Union accuses Pennsylvania system of retaliation against nurses

A union is suing Beaver, Pa.-based Heritage Valley Health System, accusing the integrated delivery network retaliated against registered nurses in response to a grievance filed by the union, according to The Times.

The nurses are represented by the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, which reportedly also is accusing Heritage Valley of violating their contract by declining to arbitrate new grievances filed by SEIU.

The union’s allegations of retaliation date back to last October.

At that time, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the union, deciding that Heritage Valley violated the collective-bargaining agreement by sending home nurses who were “receiving premium-time pay while retaining nonunion bargaining nurses [agency nurses] to continue working when the hospital found it had a need for reduced staff,” The Times reported, citing court documents.

After the arbitrator’s ruling, the union filed another grievance accusing Heritage Valley of “requiring registered nurses to work in the capacity of personal care assistants, and not honoring the CBA-mandated [nurse-to-patient] ratios, and retaliating against the union for having prevailed in the first grievance,” according to The Times.

The union reportedly filed the new lawsuit because SEIU claims Heritage Valley refused to process that class-action grievance.

Heritage Valley and the union both failed to return requests for comment from The Times.

 

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