UPDATE: UPHS responds to complaint filed with National Labor Relations Board

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 28th 4:30 p.m.

UPHS – Marquette has released a statement in response to the complaint filed with the NLRB:

We have received a notice of hearing from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in response to unfair labor practice charges filed by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) against UPHS – Marquette. As we stated last fall when the Union filed these charges, that filing came as no surprise, as unions routinely take such action immediately following a strike.

We were gratified to recently learn that the NLRB has found no merit to at least nine of the twelve charges filed by the Union. With respect to the remaining three allegations on which the NLRB has formalized a complaint, it is important to note that the complaint and notice of hearing is not a determination. UPHS – Marquette looks forward to the opportunity to fully present its evidence during an NLRB hearing.

The remaining allegations at issue are related, essentially, to two independent conversations between managers and staff on the eve of the strike, and a job performance evaluation issued to a single employee approximately one month later. After carefully reviewing the facts available, UPHS – Marquette does not believe that any wrongdoing occurred in those instances. Accordingly, we will vigorously defend the managers in question and the hospital in this NLRB proceeding.

Please rest assured that UPHS-Marquette continues to work in good faith at the bargaining table in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable labor agreement with the MNA.

MARQUETTE — On March 26th, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Duke LifePoint regarding three Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges filed by the Michigan Nurses Association on behalf of nurses at Marquette UP Health System.

According to a press release from the Michigan Nurses Association, the complaint alleges that the hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act and “has been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees.” The press release also states that Marquette nurses experienced illegal threats and intimidation from supervisors for participating in the two-day strike in October to call for safe staffing at the hospital.

“This type of retaliation for union activity is expressly prohibited in federal labor law and undermines efforts by nurses to achieve a fair contract with staffing standards that protect patient care,” continues the statement.

The complaint requires that UPHS-Marquette respond to the complaint on or before April 6th either online or through the mail. If no answer is filed, or if an answer is not filed on time, a motion for default judgment may be filed.

A hearing has been scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on July 24th at the Federal Courthouse in Marquette. An administrative law judge with the NLRB will hear the case. Nurses and other hospital staff have the right to appear and present testimony regarding any of the allegations made in the complaint.

ABC 10 has reached out to UPHS – Marquette for comment, but has not yet received a response. We will post an update with their response.

You can view the complaint in its entirety HERE.

UPHS – Marquette and the nurses have not yet come to an agreement on contract negotiations. The nurses have been in negotiations with Duke LifePoint since April 2017. Nurses and UPHS-Marquette have recently been negotiating nurses contracts, as they have not come to any contract agreement since the nurses strike (read more about that HERE).

A two-month extension expired on July 28th, 2017. The nurses have been working without a contract since.