GNH Community

nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information

If nonprofit boards are the surrogate owners of a nonprofit representing the public/taxpayer's interests, it stands to reason that good governance would mean that the board would sit ever ready to listen and hear the needs, wants and interests of the many stakeholders/constituents of what the nonprofit has to offer. If a board accepts this concept it then must also accept and value the concept of community engagement.

In last week's conference on governance, David Renz of the Bloch School of Management and host of the conference suggested that a nonprofit board need not be the "home" of governance but the "host" of governance. While the daily tasks are focused on fiduciary and strategic duties, these tasks are then informed by the community such that the board must always act from a more "global" or community-wide perspective and not then just from its several or whole biases and interests.

Unionization is certainly one arena that actually changes the position of the board from being a home to being a host effectively and legally forcing the board's governance to consider the interests of the employees in its actions. The unionization of home health care aides in Pennsylvania will then go a long way toward making those nonprofit home health aide provider boards much more of a host than home in their governance. One must wonder if the workers for nonprofits would have moved to unionize had the boards of the nonprofits been acting as host not home and whether indeed there is a lesson for all nonprofits.

Here's the Wall Street Journal article describing the unionization event.
Pennsylvania Home Health Care Aides Vote to Unionize
Two pending lawsuits seeking to block union drive may not be resolved for months
By
KRIS MAHER
April 24, 2015 6:39 p.m. ET
1 COMMENTS

A union claimed victory Friday in its effort to organize 20,000 home health aides in Pennsylvania, even as two pending lawsuits seeking to block the union drive may not be resolved for months.

Home health aides voted 2,663 to 309 in favor of being represented by the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania, according to the union, which is a joint partnership of the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The union noted that it won 89% of votes cast. Mary Kay Henry, president of the 1.9-million-member SEIU, which represents 600,000 home care workers, applauded the win in a tweet Friday afternoon.

But legal challenges could undo the victory. Two lawsuits are pending in Pennsylvania state court alleging that an executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that allowed the vote violates the state’s constitution and labor laws.

The executive order permits an elected representative of home care workers to reach an agreement with the state Department of Human Services over wages, benefits, dues and other issues.

On Thursday, the judge hearing the cases said he would allow a representation vote to proceed but issued a preliminary injunction barring any union that won from reaching an agreement with the state. The lawsuits are scheduled for argument in September.

Among other things, the lawsuits complained that the executive order violated state law by allowing a union to win representation by gaining a majority of votes cast rather than a majority of eligible votes. In this case, votes for the union represented about 13% of eligible votes.

“Part of the reason they won was that the executive order was drafted as a handout to the unions,” said David Osborne, general counsel for The Fairness Center, which filed one of the lawsuits challenging the executive order. The nonprofit organization in Harrisburg, Pa., represents workers in disputes with unions.

Jeff Sheridan, a spokesman for Gov. Wolf, said the governor is pleased the process is moving forward. “The governor’s plan ensures that seniors, consumers, and direct care attendants will continue to have a voice in shaping the future of the homecare industry,” Mr. Sheridan said.

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