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RNs Charge Jackson Health System, Service Union Broke State Law in Harassment of Hospital Nurses
Date:12/15/2008

Threatened RNs with Arrest for Eating at McDonald's

Nurses Call on County to Halt Questionable Contract

MIAMI, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The nation's largest nurses union today charged that Jackson Health System (JHS) and the Service Employees International Union have violated state law that protects employee rights, and is calling on Miami-Dade County Commissioners to postpone a vote Tuesday morning approving a new agreement between the hospital system and SEIU.

Jackson and SEIU, charges the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, conducted a systematic campaign to threaten and harass JHS nurses and NNOC/CNA representatives to prevent hospital nurses who are alarmed by the deteriorating patient care conditions they see from switching representation to NNOC/CNA.

The campaign even resulted in such tactics as using security guards to pull RNs and NNOC/CNA staff out of public restaurants, including a McDonald's and an Au Bon Pain restaurant near the hospital.

Then, SEIU and JHS signed a hurried agreement and are seeking rapid approval by the Board of Commissioners in an effort to block an election by the RNs. SEIU has sought to curry favor with the board with frequent campaign contributions, including a $50,000 donation to Commissioner Natacha Seijas during her recall campaign in 2006.

The agreement, intended to bar a representation vote, was rushed through, bypassing normal procedures, which first include approval by the Public Health Trust, and then pushed through a vote of the RNs in which fewer than half voted.

NNOC/CNA will file formal charges with the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) that prohibit public employers and employee organizations from "interfering with, restraining, or coercing public employees" in equal access and discrimination against one union in favor of another.
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SOURCE National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association
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