Nurses at Ascension hospital move to unionize

Nurses at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore have filed a petition seeking to vote on whether to unionize.

The petition was filed July 28 by the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United, according to the National Labor Relations Board. The union seeks to represent 500 full-time, regular part-time and per diem registered nurses who work at the hospital, which is part of St. Louis-based Ascension.

National Nurses United had no comment about the filing. 

Ascension shared the following statement with Becker's: "We believe it is the choice of our associates whether or not to be represented by a union. We are supportive of our associates' legal right to make an informed decision under the protections afforded by a secret ballot election process supervised by the National Labor Relations Board."

The NLRB provides various paths to forming a union. It will conduct an election if at least 30 percent of workers sign cards or a petition indicating their support for unionization, according to its website. Workers would then vote on whether to unionize. Employers may also voluntarily recognize a union based on signed union-authorization cards or other evidence. 

Nurses at Saint Agnes are among the latest workers at Ascension hospitals to participate in unionization efforts. 

Registered nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph and Ascension Via Christi St. Francis hospitals in Wichita, Kan., and Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Texas, went on strike in June. 

The strike came after nurses at the three facilities voted to unionize late last year and in early 2023.

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