How to form a union
You and fellow co-workers work together to develop a network of nurses on every shift and every unit who also want to organize.
Once all questions are answered, you begin to sign authorization cards, which state you want to organize with the Minnesota Nurses Association. (These are NOT membership cards, meaning no dues will be collected, and the employer will NEVER see them.)
Once a majority of nurses have signed authorization cards, they will be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which is the federal agency that conducts union elections. Then a union election date will be scheduled. The NLRB will conduct a secret ballot election. If a majority of those who vote choose the union, the NLRB will certify the union as your representative for collective bargaining.
Once the NLRB has certified that you won your election, you and your co-workers will immediately be assigned an MNA Labor Representative to work with you to elect stewards and chairs, build contract proposals, and provide training to start the process of negotiating your first contract. It is illegal for the employer to change any existing practices without bargaining with you first. Unless you are on the negotiating team, you are not responsible for paying dues until your first contract is voted on and approved by a simple majority. The best contracts are won by members who are unified and committed to a high level of participation in their negotiations.
It is illegal for your employer to discipline you for participating in your right to organize. Employers also cannot require you to share your feelings about organizing with them.
Why does my employer oppose unions?
Your employer doesn’t want you to have a union because they want to make unilateral decisions about the terms and conditions of your employment without your input. Terms and conditions of employment include, but are not limited to, an employee’s job responsibilities, work days, hours, breaks, dress code, vacation and sick days, pay, as well as benefits such as health insurance, life insurance, and retirement plans.
Contact Philip Denniston at Philip.Denniston@mnnurses.org or 651-414-2839 for more information.