Registered nurses at Wenatchee Valley Hospital voted overwhelmingly on July 19 to form a union with 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. More than 70 nurses cast their vote, choosing WSNA in a contested election.
“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 five 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.”
During the course of the five-month organizing drive, nurses voiced their 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. WSNA has represented a bargaining unit of 500 nurses at Confluence Health’s Central Campus for nearly 50 years.
[Adrienne Coles, WSNA press release]