Nurses Union Wins Pension Order

A contracting firm that provided nursing staff to the University of New York Medical Center cannot stop contributions to the nurses’ union pension plan, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ordered enforcement of a National Labor Relations Board order finding StaffCo violated labor law by halting pension contributions from 2011.

StaffCo, which provided nurses and nurse practitioners to the U. of New York Downstate Medical Center, argued that it could unilaterally discontinue contributions to the union pension plan after the union contract expired and that the union waived its right to bargain by failing to request quickly enough its right to bargain and that the plan would not accept its payments.

The NLRB ruled against StaffCo. The appeals court accepted the board’s findings saying they were supported by substantial evidence.

SUNY Downstate faced serious financial difficulties in 2012 and shut down in 2014. StaffCo kept union staff employed until 2014 and then a minimal crew in school clinics beyond that date but it failed to make pension contributions.

The union filed an unfair labor practice claim with the NLRB and won.

The appeals court ordered the NLRB order to be enforced against StaffCo.

Case:  StaffCo of Brooklyn v. NLRB, No. 16-1363


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