The National Labor Relations Board Issues a Complaint Against Duke LifePoint

Contact: Sara Wallenfang, 517-974-4966

Hospital broke federal labor law by retaliating against Marquette nurses for union activity

(Marquette, MI) On Monday, March 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against Duke LifePoint regarding three Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges filed by the Michigan Nurses Association on behalf of nurses at Marquette UP Health System. The complaint alleges that the hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act and “has been interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees.”

Marquette nurses experienced illegal threats and intimidation from supervisors for participating in a two-day strike to call for safe staffing at the hospital. Nurses who serve on their union bargaining team also received negative evaluations on their performance reviews.

This type of retaliation for union activity is expressly prohibited in federal labor law and undermines efforts by nurses to achieve a fair contract with staffing standards that protect patient care.

The NLRB seeks to change a negative performance review given to a nurse based on her union activism and gives notice of a hearing to establish further remedies, scheduled for July 24, 2018.

A copy of the NLRB complaint is available here:

The strike, held on October 5 and 6 of 2017, was a legally protected ‘concerted action’ regarding working conditions. Nurses have been in contract negotiations with Duke LifePoint since April 18 and say contract language that establishes minimum nurse staffing levels is necessary for the safety of the community.

A two-month contract extension they negotiated with Duke LifePoint in late May lapsed on July 28 after management failed to address staffing concerns. Nurses are currently working without a contract.

Nurses continue to fight for safe staffing at the hospital through union negotiations and take every opportunity to draw public attention to their patient safety concerns. MNA is currently running radio ads in both Marquette, Michigan and Durham, North Carolina highlighting Duke University’s responsibility for conditions at the hospital.

The radio ads and scripts are available here:

The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is the largest, most effective union for registered nurses in Michigan, advocating for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table.


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