Authorization Cards & Petitions

Unions are always looking for new, dues-paying members. RMC is attractive to unions because we have a large nursing workforce and we are growing. The more members unions have, the more revenue (i.e. membership fees and dues) the union can collect.  

A union’s first step in locking in new members is to get employees to demonstrate support for the union by signing a union “authorization card” or petition (in person or online). Whatever form it takes, these expressions of employee support are legally binding.

We want you to know the facts about union authorization cards/petitions so you can make an informed choice if you are asked to give your signature in support of the union – whether that request comes from a paid union organizer or another nurse at RMC. 

What is a union authorization card?

A union authorization card is a legal document that, when signed, gives the union the legal authority (i.e. the authorization) to speak and bargain for you in negotiations with RMC regarding your wages, hours, benefits, and all other terms and conditions of your employment.

What should you know about union authorization cards/petitions?

  • Union organizers are not required to explain the law or tell you that union cards and/or petitions are legal documents.
  • Your signature on a union card/petition is legal, binding, and final. If you change your mind, the union organizer is under no obligation to return a card or petition you signed.
  • You have the right to refuse to sign a union card/petition, as well as the right to not support a union. 
  • You DO NOT need to sign a union card or petition to be eligible to vote if there is ever a union election at RMC.
  • Union organizers have been known to make misrepresentations, false statements, empty promises, and even threats to pressure employees to sign cards or petitions. Threats or coercion from anyone trying to force you to sign a card or petition are unlawful.
  • Union organizers (paid by the union or employees who support the union) have been known to pressure others by phone, by text, by email, and in person (at work or at an employee’s home) in an effort to get support for the union

Do unions use other forms of solicitation to get evidence of employee support?

Unions can gather evidence of union support using other forms of documents, such as petitions or sign-in sheets at meetings. Another common practice is for the union to try to get employees to register support of content that they see online or that they receive via social media. 

The National Labor Relations Board has said an employee’s electronic signature is as equally binding as an actual signature and can be obtained when employees click “agree” or “submit” in response to something they’ve seen online.