News & Events

Politically Driven NLRB Ruling on Supervisory Status of Nurses Fails to Provide Promised Clarity on Union Eligibility

NLRB Chair Robert Battista to Appear at MNA Convention
To Discuss Decision on a Panel with Local Union Leaders and Labor Experts
Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2006, Beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center

NLRB Decisions Regard Supervisory Issues for Nurses

In a long-awaited decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to clarify if and when registered nurses can be classified as supervisors under the National Labor Relations Act, the Republican dominated Board issued a convoluted ruling today that targeted certain nurses working in the role as a permanent charge nurse as potentially ineligible for union representation.

On a practical level, the NLRB ruling specifically states that the ultimate decisions on union eligibility for these employees will continue to be decided on a case-by-case basis, leaving the door open for further extensive litigation of these matters and removing its stated goal of intended “clarification” of this issue.

It is clear, with the three released decisions today as the latest examples, that the NLRB, whose directors are political appointees, have taken a turn to the far right and have been construing labor law in favor of the employer. This decision will prove a boom to management attorneys who will continue to do what they have been doing for years, which is to use every opportunity to delay union elections and to deprive workers, including nurses, of their union rights. In the context of workers’ rights, justice delayed is justice denied.

There is nothing really new in this decision. It is yet another example of the continued erosion of rights of workers by the Republican right.

In the end it is the public who has the most to lose if registered nurses are deprived of their right to organize in unions as it is only under the protection of a union that nurses can fulfill their role as advocates for patients.