Ascension nurses plan management face-off

Registered nurses at Ascension locations in Kansas and Texas are planning to "march on management" Nov. 22 to confront hospital administration amid contract negotiations. 

RNs at Ascension via Christi St. Francis Hospital and Ascension via Christi St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita, Kan., and Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, are planning the protests. 

National Nurses United represents 900 RNs at the two Wichita hospitals, which have been in contract negotiations since February 2023. The union represents more than 700 RNs at the 391-bed Austin hospital, which have been in negotiations since November 2022.

"We continue to bargain in good faith with National Nurses United to come to a mutually beneficial agreement on initial contracts for the associates they represent," an Ascension spokesperson told Becker's Nov. 21. "We believe that differences are best resolved respectfully at the bargaining table, and are focused on our upcoming scheduled bargaining sessions as we work together to reach agreement on contracts for our registered nurses."

Union news releases for the "marches on management" say the RNs are protesting management's "failure to bargain for fair contracts that protect patient safety and retain staff." Details on who participants will confront from management or what the confrontations will entail were unclear. The releases note that "the action will be taking place inside the hospital," with nurses available for interviews outside of the facility. 

Nurses at Wichita's Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and St. Joseph hospitals organized a one-day strike this summer, marking the hospital's first. Nurses at the Austin's did the same, marking the largest nurse strike in Texas history. 

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