Nurses at El Paso’s Hospitals of Providence East Campus Declare Victory in Organizing Campaign
Vote to Affiliate with National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United
Registered nurses at the Hospitals of Providence East Campus in El Paso voted by a wide margin last week to join National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU).
Nurses voted to be represented by NNOC/NNU in a secret ballot conducted Sept. 24, by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The board certified the election this week. NNOC now represents nearly 500 RNs at East Campus.
“This victory is positive on so many levels,” said Lena Gonzalez, an RN who has worked in the Mother-Baby Unit at East Campus for nine years. “We won because nurses from throughout the hospital are ready to stand united as strong patient advocates. We know we can accomplish much more together as union members than any one individual ever could.”
“I feel really great that we voted to affiliate with NNOC,” said Sonia Duran, an RN who has worked at East Campus for seven years, the last three in the Emergency Room. “This victory is good for the nurses and for all the patients we serve at East Campus. We’re excited to move forward to a strong contract that reflects what we need as nurses to provide optimal care.”
With this vote the East Campus RNs will join 800 RNs who are already members of NNOC/NNU at the Memorial and Sierra Campus’ of Hospitals of Providence, which is owned by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare. They will also join ranks with 5900 RNs represented by NNOC/NNU at 12 Tenet hospitals in Arizona, California, and Florida.
Patricia Crooks, an RN at the Memorial Campus and member of the Joint Nursing Practice Commission of NNOC and California Nurses Association, applauded the election outcome and said, “Tenet and NNU nurses congratulate our newest colleagues at East Campus on their successful drive to become union members. We are inspired by their victory and look forward to working with them for optimal patient care standards at Tenet and all hospitals.”
The East Campus RNs will now move forward to electing a team of their colleagues to represent them in talks for their first collective bargaining agreement with hospital management.
Leading up to the election, the RNs said they will work to achieve improved hospital staffing, uninterrupted meal and rest breaks, adequate equipment and supplies, and meaningful representation and respectful treatment. All steps, they say, will promote retention and recruitment of RNs and guarantee optimal patient care.
NNOC is affiliated with National Nurses United, the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the United States with 150,000 members. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.