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ST. LOUIS NURSES SAY YES TO UNION

Press Release, 6/8/12

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RNs AT SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL VOTE BY 76% TO AFFILIATE WITH NATIONAL NURSES UNITED

ST. LOUIS – By a landslide of 76 percent, registered nurses at Saint Louis University Hospital (SLUH) Thursday night voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee-Missouri (NNOC-Missouri), an affiliate of the 185,000-member National Nurses United (NNU), the largest union and professional association of RNs in the U.S.

The secret ballot election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.   The final count was 305 to 99 to affiliate with NNOC-Missouri/NNU, which will now represent the more than 600 registered nurses at SLUH.

“We are so happy that we SLUH RNs will now have a vehicle to negotiate for improved patient care, salaries, and benefits that can recruit and retain the best nurses for the best patients in St. Louis. We have no illusions about the work ahead but with unity and resolve, we look forward to a bright future,” said Lesa Dustman, an intensive care unit RN at SLUH.

Saint Louis University Hospital is part of the Tenet Healthcare system. NNU affiliates currently represent approximately 4,000 RNs in nine Tenet hospitals in Florida, Texas, and California.

NNU leaders said the SLUH election will inspire other nurses in the region.

“This is a game changer for nurses and patients throughout St. Louis and the region,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro, a St. Louis native. “Wherever nurses have won a collective voice through NNU, they have been able to make a substantial difference in the delivery of safe patient care and to elevate standards for themselves and their families.”

“For the community of St. Louis and all nurses, this is just the beginning. We are on the move and we are here to stay,” DeMoro said.

“We are excited to welcome fellow RNs from Saint Louis University Hospital,” said Sherri Stoddard, RN, chair of NNOC’s national Tenet RN Bargaining Council. “We strive every day to maintain patient care standards across the board in Tenet hospitals. Informed and unified, we work together with our elected Professional Practice Committee to make this happen.  When RNs come together like this, patients, nurses, and communities win.”

From coast to coast, RNs have been joining NNU and its affiliates due to a solid record of successful advocacy for strong patient safety standards, economic and workplace improvements for RNs, and NNU’s reputation for promoting legislation to benefit patients, nurses, and communities. 

Since its founding two and a half years ago, NNU has organized more than 30 hospitals and 13,000 RNs in 10 states.  

“National Nurses United and our affiliates around the country are successful because we speak to the needs of patients,” said Jean Ross, RN and NNU co-president.  “What’s more, we see what’s happening in our communities and we won’t stand by. Our care extends beyond the bedside. And that’s bringing more RNs into the fold.”

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