Washington hospital nurses vote to unionize

Nurses at Confluence Health Hospital Mares Campus in Wenatchee, Wash., voted July 19 to join the Washington State Nurses Association.

The vote covers about 100 registered nurses at the facility, according to a union news release. More than 70 nurses voted, choosing WSNA as their bargaining representative.

The union said nurses began an organizing campaign about five months ago, during which nurses expressed frustration over issues such as wages and potential floating between other facilities, and confusion related to management structure changes.

Wenatchee-based Confluence Health eliminated its COO position in May amid restructuring efforts and financial pressures. The health system also announced a hiring freeze of most nonclinical roles in fall 2022. 

WSNA said it will work with the nurses to identify bargaining priorities and negotiate a first labor deal.

"We welcome Wenatchee Valley Hospital nurses into WSNA," David Keepnews, PhD, BSN, WSNA executive director, said in the release. "We look forward to working together to get a great contract and to tackling all of the issues facing our profession."

Andrew Jones, MD, CEO of Confluence Health, shared the following statement with Becker's: "WSNA has been a good partner with Confluence Health for many years, representing our nurses working at the Confluence Health Hospital Central Campus. We are glad to hear that the nurses working at the Mares Campus have also chosen WSNA since this will ensure they are well represented and served by one union."

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