Huntington Hospital Agrees to Second Settlement in Nurses’ Dispute, Paves Way for Rerun Election

Decision stems from “interference’ charge in nurses’ union elections

Published : Wednesday, February 1, 2017 | 6:13 AM

Huntington Hospital RN's demonstrating during union organizing-related rally in 2016 (left), a view of the Huntington Hospital.

In the second of two settlements in the last 12 months, Huntington Memorial Hospital has agreed to abide by labor laws protecting the rights of Huntington’s registered nurses to vote on whether or not to organize a union during a second election, the California Nurses Association (CNA) announced Tuesday.

The results of the first election, held in 2015, are now deemed to be not certified. The date for a second selection has not been announced.

The settlement was approved by the National Labor Relations Board.

A spokesman for Huntington Hospital said that management continues to believe the original April, 2015 election was lawful and proper, but “in the interest of reaching a fast, efficient and final resolution to this issue, we reached an agreement with the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United(CNA/NNU) and the National Labor Relations Board to clear the way for a rerun election.”

Allysha Sin, a former Huntington nurse who had campaigned on behalf of the union and was fired by the hospital, said that “if Huntington truly cares about patient care, they will end this cycle of repeated labor violations and recognize our federally protected rights to speak up for our patients and ourselves.”

Shin was one of two nurses reimbursed $50,000 last year after the CNA filed charges alleging that Huntington had illegally fired the nurses in retaliation for their support of a union organizing campaign.

“It is disturbing that Huntington management has yet again disregarded federal law and violated the rights of the nurses to organize,” said Shin.

The California Nurses Association filed new charges against Huntington late last year, alleging that hospital supervisors again violated federal labor law by, among other things, interrogating nurses about their union support and activity, under the guise of “asking for input on budget matters,” according to CNA spokesperson Roy Hong.

The National Labor Relations Board found merit to the union’s charges, and has now reached a settlement agreement with the hospital.

Huntington Hospital spokesman Derek Clark said the Hospital has “the best nurses in the world and we continue to respect all of their rights, including their right to be represented by a union, should they so choose.”

“This settlement agreement is in Huntington Hospital’s best interest and will allow the Huntington Hospital community to return its undivided attention to providing excellent and compassionate patient care,” Clark said.

The effort by some Huntington RNs to organize as an affiliate with CNA/NNU began in May of 2014.