News & Events


Stop unionized positions from slipping through the cracks with these can’t-miss tips

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
November/December 2008 Edition

By Deb Rigiero
MNA Division of Organizing

In today’s health care facilities, mergers, affiliations and new technological advancements happen faster than Paris Hilton changes outfits. Because of this, we as labor activists have to be vigilant in monitoring and protecting staff positions within our facilities that are—and should be identified as—union positions.

The following are signs you should be looking for if and when you are questioning whether or not a posted position should actually be included in your bargaining unit.

  • Is the position clearly included in the recognition clause of your contract?
  • Is the position new to the facility since the last contract was negotiated?
  • Has there been a substantial change in the position since the last contract was negotiated?
  • Is there an RN presently in a position that does not require an RN?
  • Has a satellite facility opened up and are RNs or HCPs working there who are not covered under the present contract?
  • Has your facility merged with a non-union facility?

It is important to make sure that any position that should be a union position is a union position. Often, there is an eroding of membership in our bargaining units because management chips away at it by:

  • Changing positions to non-union positions
  • Using technology to replace RNs and HCPs
  • Moving positions to non-union facilities
  • Opening satellite facilities and claiming that the positions are non-union
  • Moving union employees to those facilities

In many of these cases the employees should be included in our bargaining units, but they slip through the cracks. This

erosion weakens the foundation of the bargaining unit and each of its members.

So we ask that you look for the signs and, if you see anything that raises a red flag, please notify the MNA associate director of labor who is responsible for working with your bargaining unit. In addition, you can also reach the MNA’s director of organizing, Eileen Norton, at 781.830.5777 or via e-mail at