A splinter group within Teamsters Local 237 claims it has received enough decertification cards to trigger an Office of Collective Bargaining election that could move Hospital Police into a new union, but President Gregory Floyd dismissed that prospect, saying the process was far from complete.
The New York City Hospital Police PBA, an organization fronted by longtime Local 237 dissident Clark Pena, says it has filed 300 decertification cards with the OCB, more than the one-third required for a title to attempt decertification from a union.
Election Later in Summer?
“We went to the OCB and turned in all our paperwork, we have our receipt, and now we’re waiting for a date,” Mr. Pena said in a phone interview, estimating that they would receive a date for an election within 30 days.
But Mr. Floyd said that Mr. Pena’s effort would go the way of other decertification attempts. “It’s a long way, and he’s never going to get there,” he said in a phone interview. “This has been going on for the last 30 years with this title. First it was the Peace Officers Benevolent Association, then the Municipal Benevolent Association, then it was the Law Enforcement Employees Benevolent Association, now it’s the Hospital PBA. The name’s changed, the game stays the same.”
Mr. Pena was also involved with LEEBA, which attempted to pick off several Local 237 titles after its founding in 2002.
“At the end of the day, they’re going to be Teamsters,” Mr. Floyd insisted. “It’s just that every five years you get a new group of Hospital Police Officers, and these guys come in and collect money from them, members give them money, and they sell them a lot of dreams and give them no hope.”
Derides Opposition Leaders
He criticized the make-up of the Hospital Police PBA, saying Mr. Pena and his vice president, Luquan Word, were not qualified to lead a union. “Why would you join a union with no bylaws and no elections? They already have a self-appointed president and a self-appointed vice president who was a clerk in Local 237, has never held a civil-service job or a job in law enforcement,” he said.
“[Mr. Word] has run for Senate a few times on the Republican line and lost a few times, and he’s not even 30 years old,” he continued. “That should tell you something about where they’re going.
“At the end of the day, my record and my work ethic, what I stand for, stands for itself,” Mr. Floyd said. “And I don’t think I have to defend myself against anybody. If people think somebody can do better, that’s their right. But I know I’ve done the best I can for our members.”
Mr. Pena said he wanted to avoid personal attacks in his campaign, focusing more on gearing up the Hospital Police PBA to serve potential members. “All the officers that are in the facilities right now do not want Local 237 representation,” he said. “The officers are given the opportunity to use Local 237 or use representatives of their own choice, and they’re calling us in. If they request us, we’re there.”
He dismissed Mr. Floyd’s comments, saying, “If that’s the game they want to play, there has to be two people in the ring to fight. I’m not getting in that ring. I’m there for the officers…If Greg’s move is just personal attacks, that’s on him. We’re not going to entertain that.”
Jakwan Rivers, another Local 237 dissident who ran for vice president in the union’s last leadership election,said that while he does not advocate decertification, he had appeared at a Hospital Police PBA protest because it was billed as a “vote of no confidence” in Local 237. Mr. Floyd had publicly criticized him for his seeming alliance with the breakaway group.