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Latest News - September 2013

September 12, 2013
CNA scores big Torrance election win, nabs 725 new RN members
Source: San Francisco Business Times
Chris Rauber

The California Nurses Association has won an election battle at a Torrance hospital in Southern California that it calls one of its biggest wins in years. But hospital officials say they may contest the results.

Both sides agree that CNA won the National Labor Relations Board-sanctioned union representation election Wednesday night, apparently earning the right to bargain on behalf of 725 RNs at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, despite what the union called "a furious anti-union campaign" by management.

The vote was 279 to 261 in a secret ballot tally, the union and hospital agree. But hospital CEO Liz Dunne, in a memorandum to employees that a spokeswoman shared with the Business Times, said management "is assessing next steps," and noted that the election results would not be official until after any objections were investigated by the NLRB.

"This process can delay the certification of the election for several weeks — even months," Dunne cautioned in the Sept. 11 memo to employees. "If the objections are upheld, another election may be scheduled."

Dunne said 557 of 600 eligible RNs cast ballots in the election, and that 17 ballots have been challenged. In addition, she said, "numerous employees alleged that union organizers violated their rights under the (NLRB) Act" during the run up to the election, reportedly by harassing and intimidating employees.

The Torrance hospital is part of Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, which runs 32 hospitals in California, Washington, Alaska, Montana and Oregon.

CNA said the win was the biggest RN union victory at a non-union facility since CNA won a similar vote in 2006 at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto.

CNA said it now represents nearly 1,500 RNs at Providence facilities in the region, if the tally includes Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, "a hospital Providence is in the process of purchasing." The not-for-profit Catholic system also operates Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro in the Los Angeles area.

RNs at its other hospitals in the Los Angeles region are not represented by CNA.

The Providence system generated $10.6 billion in net operating income last year, and netted $1.2 billion in profits, according to its web site.




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