Press Release

Nurses in resident and fellow programs at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin start new year by voting overwhelmingly to join National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United

Group of nurses outside with raised fists.

Nurses say union victory will strengthen their power to advocate for improved patient care at ASMCA.

Registered nurses in the resident and fellow programs at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, Tex., (ASMCA) voted overwhelmingly, with 96 percent in favor, to join National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU), the nation’s largest union of registered nurses. The secret-ballot election was conducted by the NLRB on Jan. 3.

The resident and fellow programs at ASMCA include a one-year resident program for nurses who are newly graduated and a six-month fellowship program for RNs who are transferring to a new specialty. The 225 RNs in these programs will join the 825 RNs who won their union election in September 2022. There are now more than 1,000 nurses represented by NNOC/NNU at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin and more than 2,500 represented throughout the Ascension system.

“We do the same work as any other union RN at this facility,” said Liz Bartling, RN, member of the resident program in the telemetry unit. “To the detriment of RNs and our patients, Ascension has maintained a ridiculous position that we should not join with our union colleagues at this facility. This vote clearly demonstrates that the registered nurses at Seton Main are united to advance the common interests of RNs and our patients — safer staffing, increased RN retention, and a protected voice in patient care.”

“Unfortunately for the sinful profiteers who manage Ascension, our power is only growing,” said Zetta Hackleman, RN in the perioperative department and member of the contract bargaining team. “Ascension has attempted to silence RNs here and across the country from speaking up about patient care issues. But, fortunately for our patients, our RN movement — including now five union election victories across four facilities in three states — continues onward.”

“The nurse residents and fellows at ASMCA have ushered in the new year with a wonderful victory for their patients and for the RN movement nationwide,” said Jean Ross, RN and President of NNU. “On behalf of thousands of NNU members, I am delighted to welcome you to the ranks of the fastest-growing RN union in the country.”

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. NNOC/NNU represents more than 2,500 other Texas-based members in El Paso, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville.