UPDATE: National Labor Relations Board issues a complaint against Duke LifePoint

 Photo courtesy: U.P. Health System - Marquette
Photo courtesy: U.P. Health System - Marquette (WLUC)
Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 1:05 PM EDT
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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Duke LifePoint on Monday, March 26, regarding three Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges filed by the Michigan Nurses Association on behalf of nurses at U.P. Health System-Marquette.

According to the Michigan Nurses Association release, the complaint alleges that the hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act and “has been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees.”

The release also stated, "Marquette nurses experienced illegal threats and intimidation from supervisors for participating in a two-day strike to call for safe staffing at the hospital. This type of retaliation for union activity is expressly prohibited in federal labor law and undermines efforts by nurses to achieve a fair contract with staffing standards that protect patient care."

UPHS-Marquette must respond to the complaint on or before April 6, 2018, either online or through the mail. If responding by mail, it must be postmarked on or before April 5, 2018.

A hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 24, 2018, at the Federal Courthouse in Marquette. Information will be heard by an administrative law judge of the NLRB. During that hearing, the hospital and nurses have the right to appear and present testimony regarding any of the allegations made in the complaint.

TV6 & FOX UP has received a statement from UPHS-Marquette, quoted below.

"We have received a notice of hearing from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in response to unfair labor practice charges filed by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) against UPHS - Marquette. As we stated last fall when the Union filed these charges, that filing came as no surprise, as unions routinely take such action immediately following a strike."

"We were gratified to recently learn that the NLRB has found no merit to at least nine of the twelve charges filed by the Union. With respect to the remaining three allegations on which the NLRB has formalized a complaint, it is important to note that the complaint and notice of hearing is not a determination. UPHS – Marquette looks forward to the opportunity to fully present its evidence during an NLRB hearing."

"The remaining allegations at issue are related, essentially, to two independent conversations between managers and staff on the eve of the strike, and a job performance evaluation issued to a single employee approximately one month later. After carefully reviewing the facts available, UPHS – Marquette does not believe that any wrongdoing occurred in those instances. Accordingly, we will vigorously defend the managers in question and the hospital in this NLRB proceeding."

"Please rest assured that UPHS-Marquette continues to work in good faith at the bargaining table in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable labor agreement with the MNA."

To read a copy of the entire complaint, along with procedures set forth for postponement or the hearing, visit the Related Documents section of this article.

Nurses and UPHS-Marquette have recently been negotiating nurses contracts, as they have not come to any contract agreement since the nurses strike in early October 2017. Nurses have been in contract negotiations with Duke LifePoint, who owns the hospital, since April 18, 2017. A two-month extension expired on July 28, 2017, and RNs have been working without a contract since.