Johns Hopkins trying to block unionization, nurses charge

Registered nurses at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital revealed June 25 they have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the hospital hindered nurses' legal right to discuss unionization.

The nurses specifically allege "they have been blocked from exercising their guaranteed legal rights to organize with National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United" at the hospital, according to NNU. NNU alleges the hospital at various times didn't allow nurses to visit other units on their days off to talk to colleagues who were on their breaks. Additionally, the union alleges the hospital has hired anti-union consultants, who "are allowed free rein in the hospital to promote an anti-union agenda."

"Our patients deserve the best patient care from us, but instead of investing in the nurses that provide the direct care, our hospital has diverted patient care dollars to professional union busters. It is a shame that my colleagues are subjected to misinformation and intimidation by labor consultants who roam our units falsely claiming to be neutral," said Helen Paik, a registered nurse in the medical intensive care unit.

Kim Hoppe, a spokesperson for Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in an email to Becker's Hospital Review that the hospital takes the allegations seriously and supports workers' legal rights to unionize.

"At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, we deeply respect our nurses, their contributions to our organization, and all of their rights as employees including their right to support or oppose a union," she wrote. "Our nurses are critical to providing world-class care to our patients and their families. We are committed to maintaining our longstanding culture of collaboration and open communication with them and with all of our employees in order to provide the highest quality of care."

News of the complaint comes as Johns Hopkins Hospital nurses began organizing efforts this year to address what they deem as high registered nurse turnover because of staffing and pay issues.

NNOC is part of NNU, which represents 150,000 registered nurses, according to union officials.

 

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