NYSNA Online Exclusive
NLRB decisions could strip many RNs of the right to unionize
Three cases currently pending at the National Labor Relations Board could have a significant impact on workers’ rights to form and join unions in this country. The cases are often referred to as the “Kentucky River” decisions because they will serve to clarify issues left open by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kentucky River decision in 2001.
A broad interpretation of who is a “supervisor” could allow employers to strip an estimated 300,000 nurses nationwide of their their rights to union protection. Supervisors do not have protected rights under the National Labor Relations Act to form and join unions and employers often try to classify workers as supervisors in order to deny them the right to union representation.
The American Hospital Association has filed a brief with the Board urging it to adopt a broad interpretation that would allow employers to reclassify many employees as supervisors. This would shrink or wipe out existing bargaining units and strip the freedom to organize from hundreds of thousands of nonunion workers. The Board has refused, however, to hear oral arguments from unions.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.