Your Questions Answered
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Team Member-Submitted Questions:
"Can you modify your response in the FAQs the regarding paying dues? Please reference the right to work state of Arizona and that you are NOT forced to pay dues if you do not want to and still receive the benefits of Union representation. The current answer is misleading and in direct conflict with the law. Thank you."
Regarding the question “Are all union members required to pay dues?” on the FAQ’s, the answer is accurate. If you joined a union, you would pay dues to that union. The Strong Journey page on “Right to Work & Union Security” is likewise factually and legally correct. Arizona is a “right to work” state. This means that team members in Arizona would have the right to decide whether or not they wanted to join and financially support a union if one were to represent them. Nevertheless, even if a team member did not join the union or support it in any way, if a majority of those voting in an election voted the union “In”, the union would represent all the team members in the bargaining unit, and all of them would be bound by the terms in any contract the union negotiated.
"Please modify your response regarding signing a union card to indicate that the National Labor Relations Board has to hold an election within the facility in order for a union to come into a facility. I find all your FAQs quite misleading and indirect conflict with the actual LAWS. thank you."
Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), there are two ways a union can become the exclusive bargaining representative for team members: (1) through an election conducted by the NLRB, or (2) by requesting voluntary recognition by the employer after showing majority support through signed authorization cards or other means. Under option two, the union could indeed become your exclusive bargaining representative without an election.
"What are the benefits to a union? Would we see consistent nurse staffing numbers, better pay, better benefits, and finally remove mandatory on-call shifts for labor and delivery?"
Neither Banner nor a union can predict what would happen if any of our team members unionized. Obviously, patient care will always be of paramount importance. Many people assume union representation leads to better pay and benefits, and a union’s sales pitch is centered around this. However, any changes in wages and working conditions must be negotiated and agreed upon by the union and the employer. No changes are automatic. Bargaining is a complex back-and-forth process and no one can predict the outcome, including the union. At the end of this process, team members could get more than they have now, they could receive the same, or they actually could end up with less with a union. No one knows what might happen.
"Can this affect Advanced Practice RNs, specifically Nurse Practitioners? Or are they grouped with physicians and exempt from becoming unionized?"
Unions seek to represent employees in specific “bargaining units” -- a bargaining unit is a group of employees with a clear and identifiable community of interests. It’s impossible to predict what bargaining units a union may target, but NPs certainly may be targeted by union organizers.
"I'm totally against Unions, what can I do to help assure they stay out of Banner."
Thank you for your question. The National Labor Relations Act protects employee rights to support, or not support, unions. If you do not want a union to get into Banner and change the way we work together, you have the right to tell your coworkers how you feel. You also have the right to research unions and share your findings. Banner must consistently enforce its policies and rules. However, Banner shares your desire to remain union-free and looks forward to continuing working with its team members directly and without a union coming between us.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Can Banner communicate with us about the Union?
Yes. The law allows companies to educate their workers about labor unions and Banner is dedicated to ensuring that all of its team members understand what having a union could mean to you, your coworkers and our company. The law also allows labor unions to make promises about what could (or might) happen if they get into our company, but they cannot guarantee their promises. That's because, if a labor union represents any of our team members, the union gets to participate in collective bargaining with the company. As long as a company bargains in "good faith," it can say "no" to any union demands that do not make business sense or that could adversely affect its operations.
2. Are all union members required to pay dues?
Yes. If you join the union, you will be required to pay union dues, and possibly other fees, fines and assessments. What's more, most unions insist upon having a "Dues Check Off" clause in the contract, which means that union dues will be automatically deducted from the paychecks of union members - just like taxes.
3. How does the collective bargaining process work?
If a labor union represented any of our Banner team members, the company would be required to meet with the union and bargain in good faith. However, the law does not require Banner to agree to any union demands that it does not believe are in its best interests. The process of collective bargaining is complex and often takes months, or even years, before the parties reach an agreement. And, sometimes, the parties never reach an agreement.
4. What happens if Banner and the union are unable to come to an agreement?
If the company and the union cannot reach an agreement through collective bargaining, the union can either keep discussing the issues with the company, it can accept the company's position, or it can call a strike to try and pressure the company to change its position and accept the union's demands.
5. What is the effect of a strike on team members?
We hope we never face the possibility of a strike at Banner. However, strikes are not just hard on the company that is targeted. Strikes are particularly hard on the team members who strike. While on strike, team members:
• Do not receive paychecks or wages from the company;
• Are ineligible for unemployment benefits in most of the states in which Banner operates; and
• May be temporarily replaced (or possibly permanently replaced in the case of an economic strike for higher wages or better benefits).
6. Why shouldn't I sign a union authorization card?
Banner team members should not sign union authorization cards because those cards are legal documents. Your signature on one of those cards can authorize a labor union to be your legal representative for purposes of collective bargaining. You would be giving up your right to speak directly to the company regarding your wages, benefits and working conditions and, instead, you would be giving your voice to the union to speak for you. Union authorization cards are not something to take lightly. No one should sign anything unless they know what it is. That applies for union authorization cards and all other legal documents.