In a move that gives hope to hospital labor unions and promotes proper management/worker relations, a Federal judge has ruled that Avanti Health System must recognize and bargain with the union representing the registered nurses of Community Hospital in Huntington Park, Calif.
Avanti purchased Community Hospital in March of 2010, after the hospital filed for bankruptcy. But after assuming ownership, Avanti told the California Nurses Association (CNA) it was not going to bargain with or recognize the union.
The nurses union filed charges, claiming that that failure to bargain and changes in conditions of employment--such as salary cuts or immediate termination--could significantly compromise the care and services provided at the hospital.
The Federal Court agreed with the union and the Los Angeles Regional Office. Because Avanti is conducting the same business and its staff is comprised of a majority Community Hospital's previous workforce, it has a duty to recognize the union as the collective-bargaining entity and must bargain in good faith with its nurses, the court clarified.
And with a flurry of M&A activity expected this year, this will no doubt be good news for hospital labor unions who fear anti-union behavior from new employers. According to this decision, as owners change, and business operations remain the same, any adjustments to employment conditions must first be negotiated with the unions.
- read the National Labor Relations Board press release