News & Events

NLRB Dismisses St. Luke’s Union Election Complaint, Nurses Move Forward to Negotiate Patient Safety and Other Important Issues

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed a complaint filed by St. Luke's Hospital management over a November 29 election in which the more than 700 registered nurses at the hospital voted to join the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

In a report filed January 31 and provided to the MNA on February 4, an NLRB hearing officer said the hospital’s objections to the union election should “be overruled in their entirety.” (For a copy of the NLRB report, please contact Joe Markman at

“Now that the NLRB has dismissed the hospital’s allegations, we look forward to sitting down and negotiating a fair contract that improves the quality of patient care and our working conditions,” said Debra Falk, an emergency department nurse who was active in the organizing effort. “We look forward to using our united voice to help our patients, our staff and our community.”

“St. Luke’s nurses voted overwhelmingly to join together as a union,” said St. Luke’s RN Dara Souza. “We are already well on our way to electing our local union leaders and preparing for negotiations. The nurses are ready to go to the bargaining table and work out solutions to the important issues we identified when we came together to form a union.” 

The MNA is the largest union and professional organization of nurses and healthcare professionals in Massachusetts. It represents 23,000 members in healthcare facilities across the state, including nurses at 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s acute care hospitals. The MNA is led by a board of directors that is directly elected by its membership and consists of front-line nurses and other healthcare professionals.


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Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.