St Louis University Hospital Nurses vs NNOC/NNU

June 23rd 2015

Our issues before and after this election:
1.       We did not invite the union to our facility. They came because of their Neutrality Agreement with Tenet.  The union has denied that issue.
2.      The Neutrality Agreement allowed them to mislead us and proceed to the initial election.
3.      Nurses were used as professional negotiators during the contract negotiations. The union did not properly represent us in “good faith” or with professional leadership.
4.      They did not address staffing ratios which was our No.1 complaint.
5.      Our wages decreased due to union involvement. Our negotiated 3% wage increase = 1.4% dues and 1.6% salary. Our merit salary increase was removed b/c the union felt it was unfair to the some nurses that performed below standards and did not receive a raise.
6.      Our health care benefits did not change.  How is that a benefit for us?  They promised us free healthcare like they have in California!
7.      We did not receive proper notice about our contract vote over Father’s Day Weekend. (The contract was approved by negotiators on Friday at 0100 and then the voting started at 1800 that evening. I was never notified of the vote nor were other nurses in the hospital. Only pro-union nurse were contacted about the vote.  Plus, this was not a NLRB supervised vote.  The union supervised this vote. It continued through Saturday & Sunday. Only 188 nurses voted for the contract and it was approved. The remaining 462 nurses were left out of the vote.) The union denies this.
8.     After the vote, the union representation slowly diminished and they were almost impossible to contact.
9.      The union was allowed to intimidate new nurses during orientation to sign union cards. They force young nurse to sign cards before they could leave the meeting room.
10.  With a 16 month holiday and “NO” dues collection, the NNOC/NNU suddenly contacted nurses at home with union cards and collection notices. They wanted their money and were forcing nurse to pay dues or be fired. As of today, the union has not forced the hospital to fire anyone. Per the contract, the hospital is the villain.  This make the hospital out to be the bad guy and then the union can help the “poor nurse” keep their job.
11.   The union has been at the hospital everyday for the last three weeks because they are scared. They are giving out food and false hope to their supporters.
12.  The union has 12 months to negotiate a new contract with our new owners.  During this time they are being paid for poor service by the members.  We do not think that they should be paid during this time of negotiations.

Here are some of the events that happened today that may change your mind about the union:

The election results tonight were:  Our campaign collected 140 votes to remove forced union dues.
The union collected 229 votes to keep forced union dues.  We failed to win the election but clearly brought our issues to the attention of the union.

To illustrate how petty the union really is here are some of the issues we argued about and lost. There were 9 members contested with this election.  There were six members that quit since the official census was taken.  Those members had to stay on the list even though they were no longer active employees and were not allowed to be in the hospital.  Two members were hired after the cutoff date and they were not counted. (They were “YES” votes for us). One member was overseas.  He remained on the list but physically could not vote.  All the members out of work on “Family leave” were not removed from the master list.  That hurt our cause.   The NLRB and the union have created such high expectation for the opposition to overcome during a “Deauthorization Election”.

The NLRB’s rules state that our campaign must produce 51% of all eligible voters.  That means we must have 326 “yes” votes to win this election.  The overall election produced 57% of all the members in the hospital.  The union had 35% and the non-union had 22% of that total population.  The impossible odds of reaching 326 votes to stop the forced union dues or remove the “Union Security Clause” in the contract were impossible.  That was our challenge.

To the Public,

I am writing you today to inform you of the union that has corrupted St. Louis University Hospital. The National Nurses Organization Committee / National Nurse United (NNOC/NNU) represents 651 registered nurses (RN) at St. Louis University Hospital/Tenet Health. The professional nurse’s at St. Louis University Hospital/SLUH want to make you aware of our situation after the NNOC/NNU has corrupted our workplace.

The union arrived at SLUH in February 2013 to enforce their “Neutrality Agreement” with Tenet Health.  This neutrality agreement allows NNOC/NNU without invitation to come into our workplace and solicit membership. They promised the nurses hope and leadership when we voted for them to represent us.
The hope was false concerning improved:
nurse to patient ratios
higher wages /a pension,
401K plan/matching contributions
health benefit package

The leadership was poor because they used:
Untrained nursing staff to negotiate
Only one union negotiator and not a team

After eleven months and 15 hours of despair, the union gave in and agreed on a contract in the middle of the night.

The next day, the NNOC/NNU and the pro-union supporters were so proud of their work and accomplishments, they decided to hold a private/secret election starting that Friday night.  The NNOC/NNU conducted this election over father’s day weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun, June 2013). They did not make an advance public notice but contacted pro-union supporters which happened to be working that weekend.

The results were beyond dishonest.  Out of the 650 RN’s, only 188 voted “YES” for the union contract. We had 44 RN’s vote “NO”.  The union told the RN’s that they would have to join the union before they voted on OUR contract.  The rule states, “Only union members can vote on the contract”.  Some RN’s did not sign the union card and therefore could not vote.   For the union, “majority rules” at the time of the vote and that is why they held a secret election.  Keeping it a secret works in their favor every time and guarantees them a $1.4 million dollar payday without working for it.

Now moving forward sixteen months after the contract vote (Nov-2014), the NNOC/NNU sent out letters/bills to all the RN’s who belong to the union but have not signed a union membership card.  Along with that card was a bill for union dues.  The union dues equal about 1.4% of your annual salary.  The RN’s are now being forced to pay union dues or lose their jobs. If the nurses do not pay the forced union dues, they can be fired and be sent to collections for this bill.  In our contract, the union is to notify the hospital of anyone not paying the forced dues.  The hospital should terminate these nurses.  So far after seven months, the hospital has not fired one RN because the hospital has no one to replace them. As long as the union is receiving some of our “SCRAPS”, they will be happy.  Remember, the union is providing a minimal service for a big paycheck.

The truth is that our working conditions have declined overall.  The RN’s have suffered.  Our wages were decreased because of the forced union dues.  We were promised 3% increase but after the union dues it is down to only 1.6% increase because of the union participation.   The NNOC/NNU promised more RN’s would come to this hospital because of the union.  That has not happened.  The union has kept their promise to keep the bad RN’s employed and pollute the minds of the new RN’s that are hired.  However, we are in the process of our own “RIGHT TO WORK” campaign.

We, the nurses at St. Louis University Hospital, have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to conduct a new election. It is called a “Deauthorization election”.  We are planning to have this election on June 15th 2015. This will stop the union from collecting dues.  The NNOC/NNU is not solving our problems with the hospital. They have not improved our benefits, have not corrected our working conditions or increased our hourly wage.  So, why should we pay them??

Brian Hendricks RN, BSN

Click for PDF Version of the above letter


I was asked to help out and post this….

“The registered nurses at St. Louis University Hospital (SLUH) have been deceived by the NNOC/NNU.  Last May 2012, our hospital opened its doors to the NNOC/NNU via a neutrality agreement.  This agreement permitted the NNOC/NNU to come out of the gutter and sit with us in our break rooms, hallways and cafeteria.  They asked us, “What was wrong with our workplace? and What was Tenet doing to fix it?”.  The NNOC/NNU told us that they would be able to fix ALL our problems as they represented us.  The NNOC/NNU promised us large hourly pay increases, better healthcare and retirement in return for our simple vote.  We voted for their support and representation in June 2012.

Now ten months later, a large group of registered nurses have investigated the NNOC/NNU to find a trail of misleading information and promises.  The union has spent that time negotiating with Tenet Healthcare.  They brought to the table a group of SLUH RN’s that were elected and trained to negotiate against professionals who understand how the game is played. The nurses are only the pawns in this chest game.  The NNOC/NNU needs them at the table to keep the appearance that they (NNOC/NNU) care about our problems.  The truth is, the union needs our dues to continue their scheme of misleading healthcare professionals, interfering  with patient care, stealing our money for their selfish greed, advancing their political influences and destroying a work environment that was based on compassion for the sick in this community.  It is time for the RN’s to lead this hospital back to its roots.  One of  care and compassion for its neighbor.

The RN’s at St. Louis University Hospital are starting a campaign to decertify the NNOC/NNU.  We will be providing truthful and honest information about our working environment with our co-workers.  We will also discuss the NNOC/NNU and their true motives for organizing the RN’s.  Our goal is to remove this unwelcome guest from our hospital and improve  our professional relationship with one another while treating the sick of this community.  This will not be an easy task but it will be done.”

Please contact Brian Hendricks RN for any further information regarding our campaign.  I can be reached by email:

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One Response to St Louis University Hospital Nurses vs NNOC/NNU

  1. Meri Van Gorden June 4, 2015 at 22:17 #

    This is a nightmare scenario. These neutrality agreements are un-American and reminiscent of a thug mentality wherein nurses are forced to pay for something they did not even have a choice in! This practice of neutrality agreements must be outlawed. We nurses need to wake up and be aware of all the typical union tactics which are not limited to one union – it is embedded in most, if not all, union cultures. Look at union donations to politicians, then see how those politicians support union legislation. Once the union infects an organization, they can bargain to their own benefit without a concern for the nurses/employees they supposedly represent!

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