Upstate New York nurses seek to form labor union

In New York, unions are relatively prominent because workers in so many industries rely on them to get their deserved wages and benefits. An understated aspect of unions is when workers would like to form one at their workplace and there are a variety of strategies used by their employer to prevent it. These workers should be cognizant of the need to have a legal advice for their endeavors whether they are already unionized or are seeking to form a union. That union representation is essential and should not be ignored.

Nurses at an upstate medical center had initially tried to form a union 15 years ago, but failed. That was their third attempt, falling short by 253 votes. The numbers were similar the prior two times. Now, as time has passed, they have increased the number of nurses who are eligible to vote on unionizing by one-thousand. The nurses have decided to try to unionize again. They spent approximately three years organizing and will soon take another vote. They want to join the New York State Nurses Association - an entity that represents around 40,000.

The nurses have faced backlash with managers asking if individual nurses support the unionization attempt. Confrontations before and after work have been common. The nurses state they want to unionize because of low salaries and a feeling of being unappreciated. Benefits are lagging and raises and scheduling issues are not based on any template, but on which nurses are favored and other random factors. Their goal is to improve their situation and grant them more say in important issues.

It can be a difficult decision for a group of workers to unionize. There are tactics that employers will often use to put a stop to the forming of a union. A legal firm that is experienced in helping workers with every aspect of their union goals from putting together the labor union to collective bargaining to dealing with disciplinary procedures and much more is critical to the unionizing effort. Workers who are thinking about joining a union should have legal assistance from the beginning.

Source:, "In union fight, Albany Med nurses seek higher pay, benefits and respect," Betany Bump, April 7, 2018

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