Nurses at Ascension Seton rally ahead of contract agreements

Nurses at the medical center officially unionized in September.

AUSTIN, Texas — Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASCMA) met Thursday ahead of the contract negotiations, the National Organizing Committee for Nurses/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU).

The rally was held Thursday at 9:00 a.m. at the ASMCA at 1201 W. 38th Street.

In September, nurses at the ASMCA voted to unionize and join the NNOC/NNU, the country’s largest nurses’ union. The nurses said their reason for unionizing was “to win improved standards of patient care and strong contracts, and they’ve seen NNOC/NU’s proven track record of doing just that in Texas and across the country.”

With the vote, ASMCA became the largest private hospital to form a union, with some 900 nurses joining the more than 3,300 Texas-based members in the NNOC/NNU.

RELATED: Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center are officially unionized

“We decided to form a union to make sure our voices are heard when making patient care decisions,” said Angelito Dela Cruz, a registered nurse in the pulmonary/kidney unit and a member of the negotiation team, in one press release. “We recognize the improvements nurses across Texas have experienced as members of the NNOC/NNU family.”

According to the press release, NNOC/NNU have included in their contracts “hospital agreements mandating stricter enforcement of staff networks and improved infection control measures, including a provision providing optimal protection for single use in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient prescribes.”

Other notable achievements in Texas have included wage increases of up to 19% over 3 years and the establishment of committees to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in hospital recruitment, retention and promotion.

A spokesman for Ascension released the following statement on Thursday:

“We are committed to negotiating in good faith with the Nurses of the Negotiation Unit of National Nurses United for a new contract for Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin. We look forward to a joint dialogue at the negotiating table.”

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Laura Coffey

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