Ascension nurses in Kansas vote to unionize

Nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, Kan., have voted to join National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United.

Sixty-six percent of voting nurses decided in favor of unionizing, according to a Nov. 10 news release from NNOC/NNU. The election took place over two days.

"It's a historic day for the Wichita nurses and our community," Angela Cammarn, RN, said in the union news release. "We are joining a strong community of union nurses in Kansas and across the United States. As nurses, we are committed to providing excellent care to our patients. NNOC/NNU nurses have a track record of fighting for safer conditions so they can provide safe care to their communities. We plan on doing the same here."

The vote, which covers more than 650 nurses at St. Francis, comes after the union filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board in October or a union representation election.

Kevin Strecker, senior vice president with Ascension Kansas and market ministry executive, expressed disappointment about the vote.

"We strongly believe we can be most effective working collaboratively without union representation. We respect the voting process and are committed to ensuring it is followed during the vote certification period," he said in a statement shared with Becker's.

Ascension Via Christi St. Francis is part of Ascension, a 143-hospital nonprofit system based in St. Louis.

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