Nurses at Prime hospital vote to unionize

A group of per diem nurses at Lower Bucks Hospital in Bristol, Pa., part of Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare, have voted to unionize.

The vote, which took place Nov. 8, covers roughly 40 per diem nurses at the facility, according to a union news release shared with Becker's

The vote must still be certified by the National Labor Relations Board. If certified, the workers will join the Nurses Association of Lower Bucks Hospital, an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals.

"I feel like I can breathe now," Lower Bucks per diem ICU nurse Maria Valletto, RN, a leader in the effort to organize, said in the release. "I was a union nurse when I was full-time, and I wanted the same protections for me and my per diem colleagues. I also know from experience that we will be able to use the voice being a union member affords us to advocate strongly for our patients and for improvements in patient care."

Michelle Aliprantis, a hospital spokesperson, shared the following statement with Becker's: "We believe every nurse should have a voice in the future of our hospital. We will continue to work directly with our nurses to ensure that Lower Bucks Hospital remains a great place to receive care and a great place to work."

The vote by per diem nurses at Lower Bucks comes as nearly 200 unionized registered nurses and licensed practical nurses at Lower Bucks and Prime's Suburban Community Hospital in Norristown, Pa., are currently negotiating contracts. 

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