Complaint filed against Munson Medical Center following union talks

Complaint filed against Munson Medical Center following union talks

A complaint has been filed by the Michigan Nurses Association against Munson Medical Center.

This follows a movement by some Munson nurses who are trying to form a union.

Talks about forming a union began months ago. Since that word spread, some nurses have said they don't believe they're being treated fairly by hospital management.

The complain filed, alleges that Munson Medical Center violated the National Labor Relations Act by interrogating employees, tampering with schedules and giving false information about unions.

Munson calls the allegations, "generic."

"It's our position that they are unproven," said Rachel Roe, Assistant General Counsel for Munson Healthcare. "Once we have more details from the NLRB we will closely examine those details and investigate. And we will fully participate in the legal process as necessary."

The allegations reportedly surfaced after nurses began exploring the idea of forming a union.

"We've just been concerned for a long time that we aren't respected as much as we should be," said Cindy Rydahl, an RN at Munson Medical Center.

Rydahl says many nurses have had issues with working too many hours. She says there's too few staff to properly care for the large number of patients.

"Putting patients in jeopardy is not the climate that we want to see at the hospital," Rydahl said.

She and fellow registered nurse, Steve Tituskin, feel a union would give them a louder voice.

"I just believe that nurses should have a little more empowerment," Tituskin said.

Both were part of a similar movement 15 years ago, that failed.

Tituskin says any response he's seen from Munson, has been expected.

"There was an informational meeting on unions and I felt that was somewhat slanted," Tituskin said.

Rydahl hasn't had any personal problems with her management, but she says she does feel the tension.

"I had an opportunity to talk to one of the nurses that I know and my mere mention of unions had her looking over her shoulder around the corner to see who might be in earshot," she said.

Munson maintains they have a lot of respect for the nurses. They say they've worked hard to make sure all supervisors are interacting with staff appropriately.

"I'm confident that at the end of the day these allegations will prove to be unfounded," Roe said.

Roe says Munson would prefer to keep a direct relationship with the nurses, rather than involving a third party.

Nurses are currently working to collect signatures in order to determine how much support there is for forming a union.

If there is enough support, they will petition for an election.

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