Hospital Leaders Foster Positive Employee Relations — Resolves Protective Services Concerns

The client is a full-service, not-for-profit integrated health care system that provides a wide range of clinical, educational, preventive, and social programs through acute care hospitals and more than 100+ care sites. The system is one of the top employers in the community with approximately 11,500 employees.


  • Multi-site hospital system received an election petition from its Protective Services work group.
  • Leadership team was not aware of any organizing/card signing activities and was surprised to receive the petition.
  • The system is union free in all of its facilities and in all likelihood, leaders were not aware of the signs of union organizing.
  • Almost all leaders had minimal to no labor training and were unprepared to engage employees on union topics and the rules governing union elections.


  • Implemented a dual strategy: 1) Addressed Protective Services union election petition and 2) Evaluated union risks in other units.
  • Conducted risk assessments, trained leaders in organizing and trust-building, created a resource playbook, and improved HR labor practices.
  • Created customized communication for Protective Services on union avoidance.


  • By establishing hospital leadership as the trusted source of factual information for Protective Services employees, employees began to question the rhetoric being used by the union organizers and if they had the ability to follow through on the promises they were making. As a result, the union withdrew their petition for election before an election was even scheduled. In addition, through the on-going engagement between leaders and employees, no further union activity has been identified in any of the possible bargaining units throughout the system.

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