In an election held among the 123 registered nurses as Nashoba Valley Medical Center yesterday, RNs voted overwhelmingly to join together as part of the Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United.
Nashoba Valley RNs greeted the election results with cheers and hugs after the vote was tallied on Thursday night shortly after 9 p.m. The election was conducted at the hospital by the National Labor Relations Board.
Nashoba Valley Medical Center is owned by Steward Healthcare. The MNA already represents more than 2,800 nurses and health care professionals at eight other Steward hospitals at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Norwood Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Brighton, Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Morton Hospital in Taunton, and Quincy Medical Center.
"This is so big for our patients," said Sue Fluet, an emergency department RN. "We're so excited. We finally get to have a say in patient care."
MNA president Donna Kelly-Williams, who works as a labor and delivery nurse at Cambridge Hospital, congratulated the Nashoba nurses for their courageous effort to stand up for their protected right to advocate for their patients and themselves. "When nurses are organized, patients are the biggest beneficiaries," said Kelly-Williams.
In the wake of the economic downturn, and the changes in the industry being driven by health care reform, the MNA/NNU reports that its organizing division is fielding a significant increase in calls from non-union nurses.
With the election settled, the Nashoba nurses will begin the work of forming their local committee. They will elect members to their bargaining committee, and have already begun soliciting proposals from colleagues about what they would like to negotiate into their first contract that will make Nashoba Valley Medical Center the best hospital and workplace that it can be.
Massachusetts Nurses Association/National Nurses United