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Dillon nurses vote to unionize

Nurses at a hospital in Dillon voted last week to form a union. The state nurses association says the move is part of a growing trend of organized health care labor.

Nurses at Barrett Hospital and HealthCare voted 18 to 8 in favor of forming the union. Montana Nurses Association Labor Program Director Robin Haux says her organization began working with local nurses there in November. She says nursing recruitment and retention issues were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think COVID-19 had definitely impacted organizing not only here in Montana in health care, but in general across the U.S.,” she says.

Six hundred and fifty nurses at Logan Health in Kalispell secured their first collective bargaining agreement last fall. Nurses at Logan’s Northern Rockies Medical Center were also able to negotiate a pay raise last year.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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