Registered nurses in the GI unit at Wenatchee Valley Hospital
WENATCHEE – An overwhelming majority of registered nurses at Wenatchee Valley Hospital voted on July 19 to form a union and elected the Washington State Nurses Association as their bargaining representative. WSNA will now represent about 100 registered nurses at the facility, which is part of Confluence Health.
Over 70 nurses took time out of their day to vote, choosing WSNA over another union or the option of no representation at all.
“I wanted to take a moment to thank every nurse in our facility who took the time to vote last week,” said Megan Baute, a gastroenterology nurse at Wenatchee Valley Hospital. “While many of us in GI are pleased to know that the majority voted in favor of WSNA, I know that these past 5 months have been stressful and confusing for all nurses. I am so happy that we can now move forward together, regardless of how we cast our ballot, to begin working with experienced WSNA staff on addressing our issues at the table.”
The organizing campaign went on for about five months, during which nurses at the hospital expressed frustration over wage parity, potential floating between other facilities in the Confluence Health system, and confusion during changes to its management structure. WSNA will now work with the nurses to identify bargaining priorities and to form a bargaining team to negotiate a first contract.
“We welcome Wenatchee Valley Hospital nurses into WSNA,” said David Keepnews, WSNA executive director. “We look forward to working together to get a great contract and to tackling all of the issues facing our profession.”
Wenatchee Valley Hospital was recently rebranded as Confluence Health’s Mares Campus. Confluence also owns Central Washington Hospital, which was recently rebranded as Confluence Health’s Central Campus. WSNA has represented a bargaining unit of 500 nurses at Confluence Health’s Central Campus for nearly fifty years.
WSNA represents more than 19,000 nurses for collective bargaining in nearly 50 facilities across Washington state