Sanford, FL (March 28, 2014) – A Central Florida Regional Hospital nurse has filed federal charges against a major California-based healthcare union and her employer for violating her rights.
With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Margaret Clark, a registered nurse in critical care at the hospital for 27 years, filed the charges last week with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
In November, 2013, Clark, who has 39 years of nursing experience, sent a letter to National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) union officials and Central Florida Regional Hospital management stating that she was exercising her right under the state's Right to Work law to refrain from union membership and dues payments. Under Florida's Right to Work law, union officials must respect nonmember workers' right to refrain from the payment of any union dues.
NNOC union officials denied Clark's request to revoke her dues deduction authorization – a form union officials use to automatically withhold union dues from employee paychecks – stating she could do it only during a period of time which is different than the one specified in the authorization. Consequently, the hospital continues to collect full union dues – about $70 a month – from her paychecks at the union's behest, even though she is no longer a union member.
Clark points out in her charges that the union’s dues deduction authorization form is conditioned on union membership, which means that workers can revoke the card at will once they resign union membership. The charges also challenge the burdensome process workers must complete in order to revoke their dues deduction authorizations.
In Florida and across the country, NNOC union officials and Central Florida Regional Hospital's parent company, HCA Holdings, have often colluded to force healthcare professionals into union ranks
"NNOC union officials are flaunting their own rules to force this nurse into forced dues payments in violation of Florida's popular Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This case is just another in a long list of rights abuses against nurses and other healthcare professionals perpetrated by NNOC and HCA Holdings officials."
Twenty-four states have Right to Work protections for employees. Public polling shows that nearly 80 percent of Americans and union members support the Right to Work principle of voluntary unionism.