Teamsters Will Stand and Fight for Nurses At Bonner General

Hospital Denies Nurses' Request for Voluntary Recognition



Jul 17, 2006, 01:00 ET from Teamsters Local 690

    SPOKANE, Wash., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of the over 100
 nurses at Bonner General Hospital (BGH) in Sandpoint, Idaho were denied
 their formal request to form a Union by CEO Sheryl Rickard.
     Rickard claimed that a union would hinder communication between the
 nurses and administration. She further stated that she would fight the
 nurse's attempts to form a union because it was not good for the community
 or the hospital.
     "When Rickard denies the nurses the opportunity to form a union, she is
 denying these workers' right to enact positive change in their workplace,"
 said Val Holstrom, President of Local 690.
     The nurses sought the help of Teamsters Local 690 because the hospital
 has not addressed their collective problems and concerns. Their goal is to
 have a fair and equitable contract.
     Due to Bonner Generals' denial of their request for union recognition,
 the nurses filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board
 (NLRB). The vote typically occurs within 45 days.
     Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents
 hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.
     Creating a Nurses Union
     A majority of nurses at Bonner General Hospital have requested that
 they be allowed union representation. Having been a president of a
 faculty/staff union at the University of Idaho, and having helped in its
 formation, I'd like to give my perspective as to why unions get created in
 the first place.
     The usual situation is when individuals, one by one, have tried to
 communicate with management in a positive and professional way, but the
 individual voice was not heard, and the normal channels of communication
 did not work out. With an inclement environment such as this, people with
 common concerns start thinking about joining together, hoping that the
 unified voice of the group will be heard. To band together is a very
 courageous step to take. It means that each individual takes risk of
 joining a group in the hopes of influencing those who hold the power over
 your livelihood. To make a decision to form a union is not a step lightly
 taken.
     Those who take the step are people who need some say in their working
 conditions, and in the case of professionals, want to have a sense that the
 professional concerns in their areas are truly being heard and addressed.
     It is professional to codify your concerns through a written contract,
 which helps prevent misunderstanding later on. This codification improves
 communications because roles and responsibilities are more clearly and
 mutually spelled out. It is professional to want to be a valued player and
 to gain respect and dignity by being part of the decision-making process.
     It is professional to want to empower oneself through a representative,
 democratic process and institution that a union represents. We should not
 have to leave these democratic ideals at the doorstep when we walk through
 the employment door.
     Our nurses are dedicated to delivering quality care to their patients,
 and since they are involved in day-to-day, on-the-ground experience, they
 are in a unique position to make valuable suggestions that will improve
 care.
     Finally, management would certainly benefit because having a group of
 highly-motivated employees with high morale is the secret of a successful
 institution that wants to offer quality care to public.
                              Philip A. Deutchman
                               421 South 2nd Ave.
                              Sandpoint, ID 83864
                                 (208) 263-2694
 
     For More Information:
 
     Dear Nurse Colleagues,
     We have filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for an
 election by BGH nurses. A majority of staff nurses have signed a petition
 indicating their desire to be recognized as a Union in order to negotiate a
 legal and equitable contract with Bonner General Hospital. Many nurses have
 worked tirelessly to listen to our BGH nurses' concerns, to educate about
 Unions, to offer testimonials from experienced Union employees, and to
 promote individual decisions. Education is powerful, and today we have used
 our new insights to bring about beneficial change.
     In the days ahead here are some important facts to know:
     Election process:
     Our petition was presented to BGH administration, and they have
 declined to recognize our union. Therefore, the NLRB will schedule an
 election to be held at BGH in approximately 45 days. This becomes the legal
 and objective voting process governed by U.S. Labor Law. The election will
 allow our BGH nurses to officially cast our votes with the utmost
 confidentiality either for or against union representation to negotiate a
 contract with BGH. A bulletin will be posted by the NLRB on BGH premises
 which notifies our BGH nurses of the proposed election date.
     Election Goals:
     Our goal in having an election is to create a fair and equitable
 contract between the hospital administration and the nurses. Unless we have
 a written contract, there is not any guarantee that administration will
 keep any of the promises which they have made previously nor any guarantee
 that they will bring about mutually beneficial changes in the future.
     What to Expect until the Election:
     We anticipate that the next forty-five days may be stressful for BGH
 nurses who all help to make BGH a successful entity in our community. We
 can expect that administration will try to delay the election and try to
 sway your votes. We will do our part to see that the election occurs in as
 timely manner as is possible. Union busters will be working at a staggering
 monetary rate to advise administration, supervisors, and department
 managers in order to confuse the issues and to misrepresent the facts.
 Pleas remember that nursing input was not desired nor welcomed by BGH
 administration until Union organizational efforts began eight months ago.
     The process described above is the legal, peaceful method provided for
 us who are nurses under U.S. Labor Law to establish proper negotiating
 relations between employer and employees. The hospital does not currently
 have a consistent process in place to address collective problems and
 concerns that jeopardize our nursing staff for the future. Therefore, for
 every nurse who cares about maintaining a long-lasting, positive
 relationship with BGH, this is the time to abandon fear and step forward
 with a "Yes" vote to formalize a negotiating relationship. Our intention is
 to work together with BGH administration for mutually positive and
 beneficial outcomes by utilizing the legal support of the most experienced
 and professional negotiators. Remember that we nurses form our Union, and
 all content for negotiation details is formulated by BGH nursing staff
 representation.
     Sincerely,
     BGH nurse colleagues for a written contract
 
 

SOURCE Teamsters Local 690
    SPOKANE, Wash., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A majority of the over 100
 nurses at Bonner General Hospital (BGH) in Sandpoint, Idaho were denied
 their formal request to form a Union by CEO Sheryl Rickard.
     Rickard claimed that a union would hinder communication between the
 nurses and administration. She further stated that she would fight the
 nurse's attempts to form a union because it was not good for the community
 or the hospital.
     "When Rickard denies the nurses the opportunity to form a union, she is
 denying these workers' right to enact positive change in their workplace,"
 said Val Holstrom, President of Local 690.
     The nurses sought the help of Teamsters Local 690 because the hospital
 has not addressed their collective problems and concerns. Their goal is to
 have a fair and equitable contract.
     Due to Bonner Generals' denial of their request for union recognition,
 the nurses filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board
 (NLRB). The vote typically occurs within 45 days.
     Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents
 hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.
     Creating a Nurses Union
     A majority of nurses at Bonner General Hospital have requested that
 they be allowed union representation. Having been a president of a
 faculty/staff union at the University of Idaho, and having helped in its
 formation, I'd like to give my perspective as to why unions get created in
 the first place.
     The usual situation is when individuals, one by one, have tried to
 communicate with management in a positive and professional way, but the
 individual voice was not heard, and the normal channels of communication
 did not work out. With an inclement environment such as this, people with
 common concerns start thinking about joining together, hoping that the
 unified voice of the group will be heard. To band together is a very
 courageous step to take. It means that each individual takes risk of
 joining a group in the hopes of influencing those who hold the power over
 your livelihood. To make a decision to form a union is not a step lightly
 taken.
     Those who take the step are people who need some say in their working
 conditions, and in the case of professionals, want to have a sense that the
 professional concerns in their areas are truly being heard and addressed.
     It is professional to codify your concerns through a written contract,
 which helps prevent misunderstanding later on. This codification improves
 communications because roles and responsibilities are more clearly and
 mutually spelled out. It is professional to want to be a valued player and
 to gain respect and dignity by being part of the decision-making process.
     It is professional to want to empower oneself through a representative,
 democratic process and institution that a union represents. We should not
 have to leave these democratic ideals at the doorstep when we walk through
 the employment door.
     Our nurses are dedicated to delivering quality care to their patients,
 and since they are involved in day-to-day, on-the-ground experience, they
 are in a unique position to make valuable suggestions that will improve
 care.
     Finally, management would certainly benefit because having a group of
 highly-motivated employees with high morale is the secret of a successful
 institution that wants to offer quality care to public.
                              Philip A. Deutchman
                               421 South 2nd Ave.
                              Sandpoint, ID 83864
                                 (208) 263-2694
 
     For More Information:
 
     Dear Nurse Colleagues,
     We have filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for an
 election by BGH nurses. A majority of staff nurses have signed a petition
 indicating their desire to be recognized as a Union in order to negotiate a
 legal and equitable contract with Bonner General Hospital. Many nurses have
 worked tirelessly to listen to our BGH nurses' concerns, to educate about
 Unions, to offer testimonials from experienced Union employees, and to
 promote individual decisions. Education is powerful, and today we have used
 our new insights to bring about beneficial change.
     In the days ahead here are some important facts to know:
     Election process:
     Our petition was presented to BGH administration, and they have
 declined to recognize our union. Therefore, the NLRB will schedule an
 election to be held at BGH in approximately 45 days. This becomes the legal
 and objective voting process governed by U.S. Labor Law. The election will
 allow our BGH nurses to officially cast our votes with the utmost
 confidentiality either for or against union representation to negotiate a
 contract with BGH. A bulletin will be posted by the NLRB on BGH premises
 which notifies our BGH nurses of the proposed election date.
     Election Goals:
     Our goal in having an election is to create a fair and equitable
 contract between the hospital administration and the nurses. Unless we have
 a written contract, there is not any guarantee that administration will
 keep any of the promises which they have made previously nor any guarantee
 that they will bring about mutually beneficial changes in the future.
     What to Expect until the Election:
     We anticipate that the next forty-five days may be stressful for BGH
 nurses who all help to make BGH a successful entity in our community. We
 can expect that administration will try to delay the election and try to
 sway your votes. We will do our part to see that the election occurs in as
 timely manner as is possible. Union busters will be working at a staggering
 monetary rate to advise administration, supervisors, and department
 managers in order to confuse the issues and to misrepresent the facts.
 Pleas remember that nursing input was not desired nor welcomed by BGH
 administration until Union organizational efforts began eight months ago.
     The process described above is the legal, peaceful method provided for
 us who are nurses under U.S. Labor Law to establish proper negotiating
 relations between employer and employees. The hospital does not currently
 have a consistent process in place to address collective problems and
 concerns that jeopardize our nursing staff for the future. Therefore, for
 every nurse who cares about maintaining a long-lasting, positive
 relationship with BGH, this is the time to abandon fear and step forward
 with a "Yes" vote to formalize a negotiating relationship. Our intention is
 to work together with BGH administration for mutually positive and
 beneficial outcomes by utilizing the legal support of the most experienced
 and professional negotiators. Remember that we nurses form our Union, and
 all content for negotiation details is formulated by BGH nursing staff
 representation.
     Sincerely,
     BGH nurse colleagues for a written contract
 
 SOURCE Teamsters Local 690