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Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:07 PM

NLRB issues fourth complaint against Connecticut nursing home chain

Source: NLRB (Copy right exempt)

A Connecticut nursing home chain engaged in a pattern of bad faith bargaining and unlawfully locked out the unionized employees at one of its homes, the NLRB alleged in a complaint issued today.

This is the fourth complaint issued against the employer by the NLRB Hartford Regional Office involving conduct that occurred over the past two years.

The six nursing homes involved in the dispute, in Milford, Danbury, Stamford, Newington, Westport, and Wethersfield, are owned by Care Realty and operated by Healthbridge Management. Nurses and service and maintenance employees at the homes have been represented for many years by District 1199 of the New England Health Care Employees Union.

A previous complaint, which is awaiting decision by an NLRB administrative law judge following a trial, alleges that the employer violated the bargaining and contractual rights of 48 unionized housekeepers and laundry workers whose work was subcontracted from February 2009 until May 2010. For those 15 months, the employees continued performing the same work for the subcontractor as they had before February 2009. In May 2010, the employer terminated the subcontracting arrangement and “re-hired” the employees as probationary employees, at a lower rate of pay and without benefits. The employer did this without notice to or bargaining with the Union. The same complaint further alleges that at all six nursing homes, the employer unilaterally changed holiday and overtime pay, hours of work, and benefit eligibility for part-time employees, and laid off employees at one of the homes, again without notice to or bargaining with the Union.

Two other complaints against the same nursing homes involving the same employees are pending before another administrative law judge. They allege that the employer prohibited employees from wearing union stickers and distributing union flyers protesting the employer’s unfair labor practices in the first complaint, and ceased deducting union dues from employee paychecks following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements.

While the above complaints were pending, the parties engaged in collective bargaining negotiations for a successor contract at each home. According to the complaint issued today, the employer insisted upon proposals that were predictably unacceptable to the Union; refused to engage in the reasoned discussion of its proposals; threatened to lockout the unionized employees at each home, and actually locked out the unionized employees at its Milford facility, in support of its final bargaining proposals.

Coupled with the extensive unfair labor practices alleged in the three previous complaints, the complaint that issued today alleges that by its overall conduct, the employer has failed to bargain in good faith with the Union in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and that the lockout of the Milford employees separately constitutes unlawful discriminatory conduct under the Act.

Absent a settlement, the case is scheduled to be heard by an Administrative Law Judge in May 2012.

Printer-friendly version: http://www.nlrb.gov/print/3609

Read more: http://www.nlrb.gov/news/nlrb-issues-fourth-complaint-against-connecticut-nursing-home-chain

February 29, 2012
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Reply NLRB issues fourth complaint against Connecticut nursing home chain (Original post)
Omaha Steve Feb 2012 OP
Sinistrous Feb 2012 #1
patrice Feb 2012 #2
Odin2005 Feb 2012 #3
alp227 Mar 2012 #5
gfhrtsdfw Feb 2012 #4

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:26 PM

1. Aah, yes. The workers' paradise of

for profit nursing homes.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:28 PM

2. Healthbridge Mgt. shouldn't worry too much about the quality of the maintence workers' work during

all of this contract chaos.

Healthbridge can always hire anyone of a few thousand private consultants to guide them through the techniques and tricks of distraction, deflection, and outright dishonesty to use during any Medicare facility surveys, in order to avoid the truth about the effects of employee chaos upon cleanliness and/or safety from resulting in fines or worse on Healthbridge from Medicare.

And if the dirt and/or danger to those in their care DOES get noticed, Healthbridge Mgt can always just fire the maintenance workers in order to "solve" what they claim is the problem.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 09:48 PM

3. There is something so wrong about the term "nursing home chain".

Jesus, If I ever get so senile that I have to live in a "nursing home chain" just put me out of my misery.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 1, 2012, 12:08 AM

5. Agreed. Senior care should be part of the COMMONS not private sector!

What the hell is it with this capitalist economy in the US that finds it alright to bid off PUBLIC property like the infrastructure or even HEALTH CARE for profit???

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

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