For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Genovese, 518.782.9400, ext. 353
KINGSTON, Nov. 5, 2008 - Registered nurses at Benedictine Hospital have won the right to be represented by the New York State Nurses Association. Ballots counted today revealed that a large majority had voted in favor of the 35,000-member union.
Nurses voted on Sept. 18 in a National Labor Relations Board-conducted election. But their votes were impounded due to challenge by hospital management. Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC, dismissed the challenge, which cleared the way for the votes to be counted.
“We’ve worked a long time for this,” said Benedictine RN and organizing committee member Julia Motti after the count was over. “This just shows how much we need a union at Benedictine Hospital.”
“Now we begin the process of negotiating with management and building our union. I’m very excited about this outcome,” said Paula Horvers, another organizing committee member.
Some challenged ballots were not counted in the total, but they were not enough to change the outcome. Most of these ballots were cast by nurses who were told by Benedictine management they were employees of a new company called “Nistel” just days before the election. The votes remained challenged, but the NLRB has determined that the union will have the right to bargain for those nurses.
The New York State Nurses Association is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 36,000 members, it is the state's largest union and professional association for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.