About 900 service and maintenance workers at PeaceHealth Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington, have voted to unionize.
The hospital employees will join the American Federation of Teachers, the union announced last week.
“The union is a vehicle for these workers to help their patients and themselves—to ensure the patients they serve receive the care they need, and to fight for the wages and fair treatment on the job that every worker at PeaceHealth deserves,” Randi Weingarten, AFT President said in a statement.
Hospital staff joining the union said they want to make the medical center a better place to work and improve care for patients.
Debra Miller, system vice president of labor and caregiver relations, said PeaceHealth is waiting for the National Labor Relations Board to certify the vote before starting contract negotiations.
“PeaceHealth has a long-standing, proven track record of respecting our caregiver’s rights to seek representation – this latest election is no different,” Miller said in a statement. “We are grateful to our caregivers for assuring their voices were heard in the recent election, and grateful to them for assuring patient care remains in the forefront of any future bargaining efforts.”
Earlier this year, tech workers at the medical facility also voted to join the AFT. Once made official, the union will represent 3,000 employees at PeaceHealth Southwest.