Unfair Labor Practice & Strike Vote FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q: Why did the bargaining committee call for a ULP strike authorization vote?
 
A: The Hospital has been violating the law and we have filed multiple charges with the federal government relating to their unlawful conduct.
 
Q: What is an unfair labor practice strike?
 
A: An unfair labor practice strike is a strike to protest the Hospital’s continuous violations of federal labor law. Unlike an economic strike, your job is fully protected from scab replacements. That means you cannot be permanently replaced, and you are entitled to your job back when the strike is over.
 
Q: When would the strike be? How long would it be?
 
A: We do not have a specific date for a strike. If and when the Bargaining Committee determines a strike is necessary, we will send the Hospital a ten-day notice of the strike. The strike would be for two days.
 
Q: What is the status of negotiations? Does a strike stop negotiations?
 
A:  The hospital gave us their “best” offer and Donna Handley said they would propose an even worse offer if we did not accept it. We have submitted a counterproposal. If there is a strike, we will continue to go to the bargaining table and negotiate.
 
Q: Can we be fired for striking? What if I’m in residency or in my probationary period?
 
A: No, your job is protected while on strike and you cannot be retaliated against for exercising your right to strike. Nurses in residency or in their probationary period are equally protected.
 
Q: Who can vote?
 
A: All full union members can vote – including people out on FMLA/workers’ comp. If you are not a full union member, you can sign a union card that day and vote. Voting must be done in person.
 
Q: Is there strike pay?
 
A: No, but we are working with AFT National to provide interest-free strike loans. We are also setting up a hardship committee to get support (such as grocery store gift cards) from the community and other unions. If the Hospital locks us out, we are eligible for unemployment.
 
Q: Could the hospital lock us out?
 
A: Yes. Because we are working without a contract, the Hospital can lock us out whether or not we strike. During a lockout, we are eligible for unemployment.
 
Q: What is expected of me during a strike, will I have responsibilities?
 
A:  Yes. You will have duties! All nurses on strike will be expected to walk the picket line outside the hospital for a period of time. It will be fun and high-energy and will require the participation of ALL nurses to be successful.
 
Q: What happens to patient care during a strike?
 
A: There will be continuity of care. Unlike other industries, we are required to give ten days’ notice before striking. The Hospital is then required by law to submit a staffing plan to DPH.