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Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center officially unionize

Nurses within ASMCA are looking forward to working within the union to help address issues like short-staffing and staff recruitment and retention.

AUSTIN, Texas — The nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin (ASMCA) have voted in favor of unionizing.

With a 72% approval vote, the nurses voted to join the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU). NNOC/NNU is the largest nurses' union in the U.S.

The reasoning behind unionizing is to "win improved patient care standards and strong contracts, and they have seen NNOC/NU's proven track record of doing just that in Texas and throughout the country," the release stated.

"This victory is just the beginning," said Geovana Hill, a registered nurse in the renal unit. "We are looking forward to bargaining for a fair contract to improve patient safety, as well as competitive wages to keep Austin nurses working here in our community. We are more than ready to win a strong first contract, which will help with nursing staff retention."

ASMCA is now the largest private-sector hospital in Texas to form a union. The 800 nurses at ASMCA will join more than 2,500 Texas-based members in NNOC/NNU, including those in El Paso, Corpus Christi and Brownsville. 

"We hope to show fellow nurses, the power and empowerment of a union of collecting barging," said ICU nurse Taylor.

Following the ratification of the vote, nurses at ASMCA will also form a bargaining committee and begin negotiating a first contract with the hospital administration.

In their contracts within the union, nurses will have secured agreements from their hospitals to:

  • Mandate stricter enforcement of staffing grids
  • Improve infection control measures (including a provision that requires single-use optimal protection with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient)
  • Wage increases of up to 19% over a three-year period
  • Creation of a committee to promote diversity, equity and inclusion of race, gender, age and sexual orientation in hospital recruitment, retention and promotion

"We’re thrilled that we won our union election here at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and get to join our fellow union nurses across the state in Corpus Christi, El Paso and Brownsville,” said Taylor Critedon, a registered nurse in the intensive care unit. “We hope that more nurses in Austin will organize and join us in fighting for the highest standards of care here in the state capital and throughout Texas."

Nurses within ASMCA are looking forward to working within the union to help address issues like short-staffing and staff recruitment and retention.

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