How to Organize a Union
Step 1: Nurses or Health Care Professionals (HCPs) meet to discuss issues and begin to form a union organizing committee
Step 2: Pro-Union nurses or HCPs talk to their co-workers about the issues and the need for a union. Expand organizing committee to include every unit, shift, and department.
Step 3: Card Signing Day Organizing committee signs up co-workers on union cards authorizing MNA/NENA to represent them for collective bargaining. Goal-65-75% sign-up.
Step 4: MNA/NENA Organizing committee requests voluntary recognition from the employer. If recognition is denied by employer, MNA files petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a secret ballot election.
Step 5: NLRB Hearing - seven days later, the NLRB holds a formal hearing on the petition. Once the appropriate bargaining unit is determined, the election date, times, and voting location in the facility are set. Election is usually within 4-6 weeks from NLRB hearing decision. Union must win the election by 50% plus one of those voting.
Step 6: NLRB Certification: Seven (7) days after the election, the NLRB certifies the election results. Directs the hospital to bargain with the nurses or HCPs over wages, hours and working conditions.
* Between steps 5 and 6, the focus will be on member issues and union building. Contract surveys will be mailed to all eligible voters prior to the election and the organizing committee will compile the results. Work will begin on by-laws that once approved by the members will govern your bargaining unit.
**Once you win an election, your employer can no longer change existing practices without bargaining with you first. You will win the best contract when you are well organized, unified, and committed to strong participation in your union.