HCA nurses win push for unionization election

After a ruling from the National Labor Relations Board, nurses at HCA Healthcare's Mission Health system in Asheville, N.C., will soon begin voting on whether to unionize, reports Carolina Public Press.

Nurses will vote for or against joining the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United, beginning in mid-August.

Mail ballots will be sent to nurses on Aug. 18, and NLRB officials will count votes on Sept. 16 in the secret-ballot election, Bradley Van Waus, the southern regional director for National Nurses Organizing Committee, told Carolina Public Press.

"After a long delay, nurses are eager to vote in order to gain a united voice," Mr. Van Waus said in a statement to Becker's. "The COVID pandemic has exposed the weakness of a healthcare system that is based on profit and not on human need. The pandemic has only strengthened nurses' resolve so that they can more effectively advocate for their patients and their profession."

Unionization efforts at Mission Health have been ongoing. The nurses petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a union election in March, according to Carolina Public Press.

But amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NLRB rescheduled hearings to determine whether Mission Health nurses can vote to join a union.

In a statement to Becker's, Mission Health spokesperson J.C. Luckey Sadler said the system is pleased nurses now have the opportunity to vote on unionization.  

"Over the course of the past five months, we have seen NNU bring unnecessary conflict and divisiveness to our hospital," the statement said. "We believe quality care is best served when our patient care team works collaboratively together. With that said, we respect and will protect the right of nurses to determine for themselves whether or not they want union representation, and will encourage all to take part in the election."

If the union wins the election, it anticipates representing about 1,600 Mission Health employees, according to Carolina Public Press.




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