MIDDLEBURY, VT -- On November 7th Porter nurses voted 72-58 to form their union and join Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, AFT Vermont. The nurses voted yes despite an onslaught of aggressive anti-union tactics by the hospital administration.
Because 16 of the votes cast were challenged by one side or the other and thus not counted, the National Labor Relations Board will hold hearings to determine the final tally.
Alice Leo, RN, explained, “We voted yes for Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals because we want to be strong advocates for quality patient care. Now that we are organized we have an equal voice with the administration about our working conditions--and our working conditions are the conditions in which quality patient care happens. The NLRB has fair and impartial procedures in place to determine the eligibility of the remaining ballots. We are confident the board will ratify our decision to form our union. ”
The Registered Nurses of Porter Medical Center have organized their union to empower and protect their patients and their profession by:
· Ensuring safe staffing to meet our patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
· Securing adequate resources to assist nursing in the delivery of safe, quality patient care.
· Achieving a culture of continual learning and education to keep nursing knowledge and skills relevant to our rapidly changing environment.
· Improving recruitment and retention and improving working conditions for nurses in all clinical settings.
· Negotiating a legally binding contract that fosters an environment of professionalism and respect where nurses have an equal voice in decision-making.
The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.