Tenet hospital in Michigan accused of unfair labor practices

The National Labor Relations Board has charged Commerce Township, Mich.-based Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital with multiple labor law violations.

The hospital, a Detroit Medical Center affiliate owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, is in contract negotiations with nurses represented by the Professional Nursing Association of Huron Valley Sinai Hospital. It is scheduled to participate in administrative hearing Nov. 5.

"We formed our union [in March 2016] to stand up for our patients. Our hospital should be working with us, not against us," said Kathleen Lehman, a recovery nurse at Huron Valley and president of the PNA-HVSH, a Michigan Nurses Association affiliate. "Instead, they're taking orders from Texas, and fighting us at every turn — interfering with our meetings, trying to stop us from talking to each other about our workplace."

A labor board complaint, based on charges filed by Huron Valley nurses, alleges the hospital discriminated against union members and engaged in bad-faith bargaining. More specifically, the complaint alleges the hospital threatened to discipline nurses in retaliation for their efforts to get better pay and working conditions, according to the union. It also accuses Huron Valley of preventing a union representative from going on hospital grounds.

A DMC spokesperson denied the union's assertions in a statement to Becker's.

"The parties continue to meet regularly and HVSH has met all legal obligations to bargain in good faith. HVSH is optimistic that the parties can reach mutual agreement in the near future," the spokesperson said. "HVSH denies all unfair labor practice charges and looks forward to prevailing on these charges in the scheduled … National Labor Relations Board proceeding."

The charges against Huron Valley come more than two years after the hospital and nurses began negotiations in May 2016.


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