Fulton County

Hearing set for nurses’ complaints against Littauer Hospital

The National Labor Relations Board has set a hearing for April 18 on charges that Nathan Littauer Ho
Registered nurses from Nathan Littauer Hospital picket in front of the hospital during their one-day strike on Jan. 6.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Registered nurses from Nathan Littauer Hospital picket in front of the hospital during their one-day strike on Jan. 6.

The National Labor Relations Board has set a hearing for April 18 on charges that Nathan Littauer Hospital denied a nurse a job because of her union activity, among other labor law violations.

The move comes as nurses in the New York State Nurses Association and hospital management continue to spar over contract negotiations, which have dragged on for more than two years.

The NLRB hearing will focus on charges that the hospital refused to hire a nurse, Marion Enright, for a posted management job because of her union activity, that management stated that it preferred to hire someone for the job who “does not complain about terms and conditions of employment,” and for making illegal changes in work hours and pay without union consultation, according to the NYSNA complaint.

Enright is the president of the hospital’s NYSNA bargaining unit and has been a vocal critic of management throughout the negotiations.

“This complaint makes it very clear: Hospital management broke federal law and retaliated against me as member of the New York State Nurses Association,” she said in a statement. “With this complaint, I urge hospital management to come to the table, negotiate in good faith, and offer a fair contract because the people of Gloversville and our patients deserve nothing less.”

The NYSNA complaint accuses the hospital of “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees” in the exercise of their rights under federal labor laws, discrimination in hiring, and failing to bargain in good faith.

The union has filed about a dozen other complaints against the hospital with the NLRB, some of which have been dismissed and many of which are still under investigation.

The hearing will be held in Albany in front of an administrative law judge.

The roughly 130 union nurses at the hospital have been working without a contract since late 2013. They’ve been demanding increased staffing levels, more control over work assignments, and increases in pay and benefits.

The hospital has maintained that the nurses are treated on par with its other 850 employees.

The deadlock led to a one-day strike by the nurses on Jan. 6, followed by a four-day lockout by management.

The two sides were scheduled to meet Thursday for their first bargaining session since the strike. The outcome of the session was unknown as of Thursday evening.

Reach Gazette reporter Kyle Adams at 723-0811, [email protected] or @kyleradams on Twitter.

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