Press Release

New Orleans nurses to rally as first union contract negotiations begin at University Medical Center

Large group of nurses celebrating with hands in the air
UMC nurses celebrating their union election results in December, 2023

Nurses want their contract to set higher standards for Louisiana

Nurses will rally Monday, March 25 at University Medical Center (UMC) in New Orleans, La., as they begin negotiations on their first union contract with LCMC Health, the hospital’s management. Nurses at UMC made history in December when they overwhelmingly voted to join National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU), becoming the first unionized private-sector hospital in the state of Louisiana and members of the largest nurses union in the United States. Now, nurses say they’re prepared to negotiate a first contract that will set new standards for patient care and nurses’ working conditions across their city and entire state.

“We won our union election with a supermajority — 82 percent yes with 90 percent turnout, which is a clear mandate from our fellow nurses to fight for better conditions at UMC,” said Dana Judkins, RN in the trauma intensive care unit at UMC. “Since the election, we’ve been talking to nurses about what our priorities are, and we’re ready to go to the table with a plan to win what we need for better patient care, better working conditions, and a better future for health care in New Orleans.”

Who: Nurses at LCMC’s University Medical Center
What: First contract bargaining kick-off rally
When: Monday, March 25, 8-9 a.m.
Where: University Medical Center, 2000 Canal St., New Orleans, La., 70112, at the intersection of S. Galvez St. and Canal St.

“A strong contract is a contract that improves staffing, safety, and patient care at our hospital,” said Kisha Montes, RN in the behavioral health unit at UMC. “We know that our first contract can set new, higher standards at UMC and that can raise the bar at other hospitals, too. So, we’re fighting for our patients and for ourselves, but we’re also fighting for patients everywhere and for all the nurses who haven’t unionized yet. We hope to see everyone at our rally on March 25, so we can show LCMC we’re all standing together in this fight.” 

“This rally marks a historic day for nurses across the entire South,” said Cathy Kennedy, RN and president of California Nurses Association/NNOC, an NNU affiliate. “These nurses won the largest National Labor Relations Board election in their state in decades. We’re thrilled to see what history they’ll continue to make as they fight for a strong contract and show the world what nurses can accomplish when we get organized.”

National Nurses Organizing Committee represents nearly 600 nurses at University Medical Center, including registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs).

Correction: A previous version of this release erroneously listed March 25 as a Wednesday.

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.