti-Union Practices Against Nurses at Antelope Valley Hospital
A hearing on a state complaint that accuses Lancaster-based Antelope Valley Hospital of "interfering with registered nurses' attempts to unionize" began yesterday before an administrative law judge, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The Public Employment Relations Board issued a complaint against Antelope Valley in response to an unfair labor practice complaint filed against the hospital by the California Nurses Association. According to CNA, the hospital's nurses in May voted to join the union after a majority submitted signed authorization cards (Maeshiro, Los Angeles Daily News, 7/22). Under a new state law (AB 1281) that took effect Jan. 1, union supporters can collect the signatures of a majority of nurses at a hospital to approve unionization, rather than hold an election (California Healthline, 6/7). However, Antelope Valley officials said that the law does not override a hospital policy that requires a secret ballot election to approve unionization. They also said that nurses signed the cards without "knowing it was an actual election," an allegation that union supporters denied. The hearing will take about two to five days, and the judge will issue a decision in the case between 30 and 60 days after the hearing (Los Angeles Daily News, 7/22).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.