Nurses pursue unionization vote at CHI hospital in North Dakota

Registered nurses at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, N.D., filed for a union election Monday, reports The Bismarck Tribune.

The nurses aim to vote on whether to join the Minnesota Nurses Association.

MNA in a Tuesday announcement said the formal unionizing process began when CHI St. Alexius RNs filed authorization cards "signed by an overwhelming majority of nurses" with the National Labor Relations Board.

"Nurses want to provide top quality care to our patients in a hospital that's respected and an integral part of our community," CHI St. Alexius RN Chettie Greer said in the announcement. "We believe the best way we can advocate for patients is by coming together and gaining the authority and rights to ensure our voices will be heard."

The next step, MNA said, is for the NLRB to look over the authorization cards, set a date for a unionization vote and conduct the election.

Ellen Holt, the hospital's vice president of human resources, spoke out against the nurses unionizing in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

"We are proud of the high-quality and safe care our nurses and patient care team provide to our community. It has been our faith-based mission for more than 132 years to ensure our patients receive exceptional care at CHI St. Alexius Health," the statement reads. 

"We believe we can best continue our mission to serve our patients when CHI St. Alexius Health's associates are free to work directly with leadership in healthcare settings without going through a third party.

"Caring for our patients has been and will remain our top priority. We will not let the latest step by the union distract from our longstanding commitment to our community."

MNA currently represents nearly 22,000 nurses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.


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