More healthcare workers push for unions amid pandemic

A slight increase in healthcare union petitions was reported in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Jan. 11 report from NPR.

Although it's too soon to determine if working conditions will lead to an increase in union membership, early indications show an uptick, the report said. In 2020, 16 percent of petitions for union representation on the National Labor Relations Board website were related to the healthcare field. In 2019, that number was 14 percent.

Research shows health facilities with unions have better patient outcomes and are more likely to do inspections to address workplace hazards, the report said.

Stephanie Felix-Sowy, a healthcare organizing director in Colorado, told NPR her team received calls from nonunion members from nurses to dietary workers and cleaning staff.

"The pandemic didn't create most of the root problems they're concerned about," she said. "But it amplified tham and the need to address them."

Read more here.

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