Nurses: Will Strike if Labor Board Ruling Enforced
California Nurses Association officials on Wednesday said nurses will strike if hospitals try to enforce a federal ruling that would allow hospitals to reclassify some nurses as supervisors, making them ineligible for union representation, the Contra Costa Times reports (Avalos, Contra Costa Times, 10/5).
The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday ruled 3-2 that nurses who spend "a regular and substantial portion" of their work time performing supervisory functions should be classified as supervisors and therefore be ineligible for union representation.
The ruling states that supervisory classification should go to workers who serve in a supervisory role "according to a pattern or schedule" and "at least 10% to 15% of their total work time." Supervisory functions include the use of independent judgment and the assignment and direction of staff, according to the ruling (California Healthline, 10/4).
CNA spokesperson Charles Idelson said, "We will strike any employer that tries to exploit this ruling," adding that the union has collected "tens of thousands of signed strike pledges" from members.
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA, said hospitals "may start to redesign jobs so that registered nurses gain responsibilities that the employer may think qualifies the nurses to be ineligible for being in the union." According to DeMoro, under the ruling a "nurse could be designated a supervisor if a nurse asks other nurses to help her with a patient."
Chloe Osmer, an official with the California Labor Federation, said the ruling "has implications for professional workers in industries beyond health care" (Contra Costa Times, 10/5).