Employee Free Choice Act

September 2010

United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals supports the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) before the United State Congress. As healthcare professionals, we’ve seen unions protect the interests of their members and the needs of their patients by lowering staffing ratios and fighting for healthcare reforms. Unfortunately, we also know people who have been fired from their job because they were trying to form a union. This act, if passed by Congress, would protect these workers. The three major components of the Employee Free Choice Act are as follows:

Majority Sign-Up
Currently, there are two ways workers can win the right to union representation – through an election or majority sign-up. Employers now decide which option is used. The Employee Free Choice Act would give workers the power to choose.

First Contract Mediation and Arbitration
In the private sector, 34% of union victories do not result in contracts, rendering choice meaningless. Under the Employee Free Choice act, if parties do not reach a contract within 90 days, either party can seek mediation. If there is no agreement after 30 days of mediation, the dispute will go to arbitration. The arbitration result will be binding for two years.

Stronger Remedies when Employers Violate the Law
Private sector employers fire pro-union workers in 25% of all organizing drives and it often takes years to win back-pay or reinstatement. The Employee Free Choice Act would toughen penalties on employers. For example, if an employer discriminated against a worker during an organizing drive or first contract, the employer would have to pay three times the amount of back-pay. To support the Employee Free Choice Act call Senator Feinstein to support healthcare professionals and vote YES on the Employee Free Choice Act?