Huntington Memorial faces 3 union charges after 2 nurses fired

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United has filed three charges against Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., on behalf of two fired nurses, according to a Pasadena Star-News report.

The charges, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, include allegations of retaliation and "unfair" termination, CNA spokeswoman Jennifer Suh said, according to the report.

Allysha Almada and Vicki Lin contend they were let go Aug. 20 after having been placed on suspension, reinstated and then suspended again.

Ms. Almada testified on a July panel of elected officials and community leaders about nurses' efforts to organize collectively to hold management accountable for addressing issues that impact patient safety, such as staffing levels, according to the union. RNs at the hospital say it was her outspoken advocacy at this panel that led to her firing.

Ms. Almada's co-worker and fellow union supporter Vicki Lin was also terminated, a move nurses contend management made in an effort to appear as if they were conducting generalized firings, the union said. 

Gloria Sanchez-Rico, vice president and chief nursing executive at Huntington, confirmed Monday that the nurses are no longer employees there, but could not discuss details of the issue, according to the report.

"Legally, we are unable to comment on the specifics of any personnel issue, however our guiding principles in decision making are based on ensuring patient safety — and providing quality patient care as a trusted community resource," Ms. Sanchez-Rico said in a statement, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

The charges follow leadership restructuring at the hospital, as well as an April election to form a union.

The CNA claims the hospital harassed, coerced and intimidated the nurses prior to the vote, while the hospital said the union's focus was money it would receive in annual dues if the nurses unionized, according to the report.

An unofficial tally showed 539 votes against union representation and 445 in favor, with 175 "challenged" ballots pending resolution. The election is still blocked and results will not be finalized until all other charges against Huntington are cleared, according to the report.


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