Employees tend to join unions so that the unions can assist them in airing their grievances to their employees. A union is a special representative component that incorporates all employees in the bargaining unit. A union must offer services to all workers that constitute the bargaining unit. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) categorizes workers into three major groups that include health care, public service, and property services. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) possesses the power to safeguard workers’ rights, which include awarding workers’ right to bargaining for better pay and working conditions (Pozgar & Santucci, 2016). The NLRB understands that different professionals hold different bargaining powers depending on their needs.
In the health care unit, employees are categorized into different sections, based on their professions. Their bargaining power is quite different, and in a privately-owned retirement community and nursing home, professional health care workers should not be merged with subordinate staff. Hence, unions should avoid incorporating health care employees into a single bargaining unit due to their diverse needs. The NLRB should not compel the professional health care employees to join one bargaining unit as they have been incorporated in the SEIU. The board conducts elections within a group of employees who belong to different bargaining units to ascertain whether they need to be represented through a labor organization (Pozgar & Santucci, 2016).
The NLRB is necessitated by law to strike a balance by weighing competing interests of unions, workers, employers, as well as the broader public while determining the units. However, in a health care setup, the decision is always difficult to attain, as the workforce tend to be relatively small and heterogeneous. According to Pozgar and Santucci (2016), the US Supreme Court has allowed the NLRB to allow health workers to establish a maximum of eight bargaining units. Hence, in a private nursing home, professionals and non-professional staff should be awarded their own bargaining units.
Unions usually organize campaigns in order to lure employees to join them for a collective bargain. The first step in the union campaign is for committee members to persuade employees to append their signature on the authorization cards. Authorization cards permit the union to become a representative of the employee. Some of the tactics that the unions can utilize in their campaign include:
- Salting: This involves hiring union organizers from employees of a targeted organization, where they are still entitled to union allowances. Employees who work for their union assist the union to gather information about the targeted organization
- Petition Drives: This involves the exchange of petition information meant for community purposes that include environmental conservation. In this case, union organizers request people to indicate their names, addresses, and phone numbers on the provided booklets. The union organizers can later use the booklets to contact the names and visit the employees at their homes during their free time.
- Signature Tactics: Union organizers can utilize numerous approaches to convince people to provide their names, as well as their contact addresses. The organizers can host birthday parties for some employees, and request participants to provide their personal contacts, which can facilitate invitations. In some cases, bribery and lies can be utilized to appeal or to threaten workers concerning their jobs.
The bargaining units result from the effective establishment of unions. The union organizers have to ensure that as many employees as possible have signed the cards, which are later utilized to petition the labor board to conduct an election. The winning team must be very strong to stand the test of anti-union campaigns conducted by the employers.
Pozgar, G. D., & Santucci, N. M. (2016). Legal aspects of health care administration. Burlington, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning.