PITTSBURGH, Aug. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indiana University (IU) Health agreed today to revoke disciplinary actions against two workers who supported unionizing nurses, to reimburse one for lost wages and to post signs in its hospitals that workers have the right to form a union without being disciplined, suspended or fired.
IU Health will rescind its discharge of nurse Lacie Little and its discipline against nurse Heather Bragg. The hospital system took both actions last spring after the nurses began participating in an effort to unionize the nurses.
IU Health agreed to reimburse Little for the wages she lost since the discharge on March 30. Little waived immediate reinstatement to her position. The agreement gives her the right to seek re-employment with IU Health in seven years.
Little expressed relief that the ordeal is over. "I am glad to get this behind me. I will continue to work with the United Steelworkers (USW) to unionize the nurses at IU Health because I believe when nurses have a say in their working conditions, care for patients improves. I got involved in this from the get-go because I love the terrific doctors and nurses and staff at IU Health, and I want the best for all of the patients."
The agreement settles charges filed on behalf of the nurses by the USW against IU Health. The National Labor Relations Board was pursuing the case against the hospital before the settlement.
As part of the agreement, IU Health must post official notices in its hospitals alerting staff of their rights under federal law. That includes statements by the hospital system that it will not punish workers for supporting or becoming a member of the USW specifically or any other labor organization generally.
The notices will also contain pledges by IU Health not to interrogate workers about union activities or spy on workers it believes are involved in union activities. In addition, IU Health agreed to state in the notices, "We will not threaten you with chart audits, harass you, or intimidate you because you engage in union activity or you choose to be represented by or support a union."
Nurses began working with the USW earlier this year to form a union at IU Health because they wanted to improve working conditions and patient care.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include hospitals and nursing facilities as well as metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.
Brad Manzolillo: 412-562-2529
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)