Nurses at Kansas Ascension hospitals OK contracts, sidestepping 3rd strike in a year

Registered nurses at two Ascension hospitals in Wichita, Kan., ratified new contracts after pledging to strike for a third time if they deemed it necessary to close negotiations.

Nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis voted 96 percent yes in favor of ratifying their new contract, and nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph voted 100 percent yes in favor. The two-year contract marks the nurses' first collective bargaining agreement at the hospitals, part of St. Louis-based Ascension, effective through April 2026. 

National Nurses United represents nearly 1,000 nurses combined at the two hospitals. Nurses at St. Francis voted to join in November 2022, while nurses at St. Joseph voted to join the union in March 2023. 

Nurses at both hospitals conducted two strikes in 2023 alongside nurses from Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin in Texas — first in June and again in December.

"We are pleased Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and St. Joseph represented registered nurses have ratified their initial RN contracts. These contracts respect the needs of our registered nurses and create a solid foundation for a collaborative and respectful working relationship," an Ascension spokesperson told Becker's

"We thank our nurses for voting to accept these fair and equitable contracts and are eager to move forward together as we continue to fulfill our Mission of caring for all and improving the health of the communities we are privileged to serve," the spokesperson said.

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