For the second time in two years, registered nurses at Research Medical Center have voted in favor of union representation.
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
A spokeswoman for the National Nurses Organizing Committee of National Nurses United said the vote this week was 260 to 92 in favor of the union.
About two-thirds of the 554 eligible members of the nursing staff participated in the election, and about three-fourths of the participants voted for the union.
This was the second organizing vote in which the union prevailed. The first was in September 2010, but a re-vote was requested by some nurses who opposed unionization.
Leslie Rogers, a surgical nurse on the negotiating team, said those who voted for the union were “very interested in having a good working relationship” with colleagues who were against the union.
Research is part of the HCA Midwest health system.
Hospital spokeswoman Denise Charpentier emailed that Research “continues to believe having a union is not in the best interest of the hospital. However, we respect the decision of our nurses and will continue to bargain in good faith.”
Negotiations resumed Wednesday. Contract talks had faltered over disagreement about staff-to-patient ratios, staffing assignments, and compensation.
Rogers said staffing was the union’s top concern.
In April, union proponents rallied in front of the hospital to call public attention to their patient care demands. Nurses said another issue was the high turnover rate among nurses at the hospital.
The hospital’s email said that the hospital was “very confident that continuing a professional dialogue at the bargaining table will allow us to maintain the team-based and caring culture our employees have created.”
Reach Diane Stafford at email@example.com.