LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Workers at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center voted Friday to unionize in what is described as “the largest successful union election at a Nevada hospital in recent history.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents nearly 20,000 health care workers in Nevada. It’s the largest health care and public service union in the state.
Sunrise employees “want a seat at the table to advocate for good jobs, safe staffing and quality care for their community,” according to a union statement released to the media. The margin of victory was 78% and the 275 professionals will now be represented by SEIU Local 1107, the statement said.
SEIU members negotiated strong union contracts last year that included major raises to support, recruit and retain staff.
Voting took place at Sunrise on Thursday and Friday. The hospital released a statement after votes were counted.
“While we acknowledge the right of our colleagues to unionize, we are disappointed by the outcome of this labor union member vote,” said Todd P. Sklamberg, CEO at Sunrise.
“No one cares for our colleagues more than we do. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to them with significant wage increases, industry leading safety and protection protocols, aggressive recruitment and retention initiatives to stabilize staffing, training and educational benefits and much more,” Sklamberg said.
“We prefer a direct working relationship with our colleagues to address their concerns. We respect the federal rights of our colleagues to be a member of a labor union,” he said.
Union officials also released a statement.
“Sunrise professionals are at the forefront of a statewide and national movement of working people who are rising up and taking action,” said Sam Shaw, Executive Director, and Michelle Maese, President, of SEIU Local 1107 in a joint statement. “We’re incredibly proud to welcome them to our union family. We’re deeply committed to continuing to unite workers, fight for high job standards, advocate for quality services and win unions for all.”