During contract negotiations in 2021, RNA members brought up concerns via email to their manager and director about floating to a unit without proper staffing or preparation. A nursing director from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center responded to one member and not only asked what kind of nurses were raising issues but stated that the employer kept lists of active union members! This is illegal, so RNA/ONA filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge.
After a long process, the case went to an arbitration hearing in fall 2022, and the arbitrator found that UCMC had violated the law! “This is a great win for RNA,” said RNA Vice President Kelly Hickman-Begley. “It is clear that UCMC created an impression of unlawful surveillance, and we are glad that the arbitrator agreed with us that doing so is a violation of the law and that the arbitrator has supported our rights as union nurses.”
The arbitrator ordered that UCMC destroy any lists and to cease and desist from surveillance. The arbitrator also ordered that UCMC post a notice for sixty (60) days that federal law gives employees the right to, among other things, assist a union and act together for the benefit and protection of employees. Further, the notice must state that UCMC will not interfere with those rights.