Geisinger nurse practitioners, physician assistants vote to unionize

About 60 nurse practitioners and physician assistants at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, Pa., voted to unionize on Dec. 15, the Times Leader reported.

If the vote is certified by the National Labor Relations Board, they will become the newest members of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals at the hospital, according to the Dec. 23 report. The vote was 44-4, and PASNAP will represent more than 900 front-line workers at the facility with the Geisinger Community Medical Center additions.

Many said they voted to join the union to amplify their voice and the voice of their patients.

"The day I interviewed at GCMC almost 11 years ago was the day Geisinger officially took over," Kaely Borgna, a CT surgery physician assistant, said in a news release shared with the Times Leader. "Over the years, I've seen very subtle changes take place that have, over time, resulted in less and less of a voice for the employees and more and more power in the hands of administrators who aren't directly involved in patient care. This has led to decisions about staffing that have sacrificed quality of patient care and caused dissatisfaction among the employees. I voted 'yes' to have my voice heard and to improve the care we provide to our patients."

Matthew Van Stone, director of media relations and public affairs at Geisinger, told the Times Leader, "We are grateful to all our employees who spent the last few weeks gathering facts and respect their decision. If the NLRB certifies the election result, we will move forward bargaining in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable labor contract for our employees who continue to provide high-quality care to our patients and communities day in and day out."

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