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EMC nurses vote to join national labor group
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Registered nurses at Emanuel Medical Center voted nearly unanimously last week to join California’s largest RN union and professional association, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United.

In a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, the registered nurses at EMC voted 284 to 4, to join the union. An overwhelming 98 percent chose to be represented by CNA/NNOC.

In seeking to join CNA, the registered nurses at EMC said they wanted to strengthen patient care delivery, as well as to improve competitive pay and other economic standards.

“As patient advocates, we voted yes to have a collective RN voice to enhance positive patient outcomes at our hospital,” said Chelsey Jerner, an emergency room registered nurse at EMC. “Patient safety is our number one priority.”

CNA will represent some 400 registered nurses at the medical center, which is part of the Tenet Healthcare system. Overall, CNA represents about 100,000 registered nurses in California, part of 150,000 registered nurses represented by NNU across the U.S.

 “I live and work in the Turlock community and it’s important to me that we raise standards so we can recruit and retain nurses at Emanuel Medical Center. We can’t wait to start bargaining our first contract,” said coronary care registered nurse Erika Peterson.

CNA Board member Sherri Stoddard, who chairs the union’s Tenet RN council, offered her welcome “to our union family, joining 4,000 RNs at 11 Tenet hospitals throughout the country. We look forward to strengthening our union together.” NNU represents RNs in Florida, Missouri, and Texas in addition to California.

“Welcome aboard,” said CNA Co-President Zenei Cortez, RN. “We are proud of Emanuel RNs for taking this historic step to unite with your RN colleagues as we work together to elevate standards for patients and nurses in California and across the nation. “

The next step for the registered nurses at EMC is to elect a team of their colleagues to represent them in talks with hospital officials on the first collective bargaining contract.