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Having chosen to unionize, Chase Brexton workers await management response

The Chase Brexton Health Services Mt. Vernon Center. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record).

The Chase Brexton Health Services’ Mt. Vernon Center. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record).

With Chase Brexton Health Services’ employees overwhelming voting in favor of forming a union, they now say they are waiting to see if the company’s management plans any pushback prior to the vote becoming certified.

Workers at the Baltimore health clinic on Aug. 25 voted 87-9 to join one of the largest health care workers’ unions in the region. The vote that took place two weeks after five supervisors were fired during initial organization efforts.

The union filed a complaint against the clinic with the National Labor Relations Board. Chase Brexton has filed its own complaint with the labor board against the Service Employees International Union, The Associated Press reported.

Chase Brexton management released a statement Friday morning expressing disappointment in the previous night’s vote. The health care center did not return multiple requests for comment. The statement was circulated on Facebook among Chase Brexton employees but was not attributed to a specific member of the company or was it on company letterhead.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote and, as we have expressed previously, believe the run up to the election was seriously flawed and tainted by illegal behavior,” the statement said. “We maintain our belief that the SEIU is not the right long term solution for Chase Brexton, and continue to have serious concerns about the unintended consequences union representation will have for our organization.”

James Wilson-Hamilton, a clinic resource coordinator at Chase Brexton who was part of the union organizing effort, said Friday the union waiting on a response from management.

“Right now, we’re on standby,” he said. “They’re going to use their legal channels to not make this so easy.”

At the negotiating table, the union wants patient care to be its top priority. It also wants to bring back the five employees who were fired a few weeks back.

“I personally believe that is going to be one of the main components of negotiations,” said Wilson-Hamilton about the firings. “It was done illegally. It was done in an attempt to scare us.”

According to standard NLRB practice, parties have seven days to file objections to the vote — for example, if anyone has a problem with the way the election was run.

If there are no objections, the election results are certified. At that point, the union becomes the certified bargaining representative for the unit, and the employer has an obligation to meet with the union as the legal representatives of workers in the new bargaining unit.

If the employer fails to meet with the union, the union can bring an unfair labor practice charge against the employer.

The certification process takes two to three weeks, if there are no objections. After that, it’s up to the parties to decide when they want to meet, said an NLRB spokeswoman.


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