Johns Hopkins Hospital has reached a settlement with registered nurses seeking to unionize, their national organizing committee said.
“This settlement makes clear that nurses have the right to form a union, we have a right to speak with our coworkers about a union, and Johns Hopkins does not have the legal right to target and intimidate nurses who engage in union activity,” registered nurse Alex Laslett said in a statement. “We are organizing at Johns Hopkins because we know a union affords nurses the protection we need to advocate freely for the best care for our patients.”
Hopkins reached a settlement of claims filed by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United with the National Labor Relations Board. The board found that the hospital created the impression that union activity would lead to surveillance and unlawful surveillance. The hospital enforced a rule barring nurses access to break rooms in connection with union activity and prohibited nurses from talking about the union at work, the NLRB found.
The settlement requires management to post signs throughout the hospital affirming nurses’ right to unionize. Those signs must be in place by June 14.
“In Catholic social teaching, we teach and believe that all workers have a fundamental human right to organize and to form unions and when an employer such as Johns Hopkins violates this fundamental right, they are acting unjustly and must be held accountable,” Father Ty Hullinger, a pastor in East Baltimore and a member of the Coalition for a Humane Hopkins, said in a statement. “This settlement puts Johns Hopkins on notice that the community is watching their actions and holding them to a standard that is moral and just.”
Officials with the national union said nursing staff at Hopkins asked for help organizing a union to address high turnover due to poor staffing, inadequate equipment and low pay.