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NLRB Regulations: Healthcare Organizations Need to Act

Published January 4, 2016 11:04 AM by Silas Gossman

[Editor’s Note: this blog was originally written by Jim Trivisonno, President of IRI Consultants]

Mounting success along with precedent-setting standards that ease a union’s ability to organize will contribute to a continued focus by unions on organizing hospitals and healthcare providers, further challenging employers. Employers will need to focus efforts to maintain positive employee relations and responsiveness to employee concerns.

So, to help healthcare organizations better understand where unions are focusing efforts (and in turn put plans in place to combat the issues), IRI in conjunction with the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) recently published the 45th Semi-Annual Labor Activity in Health Care Report. The report shows data and analysis of national, regional and state representation and election petitions, as well as articles about relevant and timely labor issues impacting employers and the workplace. A few of the gravest issues are outlined below.

Increased Number of Petitions
From April 14, 2015, when the NLRB’s expedited election rule went into effect, through August 30, 2015, there was a 9.6% increase in the number of petitions filed to represent employees in all industries versus the number of petitions filed during the same period in 2014. The Board conducted 365 representation case (RC) elections in those few months. The vast majority were held in 21 to 30 days while the shortest petition-to-election timeframe was eight days.

On Track for Record Success
In the first six months of 2015, there were 153 representation (RC) elections held in the healthcare sector. Unions were elected as a result of 76% of these. If the rate of organizing continues, unions are on pace to file a record number of RC petitions in the healthcare industry this year.

Watch-Out States
New York, California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington and New Jersey were the most active states for union organizing in healthcare. Unions continue to succeed in RC elections in these states in a disproportionate number.

Face-to-face with these facts, now more than ever, employers need to take proactive steps to prepare their organizations for a union organizing effort. Due to the new election rules that took effect earlier this year, there simply isn’t enough time for an employer to react unless they have already taken steps to think through a comprehensive, detailed prevention strategy and counter campaign.

To read the full report referenced in this blog, you may visit


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posted by Silas Gossman


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