Yes. You have the legal right to speak and organize for or against union representation. Federal law protects your rights to talk to your fellow employees during non-work time about your views, organize with fellow employees to make your collective views known, distribute information and attend meetings or gatherings to discuss union representation and the benefits of having a direct relationship with Dignity Health.
No. You are free to speak with or refuse to speak with union representatives or other employees who speak on behalf of the union who visit you or call you at home or at work. There is no law or policy that requires you to speak with union representatives or employee activists, and you are free to respond accordingly.
People not employed by a Dignity Health facility in Arizona may not solicit or distribute literature in the workplace, including immediate patient care areas and any interior or exterior property, at any time, for any reason. Dignity Health Arizona service area employees may not solicit or distribute literature during working time, in work areas, or patient-care areas.
While we respect employees’ desire to share appropriate information, you must follow all of the hospital’s policies and procedures with regard to solicitation, distribution, and signage. In addition, you should not distribute materials during work time or disrupt a co-worker during his or her work time. You are within your rights to accept or reject any materials offered to you.
Union Authorization Cards
A union authorization card is a legal document that can give a union the sole and exclusive right to speak and act on behalf of employees in all matters regarding wages, benefits, working conditions and other terms of employment. Authorization cards can be paper or electronic. You could unintentionally provide your “electronic signature” by simply clicking on an email or website. Please do not provide a signature, click on a website, or submit information without a thorough understanding of what is involved.
The union can do several things with a signed authorization card:
- If the union gets 30 percent of employees in a proposed bargaining unit to sign cards, the union could contact the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and file a petition for an election to determine if employees want to be unionized.
- If the union gets a majority of employees in a proposed bargaining unit to sign cards, it could demand recognition from Dignity Health without giving employees the opportunity to vote in a representation election.
- The union can keep the card because it is valid for one year from the day it is signed.
- The union may use it to send you mail and to call or visit you at home.
A union authorization card is a legally binding document, and by signing it you state that you want the union to represent you for purposes of collective bargaining. Union cards are most often used to either petition the National Labor Relations Board for an election or, if the union has collected cards from a majority of its proposed bargaining unit, demand recognition without giving employees a vote. No matter what you are told, a union card is not a request for more information or to be added or removed from the union’s mailing list. Sign-in sheets, attendance records at union information meetings, requests for more union information and other paper documents and emails could also be considered legal documents and count toward calling an election, depending on what they say.
The decision is yours and yours alone to make about whether or not to sign a card or petition. Remember, these are legally binding documents, so be sure you are clear about what you are signing and know your rights. These simple guidelines can help protect you:
- Ask before you sign: Know what you are signing. An authorization card could be paper or electronic and might not even mention an election, but, rather, simply be presented as a request for information. Read everything carefully and ask how your signature and personal information will be used.
- Make your own decision: It’s up to you—not us, not the union and not your co-workers—to decide what’s best for you. And, you should be able to make your decision without any pressure from anyone.
- Report concerns: Notify your manager or HR representative about anything that you feel is inappropriate or not in keeping with our security and privacy procedures.
- Keep a copy for your records: If you decide to sign a card, be sure to keep a copy, just as you would any important document.
- You can change your mind: You do have the right to change your mind once you’ve signed a card. You can do this by writing the union and asking them to return the card. Providing them with a copy of the card will make it easier. The union may or may not return your signed authorization card.
No. Signing a union card does not mean that you have to vote in support of the union. If an election is held, voting is by secret ballot. No one will ever know how you vote. You do not have to vote for the union in an election even if you signed a card.
You have the right to ask in writing that your union authorization card be returned to you. Depending on which union card you signed, send your request to the following address:
California Nurses Association
2000 Franklin Street
Oakland, CA 94612
560 Thomas L Berkley Way
Oakland, CA 94612
If you feel as though the union is not respecting your rights, you can report it to the National Labor Relations Board regional office at 602-640-2160.
No. Protecting your privacy and safety is our top concern. We would not voluntarily provide your personal information to a union or any other organization, unless compelled to do so by law. If a petition for election is filed, Dignity Health would be required by law to provide all your contact information on file—including your cell and home telephone numbers and personal email address—to both the union and the National Labor Relations Board. If you wish not to be contacted by the union at your home, you can ask the union to remove you from its mailing list and not contact you in the future.
Employees in right-to-work states like Arizona cannot be forced to pay dues to a union in order to keep their job. It’s up to each employee to decide whether or not to join a union and pay dues. That said, even if you don’t join a union and don’t pay dues, all employees in a bargaining unit are still covered by the terms and rules in the contract negotiated by the union and the organization for which they work. Dues are determined by the union and are often a percentage of your hourly wage.
Unions often offer “members-only” benefits—benefits that are only for employees who join the union and pay dues. If you are not a member, you may not be able to attend union meetings, vote on contracts, become a shop steward, vote on shop stewards, or participate in other “internal” union activities. However, you are still in the bargaining unit, so you are still subject to everything in the contract whether you become a dues-paying union member or not.
You would have to ask the union. Unions have the right to make their own rules of membership. This is not negotiated at the bargaining table. In addition to dues, union members are typically subject to fines, fees and assessments.
It is always your choice whether or not to participate in a strike. However, if you are a dues-paying member of the union, you are subject to potential discipline by the union if you do not participate in a strike. Unions often fine members for crossing the picket line. The amount you would have to pay for coming to work is usually based on the union’s constitution or bylaws. Non-union members can cross the picket line without financial penalty by the union.
Under a union, everything in a contract applies to all members of the bargaining unit (union members and non-union members). The union would represent you and speak for you. Your supervisor would no longer be able to deal directly with you on certain matters such as hours, schedules, and personal requests. Supervisors would have to follow the contract on these matters.
Under a union, wages can increase, decrease or stay the same. It is unknown what may result from a collective bargaining process. If a union is elected, Dignity Health and the union will negotiate in good faith over mandatory subjects of bargaining; however, that does not guarantee an agreement on anything. A union cannot force an employer to accept changes to wages or benefits. Also, a union contract locks you into a compensation schedule for several years. Dignity Health would lose the flexibility to respond to market changes quickly, increasing compensation as appropriate.
Dignity Health offers multiple ways through which its employees can share their feedback. We listen to all feedback and have made several additional investments in our employees in response (please visit the “Our Commitment to You” page). If you are represented by the union, the union would speak for you on matters of pay, work conditions, and other subjects of bargaining. Your individual interests, needs, and work situation are not the union’s priorities at the bargaining table.