800-plus St. Joseph MC workers form union with SEIU 1199NW

BELLINGHAM (Sept. 26, 2013) — More than 800 employees of PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, including medical technologists, dietary aides, housekeeping staff, Xray technicians, nursing assistants and laboratory staff, voted this week to form their union with SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.

“I’ve worked at Saint Joseph for 15 years. I’m very excited to form our union and we’re planning on making the future at PeaceHealth even better,” said Savita Kashyap, a Certified Nursing Assistant.

The vote, which took place Monday and Tuesday and was counted late Tuesday night, sends a strong message that employees in the hospital are ready to sit at the table with PeaceHealth management and make their voices and their patients’ needs heard.

“I’ve been a medical technologist for 30 years and now I’m looking forward to a new chapter at PeaceHealth,” said Medical Technologist Judy Ringkvist. “From here on out were all working together to make PeaceHealth and even better place to work and receive care.”

The workers are now united with the nearly 24,000 Washington state nurses, hospital workers, and mental health professionals in SEIU Healthcare 1199NW.

“We’re excited to sit down with PeaceHealth administration and be able to improve our jobs and the care we provide,” said Sherri Van Keulen, an Anesthesia Technician. “As one of the largest employers in NW Washington it’s important we have family wage jobs and quality healthcare benefits for ALL caregivers.”

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is 24,000 nurses, healthcare employees, and mental health workers in hospitals, agencies, and clinics across Washington state, part of the 2.1 million member Service Employees International Union.

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