Two nurse unions in New York set a strike date

There is a wide variety of employee benefits afforded to union members. Union membership is often looked at as a means to protect these rights while also having the ability to negotiate for better pay and work conditions. Another right afforded to unions is the right to strike. This action could occur if and when the negotiating process does not result in a resolution and the union members seek to prove their stance on the matter.

According to recent reports, nurses, technicians and clerk working at numerous dialysis center around New York City threatening a walk out. A date for a strike has been set for June 12, and if this strike occurs, it is expected to affect thousands of patients in New York. The unions for both groups decided to set this strike date after years of unsuccessful attempts at collective bargaining to develop a new contract.

The New York State Nurses Association, which represents 65 nurses, and SEIU 1199, which represents 300 technicians and clerical workers. Both unions combined their efforts to collectively bargain a new contract two years ago. However, because no resolution was reached, both unions ended up filing grievances with the National Labor Relations Board against the company and its bargaining process.

Since this filing, things have progressed to such a point that both union groups voted unanimously to authorize the currently pending strike. After setting the strike date, a round of failed talks, the workers voted on a set walkout date. The major issues surrounding this employment law issue involve wages, health care and pensions.

For union members, strikes can be an effective way to make a point. It is also an action that could have various unintended consequences. Thus, it is important that labor law unions understand the striking process, what options they have and what steps could be taken to further protect their rights.

Source:, "Nurses at New York dialysis centers set June strike date," Ginger Adams Otis, June 2, 2017

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