The National Labor Relations Board's regional director has brought civil charges against Crozer-Chester Medical Center in connection with a two-day nurses' strike against the Upland Borough hospital in September.
After a hearing set for February, the board will determine whether the medical center improperly curtailed union members from leafleting and improperly withheld information from the union, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP).
"We believe that Crozer-Chester Medical Center has acted lawfully and appropriately throughout this very difficult situation," the hospital said in a statement.
"The NLRB has already dismissed or referred to arbitration 13 other charges filed by PASNAP, and we are confident that their investigation of the remaining charges will show that we have complied with the law," the statement continued.
One dismissed charge had to do with the union's complaint that Crozer-Chester colluded with JeffSTAT, a medical transportation service owned by Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, to arrange for JeffSTAT to stage a practice helicopter landing at Crozer-Chester, disrupting a union rally.
The union intends to appeal that dismissal, said Bill Cruice, executive director of the union.
The contract, covering 550 nurses, expired June 8. Talks are set for Dec. 10.
"This is a sophisticated employer," Cruice said. "The fact they so brazenly violated the law in telling nurses they could not engage in protests and picketing and in talking to patients and visitors was fairly astonishing."
The union wanted to see contracts with the staffing agency hired to replace personnel during the strike on Sept. 21 and 22.
The nurses were prepared to return to work after the strike. But the hospital said the agency required a five-day contract, so shifts were unavailable and nurses were unable to work for three more days.
The union also sought, but was denied, information on staffing levels based on a survey from the Joint Commission on hospital accreditation.