Early Thursday morning, in a vote of 965 to 411, nurses at Mission Hospital voted to unionize + join National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union for RNs (registered nurses). Nurses will next elect a team to represent them in contract negotiations.
Here’s what unionization means for the 1,600+ nurses who work at the Mission / St. Joseph’s Hospital campus in Asheville –
- They’ll have collective bargaining power over benefits and working conditions.
- No dues will be required from RNs who do not join the union due to NC’s status as a right-to-work state.
- Hospital management must bargain “in good faith” with National Nurses United.
- Next up will be the development of a first contract between NNU and HCA, which will detail conditions + benefits. The average time between the decision to unionize and the first contract is three years.
Nurses have been working for over a year on unionization efforts, beginning shortly after HCA Healthcare purchased the Mission Hospital system in a $1.5 billion deal.
The anonymous vote was conducted over mail and counted by the National Labor Relations Board. This is the largest union election win at any nonunion hospital in the South since 1975, and the first at any private sector hospital in NC. Ballot counting lasted into the early hours of Thursday morning.
What do you think about the decision? Add your input to the conversation happening over on our Instagram.