Large unit of over 270 medical assistants, office coordinators, and others will now be free of union control

Philadelphia, PA (December 20, 2023) – Support staff at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia have successfully voted American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union officials out of power at their facility. The victory follows hospital employee Shidiah Jackson’s submission of a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which contained signatures from enough of her coworkers to trigger a union decertification vote under NLRB rules.

National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys provided Jackson with free legal advice during the decertification process. The approximately 277-person work unit contains medical assistants, office coordinators, medical secretaries, and many other support employees, and the tally of ballots showed nearly 60% of those participating in favor of ousting AFSCME. The vote occurred on November 30, and the NLRB certified the results of the election earlier this month.

The NLRB is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal labor law, which includes administering elections to install or remove unions. Under NLRB rules, a union decertification petition must contain the signatures of at least 30% of the employees at a workplace to trigger a decertification election.

If a majority of workers vote against a union in a decertification vote, the union is removed from the workplace and loses its monopoly bargaining power. Such power permits union officials to dictate the contract provisions of all employees in a unit, even those who oppose or voted against the union.

Because Pennsylvania lacks Right to Work protections for its private sector workers, AFSCME union bosses had the power to enter into contracts with hospital management that forced Jackson and her coworkers to pay union dues or fees just to keep their jobs. In contrast, in Right to Work states, union membership and all union financial support are strictly voluntary.

Healthcare Employees Across the U.S. Reject Union Control

“AFSCME union officials were taking money from many employees’ paychecks but didn’t advocate effectively for me or my colleagues,” Jackson commented. “I’m glad that we were able to exercise our right to remove the AFSCME, and I think we will be able to serve the hospital’s medical staff and patients better with the union gone.”

In Minnesota, support staff at Mayo Clinic in Austin are currently seeking to boot Steelworkers union officials from their facility as well. Foundation staff attorneys earlier this month filed an NLRB union decertification petition for patient care specialist Erin Krulish, which contains signatures from a majority of other support staff at the clinic. Krulish’s effort is the latest in a string of Foundation-backed union decertification efforts in the Gopher State, with nurses and support staff at Mankato’s Mayo Clinic and St. James Mayo Clinic nurses all voting successfully to remove unions in 2022 alone.

“It seems that American medical employees are discovering that union officials’ one-size-fits-all ‘representation’ doesn’t always work to their benefit, nor does it help them take better care of their patients,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “It’s easy to see why healthcare workers would want to avoid compulsory dues payments, or being ordered to strike and abandon their patients during a busy time.”

“Those in the healthcare industry should know that they have a right to petition the NLRB for a vote to remove a union, and that National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys can assist them through this daunting process,” Mix added.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in about 200 cases nationwide per year.

Posted on Dec 20, 2023 in News Releases