Judge says California hospital must resume bargaining, recognize union: 5 things to know

A federal judge ordered Napa, Calif.-based Queen of the Valley Medical Center to resume negotiations with the National Union of Healthcare Workers more than a year after 400-plus hospital service and technical workers decided to join the union, according to a Napa Valley Register report.

Here are five things to know.

1. The order came from U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers via an injunction issued last month.

2. Under the injunction, Queen of the Valley Medical Center must resume negotiations with the workers, allow the NUHW access to the hospital, and allow employees' union representation, among other things, according to the report.

3. The injunction follows a union election held in fall 2016. In the election, workers decided by a margin of approximately 3-to-2 to unionize. However, the hospital has appealed the vote multiple times with the National Labor Relations Board.

4. Queen of the Valley Medical Center CEO Larry Coomes previously argued employees didn't have "a free and fair ability to vote in the election," but he said this week the judge's recent order "is part of a separate process that does not impact our appeal of 2016 election," Napa Valley Register reports.

5. Gabriela Caro, a patient access representative at the hospital, called the injunction "a victory" in the report. This "validates our determination as workers to stick up for each other and fight for our rights. We're excited to negotiate a contract," she added. 


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