Union activity, bill could push up salaries

Think you've got enough to worry about already? Add new levels of unionization--and possibly, a new law that changes the playing field--to your list of concerns. Particularly given the changes that could sweep through with the election of a new president and members of Congress, it's time to pay special attention to unionization at your facility, observers say. Union leaders have a number of goals, but raising salaries is key, and you'll need to be prepared for those demands, experts say.

One major issue that could bring union activity into the forefront is the possible passage of the federal Employee Free Choice Act, introduced last year, which would, among other things, let employees form unions by signing cards authorizing union representation. Employers would no longer have the ability to call for a secret ballot election when a majority of employees have signed union cards. The measure would also give either the employer or union the right to request federal mediation after 90 days of bargaining.

With this measure in the works, union organizers have more leverage to raise wages and benefits, according to attorney Barry Elson, partner at Thorp Reed & Armstrong. Just how much leverage will depend, in particular, on the outcome of Congressional races even more than the presidential race, he suggests.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Healthcare Finance News article

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