USW: Jail nun/nurse was fired for union organizing

USW: Jail nun/nurse was fired for union organizing

February 3, 2014 11:29 PM

By Kaitlynn Riely / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A nun who worked for five years as a registered nurse at the Allegheny County Jail infirmary was fired last week for spearheading unionization efforts, an organizer for the United Steelworkers union said Monday.

Sister Barbara Finch, a Sister of St. Joseph of Baden, had her security clearances revoked and was dismissed from her job Thursday after she expressed concerns about staffing, safety issues and patient care during meetings at the jail, said Randa Ruge, the union organizer.

“It became clear that she was one of the leading activists in the organizing drive,” Ms. Ruge said, referring to ongoing unionization efforts at the jail. Continue reading “USW: Jail nun/nurse was fired for union organizing”


Adjunct Win at Religious College

June 12, 2013 By Colleen Flaherty

Adjuncts at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington have the right to vote on whether to unionize, a regional National Labor Relations Board officer has ruled.

The victory is significant because legal precedents prohibit tenure-track faculty at most private institutions from unionizing, and the issue of adjunct unions — accepted at non-religious private institutions — has become controversial at some religious colleges. Adjuncts seeking better wages and working conditions at several Roman Catholic colleges have won NLRB backing to unionize, although the institutions are challenging those rulings. Some other Catholic institutions — including Georgetown University — have not sought to block collective bargaining. Continue reading “Adjunct Win at Religious College”

Nurses union ratifies 2 labor pacts

By Robert Weisman |  Globe Staff   June 12, 2013

The Massachusetts Nurses Association has ratified new labor contracts with Quincy Medical Center and the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

Unionized nurses, who mounted a 24-hour strike at the Quincy hospital April 11 to dramatize their complaints about staffing levels, ratified a one-year agreement with the hospital, union officials said Wednesday. The hospital is owned by Boston-based Steward Health Care System, which operates 11 for-profit hospitals in Eastern Massachusetts.

Union leaders said nurses at the Memorial/Hahnemann campus of UMass Medical Center had earlier ratified a new three-year contract.

Nurses had threatened a strike at that hospital last month, also over staffing levels, but that was headed off by a tentative agreement.

Robert Weisman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.


As One Union Nears Contract with St. Mary’s Buyer, Another Aims to Disrupt Deal

As One Union Nears Contract with St. Mary’s Buyer, Another Aims to Disrupt Deal

Divisive plan to convert Passaic’s remaining hospital to for-profit status may be all that stands between it and closure

By Andrew Kitchenman, April 19, 2013
St. Mary's Hospital in Passaic.
St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic.

While outside labor unions have been directing a barrage of criticism at Prime Healthcare’s proposed purchase of St. Mary’s Hospital in Passaic, that hasn’t stopped Prime from quietly working out a contract agreement with the hospital’s own union.

When Prime announced on Monday the tentative agreement with the Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization – approved by the union yesterday — it was in contrast to the position staked out by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees opposing Prime’s entry in the state.

JNESO has expressed concerns about for-profit hospital conversions in the past, but it clearly has a stake in making sure that St. Mary’s continues to operate. Both the hospital and Prime have said it would close if its sale were blocked. Continue reading “As One Union Nears Contract with St. Mary’s Buyer, Another Aims to Disrupt Deal”

Legislative Leaders Put Heat on For-Profit Hospitals

Legislative Leaders Put Heat on For-Profit Hospitals

Sweeney attacks Salem hospital for stonewalling union, Weinberg demands financial transparency

By Andrew Kitchenman, May 8, 2013 in Healthcare |
Stephen M. Sweeney, president of the New Jersey Senate
Stephen M. Sweeney, president of the New Jersey Senate

As more hospitals switch to for-profit status, state lawmakers are demanding more financial openness and more open-mindedness in dealing with labor unions.

Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem) joined nurses’ union leaders in Salem yesterday in calling on the for-profit owner of Memorial Hospital of Salem County to negotiate with the union.

“A big concern about what is going on in this state and this nation right now is the for-profit hospitals,” Sweeney said. “No one’s against for-profit (status), people making money and things working. We are against sacrificing healthcare and that care is being driven by the bottom line, rather than what’s best for the patient.” Continue reading “Legislative Leaders Put Heat on For-Profit Hospitals”

Queen of the Valley nurses await certification of union vote

Queen of the Valley nurses await certification of union vote

Nearly 500 RNs will be part of California Nurses Assocation

 May 01, 2013 12:12 pm  •  ISABELLE DILLS

Registered nurses at Queen of the Valley Medical Center voted by 64 percent Tuesday night to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

The RNs, who voiced a variety of concerns from safe staffing to unit closures, voted 248 to 140 to join CNA in a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, according to CNA. Nearly 500 RNs at Queen of the Valley will now be represented by CNA.

CNA’s executive director, RoseAnn DeMoro, said she was not surprised by Tuesday night’s results. Many RNs at Queen of the Valley have had their “hearts set” on unionizing, but each year they were convinced by their employer that things would get better, DeMoro said.

“I’m very happy and proud of those nurses,” she said. Continue reading “Queen of the Valley nurses await certification of union vote”

72 Percent in Support of Forming a Union!

SEIU Local 500 - Raising the standard of living for Maryland and Washington, DC workers and their families

Posted by christopherhoney on May 3, 2013


On Friday, May 3, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted the votes for the Georgetown University Adjunct Faculty Union election.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the union, with 72% of the vote in support of forming a union.

“Universities across the country have been relying more and more on adjunct faculty over the last forty years,” said Kurt Brandhorst, an adjunct in the Georgetown philosophy department. “But the way adjuncts are viewed and treated has not changed to reflect this reality. This victory will help improve conditions at Georgetown, but because we are joining adjuncts at other institutions across the region, the implications go far beyond Georgetown.” Continue reading “72 Percent in Support of Forming a Union!”

Georgetown adjunct professors vote to unionize

Posted by: Julia Tanaka in News, Vox Populi, tags: , ,

This past weekend, Georgetown’s adjunct professors voted in favor of forming a union with the local branch of Service Employees International Union, SEIU Local 500.

The election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. 311 of the 650 eligible voting members participated in the election, and 72 percent voted in favor of forming a collective bargaining unit. Georgetown joins American University and George Washington as part of a larger SEIU initiative to unionize the part-time professors in the District. Continue reading

Labor Unions and the Church

Labor Unions and the Church

This article appeared inThe Catholic Worker, May, 2010 pages 1, 7
By Joseph J. Fahey

PDF Version of this Commentary


In 1949 Cardinal Francis Spellman used New York archdiocesan seminarians to break a strike by gravediggers at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, N.Y. Spellman alleged that the workers had come under the influence of Communist agitators and that he was “proud” to “be a strikebreaker.” The Catholic Worker supported the strike and Dorothy Day wrote a letter to the Cardinal stating that, “Of course you know that a group of our associates at the Catholic Worker office in New York have been helping the strikers both in providing food for their families and in picketing…” Later, Dorothy lamented an “ill-advised” Spellman who “exercised so overwhelming a show of force against a handful of poor working men.”

This is not an isolated instance of union busting by Church officials in the United States and, sadly, some Catholic employers continue to harass, intimidate, and fire employees who seek to join or form unions today. In 2008, for example, the (now resigned) Bishop of Scranton busted the long standing Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers by restructuring his school system and thus refused to negotiate with the union. In addition, there are all too many examples of Catholic schools and universities and Catholic hospitals that spend large sums of money to employ “union avoidance” firms that openly brag about their stellar track records in “union prevention in the workplace.” Continue reading “Labor Unions and the Church”

Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service | 0 | Print | Share

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Even before he announced his resignation, the words of Pope Benedict XVI were cited to crystallize the unease many feel about the U.S. economy.

There is “a direct link between poverty and unemployment,” the pontiff said in his 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.”

Quoting the pope was Tom Mulloy, a domestic policy adviser to the U.S. bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. Continue reading “Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions”