CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–January 9, 2012.
Registered nurses at Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center on Chicago’s South Side voted by 85 percent Friday to join National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of RNs.
The Jackson Park RNs voted 94 to 16 to join NNU. The secret ballot election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. NNU will represent some 150 RNs at the hospital.
“This is a victory for the nurses and the South Side of Chicago. Together we realized unity is the best way to advocate for our patients and preserve respect for the registered nurse,” said Jackson Park RN Leshaun Williams.
“I am so excited about our victory and what this means for the future of nursing at Jackson Park,” said Patricia Drake, a Jackson Park RN.
“The election was long overdue and with NNU we will have a voice with collective bargaining to enable RNs to deliver the best quality care possible for our patients,” said Drake.
The election win also continues the growth of NNU as the voice of Chicago area RNs. NNU now represents nearly 4,200 RNs in greater Chicago, including nurses at the nearby University of Chicago Medical Center where RNs last year won their first NNU contract with significant gains in patient care protections and RN standards.
Safe staffing and respect for the RNs were also key issues for Jackson Park RNs.
The hospital has been in the news lately for charges of harassment against RNs, and recently settled an employment racial discrimination suit for making African-American female workers perform assignments their male counterparts were not required to do.
Overall NNU, since it’s founding in December 2009, has won representation for more than 11,000 RNs at 27 hospitals in nine states. Nationally, NNU represents 170,000 RNs.