FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Melissa Moriarty (603) 271-3411 ext 105
Concord, NH – The Public Employee Labor Relations Board (PELRB) has issued a substantial victory for the hundreds of employees at Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center seeking to organize with SEA/SEIU Local 1984. The board’s decision struck down nearly all of the county’s objections to union representation and allows all but one of the 11 job classifications to be included in the bargaining unit.
“Being part of a union would mean everything to us. We’re not happy with the way management has pushed us around and disregarded our need for better working conditions and pay,” said a nursing employee who requested anonymity for fear of workplace retaliation. “We take so much pride in the care that we provide our patients. But it’s time that management took our needs into consideration, and now with a union, they will.”
A major point of contention between the county and the SEA was the classification of so-called per diem employees for nursing positions, which the SEA argued was an improper classification for these employees who were being utilized as part-time employees under NH statute. The board agreed. “The worker leaders at the nursing home wanted to fight for the rights of these employees,” commented lead organizer David Holt. “In the end, despite the objections of the employer, it was well worth the wait.”
In total, the bargaining unit will consist of the following Rockingham County Nursing Home positions: housekeeping, laundry, licensed nursing assistant (LNA), receptionist, registered nurse (RN), medical nursing assistant (MNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), unit manager, nursing administrative assistant, activities aid, and social worker I, II, and III.
“We are so pleased with this decision and eagerly await the day we can call these wonderful employees proud SEA members, “ said SEA president Rich Gulla. “Everyone should have the right to join a union. This decision affirms that.”
The PELRB will conduct a secret ballot election at a later date to be determined.
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 represents thousands of public and private-sector employees across the Granite State. First formed in 1940 as a social organization, the SEA won passage of New Hampshire’s Public Employee Labor Relations Law in 1975. Since then, the union has negotiated hundreds of contracts with state, county, municipal and private-sector employers. The SEA affiliated with the Service Employees’ International Union in 1984. With two million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas.
Published: August 6, 2019