Ascension nurses in Texas vote to unionize

Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, have voted to unionize.

The vote was 72 percent in favor of joining the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United, according to a Sept. 21 union news release. The vote covers 800 nurses at Ascension Seton.

"As nurses, we always have and always will stand committed to providing the highest quality of care to our patients," Geovana Hill, a registered nurse in the renal unit, said in the release. "We are looking forward to bargaining for a fair contract to improve patient safety, as well as competitive wages to keep Austin nurses working here in our community. We are more than ready to win a strong first contract, which will help with nursing staff retention."

National Nurses United has more than 175,000 members nationwide, including more than 2,500 other Texas-based union members in El Paso, Corpus Christi and Brownsville. Ascension Seton is part of St. Louis-based Ascension.

"Consistent with the ethical and religious directives for Catholic healthcare services, we respect our nurses' right to organize themselves through union representation," Ascension said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We are united in our commitment to care for our community and those that we are privileged to serve."

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