County welfare board members met yesterday with a representative of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) about union coverage for works at the Hospital for the Chronically Ill. The meeting, however, could only be a “discussion,” not a negotiating session.
“We were not authorized by the welfare board to negotiate with the union,” Frank Moore, pant in the discussion, emphasized last night. The earliest the welfare board will authorize formal negotiations with the CWA is March 20, the date of its next meeting, said Moore.
“In the meantime, the CWA is going to file a petition with county adjuster and a partici-the Public Employment Relations Commission to request an election,” he continued. “We can’t consent to an election without the board’s authorization.”
Yesterday’s discussion followed one day after a meeting of the welfare board, which oversees the Hospital for the Chronically Ill. At that meeting, Mrs.Mary Hollis, board director,/announced that 37 of 43 employes eligible for union Membership had signed cards Supporting the CWA, according Ed Schultz, a CWA representative.
“At the welfare board’s next meeting,” Moore went on, “I will recommend that they agree to a ‘consent election’.
He explained that consent election is “a speedy process and can be scheduled within seven days after the Public Employment RelatiOhS"Commis-sion has been notified of both the union's and the employer’s consent.”
There are two conditions for a consent election — the employer must agree to an election, and there must not be two or more unions competing to represent the unions.
Still in question is the status of the licensed practical nurses working at the hospital. The welfare board maintains they are forbidden to join a labor union, Schultz disagrees, having aid previously, “Many licensed practical nurses belong t o hospital unions in other towns.”
He was unavailable for comment on yesterday’s meeting.