El Paso Nurses Choose NNOC as Bargaining AgentVic Kolenc of the El-Paso Times reports that nurses at Sierra Medical Center in El Paso, TX have voted to select the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) as their exclusive bargaining representative. The nurses voted Tuesday, with the union winning by about 40 votes (113-74).  A Sierra spokesperson expressed her disappointment with the union’s victory, but promised to negotiate in good faith with the newly-minted union.

"Sierra Medical Center believes what’s best for employees and management is working together without the involvement of a third party," Garcia said. "It has always been our position that the hospital offers competitive wages and benefits, and management promotes a positive work environment."

A union spokeswoman, however, expressed her excitement with the victory, claiming that El Paso is now a "union town" for nurses.

NYC Accepting Driver Bids Even Though Strike ContinuesPhil Corso of the Queens Times-Ledger reports that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has begun the process of reviewing bids from several bus companies over the more than 1,100 bus routes that went out in late December, even though the city is still dealing with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) school bus drivers’ strike, which is now almost a month old.

The city is hoping that the new round of bids would save millions of dollars in the long term because any new bids will not include driver job protections, which has become a major sticking point in negotiations between the city and the ATU. The union has asked the mayor to suspend bidding and put ATU employees back on the job.

“The mayor has the power to put our drivers and matrons back to work,” said Michael Cordiello, president of ATU Local 1181. “All we ask is that he suspend the bids and is willing to discuss ways to reduce costs within the school bus transportation industry, which the union has shown has nothing to do with keeping the most experienced school bus crews on the road.”

Workers Push Back Against Activist Union: Ira Kantor of the Boston Herald reports that workers at Complete Cleaning, Inc. in Lynn, MA have won a settlement after filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against the Services Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 615. The complaint alleged that SEIU officials had attempted to claim a monopoly over Complete Cleaning employees’ bargaining rights.

“Massachusetts needs a Right to Work law to make it less difficult for workers to keep predatory union bosses in check,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

The settlement also requires the SEIU to stop attempting to claim bargaining power until it can affirmatively show that it has the support of a majority of employees at Complete Cleaning.