Johns Hopkins Hospital has reached a settlement with its registered nurses over the nurses’ right to unionize.
The nurses had been seeking to organize and had charged the hospital with unfair labor practices during the process. Hopkins has denied the accusations, and the settlement resolves all the charges by National Nurses United with the National Labor Relations Board.
“This settlement makes clear that nurses have the right to form a union, we have a right to speak with our coworkers about a union, and Johns Hopkins does not have the legal right to target and intimidate nurses who engage in union activity,” Alex Laslett, a nurse, said in a statement. “We are organizing at Johns Hopkins because we know a union affords nurses the protection we need to advocate freely for the best care for our patients.”
Under the settlement, Hopkins management must post signs by June 14 in the hospital affirming the nurses’ right to unionize and saying that officials will not interfere with discussion of the union, create an impression management is watching out for union-related activity or take actions against nurses who discuss the union on their breaks.
The nurses have said that they wanted to unionize because of chronic turnover, poor staffing and inadequate supplies and compensation compared to peer hospitals.
Kim Hoppe, spokeswoman for the hospital, said they were pleased to have reached a settlement and reiterated that the labor board had not determined the hospital violated federal labor law.
“The statements in the notice to employees that is part of this settlement affirm the hospital’s longstanding commitment to protect nurses’ rights under federal labor law,” she said in a statement. “They do not suggest or imply that the hospital has acted improperly, and the settlement agreement specifically states that there is no admission of liability. The settlement also does not affect the hospital’s right to maintain its established policies regarding access to unit break rooms.”