OGH Employees Say No to CWA

Olean, NY – Olean General Hospital (OGH) employees have rejected an attempt by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) to represent them at the hospital. “Our employees have said no to the CWA,” said Dennis McCarthy, hospital spokesperson.

The final determination came today (Friday, May 23) when the ballots of 11 technical employees were opened by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the presence of officials from OGH and the union. The ballot count resulted in a CWA loss in its attempt to organize at OGH.

The ballots had been sealed and sequestered since last October when employees of Olean General Hospital voted on whether or not to be represented by the union. The initial results showed 55 employees voting against union representation and 45 voting in favor. The union challenged the results with the NLRB. Following months of proceedings with the NLRB both sides agreed to waive future appeals and let the votes of the 11 technical employees stand and be opened to reach a final outcome.

In a ruling two weeks ago the NLRB refuted a challenge by the CWA that management acted inappropriately over the course of the organizing campaign “We steadfastly maintained that the conduct of the management team was honest, straight forward and fact-based over the course of the CWA’s attempt to organize our employees,” McCarthy said. “The NLRB’s ruling supported our careful and thoughtful approach during the election campaign.”

“The final results confirm that employees want to work with management as part of a united hospital team,” McCarthy said. “Our employees took the facts into consideration and made their decision. We are grateful for the careful consideration our employees gave to the issue, their examination of the facts and their confidence in the future of Olean General Hospital.”

“Although the final results were close we firmly believe the margin of loss for the union would have been greater if the NLRB had not ruled in favor of the union to exclude the votes of OGH LPNs who work for the hospital in the health clinic at the Seneca Allegany Casino,” McCarthy said. “The hospital feels those ballots should have been counted. Excluding some employees, setting aside their votes, while including others is not something one should expect in an open election. We think it is contradictory for the CWA to claim they want to give LPNs a voice while fighting a legal battle to exclude certain LPNs from the right to have their vote counted.”

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