Press Release

Following strike votes, Ascension nurses to rally at company HQ

Nurses picketing in the rain

Ascension nurses from Texas and Kansas are prepared to strike over unsafe staffing conditions set by health care giant’s executives

Texas and Kansas nurses employed by Ascension will rally at the health care giant’s headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., to pressure executives to reverse unsafe staffing practices that prioritize profits over patient safety, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) today.

NNOC/NNU represents nearly 2,000 nurses who work at three Ascension facilities: Ascension via Christi St. Joseph Hospital (Wichita, Kan.), Ascension via Christi St. Francis Hospital (Wichita, Kan.), and Ascension Seton Medical Center (Austin, Texas). In recent weeks, nurses at all three hospitals have voted by overwhelming majorities to authorize one-day strikes. The authorizations come in response to the health system’s refusal during contract negotiations to address nurses’ solutions for safe staffing protections and nurse recruitment and retention, both critical factors for ensuring patient care and safety.

  • Who: Ascension nurses from Kansas and Texas
  • What: Rally for safe staffing
  • When: June 15, 2 p.m. CT
  • Where: Ascension Headquarters: 4600 Edmundson Rd., St. Louis, Mo., 63134

On June 14, nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph announced that 90 percent of nurses voted to authorize a one-day strike. This follows 98 percent of Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin (ASMCA) voting to authorize a one-day strike on June 1 and 93 percent of nurses at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis voting to authorize a one-day strike on May 31. Nurses at all three facilities voted to unionize with NNOC/NNU within the last year and are all in bargaining for first contracts.

Ascension is the nation’s second-largest and wealthiest nonprofit and Catholic health system, and its practices have garnered growing national scrutiny. In fiscal year 2021, Ascension reported a net income of more than $6.4 billion, and the system’s CEO took home a compensation package worth more than $13 million. According to a 2022 Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Ascension runs an investment company that manages more than $41 billion.

NNOC/NNU represents more than 900 nurses at ASMCA in Austin and nearly 1,000 nurses in Wichita, with more than 650 at Via Christi St. Francis and 300 at Via Christi St. Joseph.

National Nurses Organizing Committee is an affiliate of National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide. NNU affiliates also include California Nurses Association, DC Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and New York State Nurses Association.