Nurses at Ascension hospital vote to unionize

Nurses at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore have voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United.

With the vote, held Nov. 2 and Nov. 3, the union will represent more than 500 nurses at Saint Agnes, according to an NNOC/NNU news release. The hospital is part of St. Louis-based Ascension, one of the nation's largest nonprofit and Catholic hospital chains, with about 140 hospitals and other healthcare facilities in 19 states. 

"I am thrilled to welcome Saint Agnes nurses to NNOC/NNU on behalf of our over 225,000 members," NNU President Jean Ross, RN, said in the release. "Your tenacity and commitment are an inspiration to your union siblings across the nation, and we look forward to working with you to achieve quality care at your hospital and for all patients."

Nurses at Saint Agnes voted to join the union after a petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board in July seeking an election. 

"We respect our associates’ right to organize themselves through union representation and will honor the certified outcome of the secret ballot election," Ascension said in a statement shared with Becker's. "As we navigate forward in an environment where only 223 [of voting] RNs out of a 522-person bargaining unit voted in favor of the union, we are committed to working together with all of our associates as we continue to focus on what is most important — caring for our patients — and look forward to coming together around this common goal."

The vote among Saint Agnes nurses follows other unionization votes at Ascension hospitals. 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, voted to unionize within the last two years. 

Note: This story was updated at 9:32 a.m. CST on Nov. 6.

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