Originally Released: July 19, 2000
Contact: Ellen Beth Levitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-328-8919
The University of Maryland Medical Center plans to conduct a union representation election in mid-September for its technical and support employees. In order to be on the election ballot, a union would have to demonstrate interest from at least ten percent of employees in the affected job categories. The election will take place for extended hours over four days in mid-September to assure that all affected employees have an opportunity to vote.
The Medical Center has sent a letter to several unions that it believes have shown interest in recent months in representing certain employees. A union must respond to the medical center by July 31, if it wishes to be placed on the election ballot.
The letter was sent to the following unions: Communication Workers' of America (CWA), Maryland Classified Employees Association (MCEA), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the International Brotherhood of the Teamsters (IBT).
"We believe that employees should have the option to choose whether they would prefer union representation or the right to speak for themselves regarding workplace issues, and a majority of the affected employees should make that decision," says Stephen C. Schimpff, M.D., CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
"Our position has always been that our medical center's best interests are served by communicating and working directly with our employees on such issues as salary, benefits and working conditions, without going through a third party. Although we are not required to hold an election because we are exempt from the National Labor Relations Act, we have decided that that we should accommodate the wishes of those employees who have indicated an interest in an election," says Dr. Schimpff.
The Medical Center has asked a well-respected election expert with extensive experience in supervising elections to confidentially verify each union's showing of interest to participate in the election and oversee the casting of ballots by eligible employees. He is Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, Sr., President of the Baltimore City Board of Elections. Mr. Cheatham is also an Elections Specialist with the National Labor Relations Board and recently ran the NAACP's national election.
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