St. Mary Corwin answers union allegations

The Board of Trustees at St. Mary Corwin Health Center in Pueblo has fired back against harassment and retaliation allegations filed with the National Labor Relations Board.

Earlier this week, the National Nurses Organizing Committee filed a complaint against the hospital, alleging that employees in favor of unions were being harassed and retaliated against.

“While we respect the right of each employee to have a free choice as to whether to join a union, we strongly resent the tactics being employed by this particular union to pressure our administration and harass our employees,” said a letter, signed by the board and CEO Margaret Sabin.

“We understand that this union commonly uses corporate campaign tactics, including filing frivolous, unfair labor practice complaints, attacks that target the company with specious safety and environmental allegations, and attempts to generate damaging, unfounded, outside investigations into the company’s operations. Many of these tactics are now being used against St. Mary Corwin.”

The union organizers in Colorado said nurses were removed from their current positions when it was discovered they were talking about the union and that nurses were illegal spied on, and improperly interrogated by managers. Furthermore, it said that the hospital system used restrictive policies governing off-duty access and distribution of union materials.

And, it said nurse staffing levels at St. Mary Corwin are unsafe.

“Since Sept. 1, when St. Mary Corwin’s current administrative team was put in place, 42 registered nurses have been hired, including 18 nurses filling new positions…” the letter read. “Within that same time frame, 12 certified aides have bee n added.”

Anonymous complaints about working conditions at the hospital system were filed with both the U.S. Department of Labor and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.