RNA/ONA Statement on Charges Filed Against the University of Cincinnati Medical Center

“On June 24th, the Ohio Nurses Association filed five Unfair Labor Practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the University of Cincinnati Medical Center over the Medical Center’s violation of federal law.  The charges stem from the egregious and illegal firing of the Registered Nurses Association VP, Jennifer Donaldson, and discipline of RNA President, Michelle Thoman. The actions on June 11th come after the Medical Center’s months of harassment of the two union leaders, are a blatant attack on the union leaders and an attempt to silence the union’s voice.

The basis for the charges include serious violations of federal law, including:

  • Discharging an employee for engaging in federally protected concerted activity.
  • Discharging, disciplining and retaliation against an employee for filing charges or cooperating with the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Discipline and retaliation of an employee for engaging in federally protected concerted activity.
  • Discharging, disciplining and retaliation of an employee for joining or supporting a labor organization.
  • The employer’s failure and refusal to bargain in good faith with the union as the collective bargaining representative of its nurses.
  • Acts by the employer which interfere with, restrain, or coerce its employees in the exercise of their federally protected union rights.

The unlawful disciplines are because of a six-minute Facebook Live video the union leaders recorded to communicate with their members about ongoing nursing retention issues. Donaldson was in a break room on her floor; Thoman was on paid union time. Both women are respected nursing leaders with no prior disciplines.

The RNA is a local unit of the Ohio Nurses Association comprised of 1,700+ registered nurses at UCMC.”