UPMC charged with union violations
NLRB files complaint against health system
December 20, 2012 12:03 am
By Ann Belser / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An ongoing dispute between the UPMC health system and a union working to organize service and maintenance workers at three Pittsburgh hospitals escalated Wednesday, when the National Labor Relations Board charged UPMC with violating federal laws regarding employees’ rights to organize a union.
In a 30-page complaint against the Pittsburgh health care provider, the government detailed a pattern of intimidation of employees to discourage union-organizing efforts and retaliate against those the health provider knew were engaged in union activities.
Robert W. Chester, the regional director of the labor relations board, said Wednesday that it was the biggest case brought against a single employer in the four years that he has headed the Pittsburgh office.
UPMC has denied the allegations. A hearing is scheduled for February.
The complaint seeks to have the hospitals repay any suspended employees for lost time at work, and to reinstate and pay back wages to employees fired for union organizing. The board is also wants the health provider to allow the union access to bulletin boards where employee notices are normally posted and to expunge unlawful policies.
Continue reading Pittsburgh’s Largest Anti-Union Employer Charged by NLRB
The GOP’s New Electoral College Scheme Includes Pennsylvania
By Reid Wilson
Beaver County Blue via National Journal
Dec 17, 2012 – Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office.
Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.
Already, two states — Maine and Nebraska — award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The candidate who wins the most votes statewide takes the final two at-large electoral votes. Only once, when President Obama won a congressional district based in Omaha in 2008, has either of those states actually split their vote.
But if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.
Continue reading No End to Republican Plans to Rig the Vote