UPMC bans on workers violated law, labor board rules

The National Labor Relations Board ruled Aug. 6 that Pittsburgh-based UPMC unlawfully prohibited off-duty workers from unionization efforts, according to a Bloomberg BNA report.

The board said the medical center and related hospitals violated federal labor law when they banned the workers from discussing unionization with colleagues and labor representatives in areas not devoted to patient care, the report states. Board members said UPMC facilities also prohibited off-duty workers from distributing materials related to unionization in the hospital cafeteria.

Hospitals may allow union solicitation in patient care areas, and UPMC failed to provide information showing the ban in nonpatient care areas was needed to prevent disruptions to patients or caregivers, the board said.

When reached by Becker's Hospital Review, UPMC declined to comment on the ruling.

The board's ruling marks the most recent dispute between UPMC and the Service Employees International Union. In February, nurses represented by the union at UPMC McKeesport (Pa.) voted down an effort to decertify the SEIU.


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