National Labor Relations Board Seeks to Reinstate Unlawfully Fired Chino Valley Nurse Ronald Magsino

April 2011

On April 5 the National Labor Relations Board’s local Regional Director filed in federal court to reinstate Ronald Magsino to his position as Emergency Room RN at Chino Valley Medical Center. “I just want to clear my name,” said Ronald. “Chino Valley Medical is home to me. I’m loyal to the hospital and the community and my fellow nurses.”

Interim Relief is the name of the remedy sought by the Regional Director—to have Ron reinstated even before the trial on his dismissal and other Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges begins on June 6, 2011. The other ULPs involve CVMC’s threats, retaliatory discipline, interrogation and surveillance of nurses engaged in legally protected union activity.

Interim Relief is an extraordinary remedy used to cure only the most serious ULPs. Last year it was sought in less than .01% of charges filed. Here it’s being sought due to the strong likelihood that CVMC will be found to have violated the law by its termination of Ron, and because harm to CVMC nurses would be irreparable without speedy remediation.

A neutral investigation by the Regional Director found merit to the Union’s charge that Ron had been unlawfully terminated in retaliation for organizing CVMC nurses to join UNAC/UHCP, and to discourage other nurses from supporting the union. On March 30, 2011, the NLRB’s 4-member Board in Washington, DC, authorized the Regional Director to seek Interim Relief in the United States District Court.

“I would do it all over again,” Ronald said. “Someone had to stand up for nurses and patient care at Chino Valley Medical Center.”

The court has set a hearing date of May 9 to consider the Interim Relief remedy of reinstating Ron to his job. “Getting my job back would be saying that I’m innocent,” Magsino said. “And sooner or later truth will prevail and justice will win out.”

CVMC is owned by Prime Healthcare Systems, one of California’s largest for-profit healthcare chains, already under investigation by state and federal authorities to determine if an extraordinarily high rate of septicemia and malnutrition in the chain’s hospitals actually represents fraudulent overbilling of Medicare at a cost of $46 million dollars over the last two years.

Separately, the NLRB also continues to prosecute CVMC for refusing to bargain a first contract with Chino RNs. We expect a decision on that ULP from the Board in Washington, DC by late April.