News & Events

Staff Therapists at Smith College in Northampton File for an Election with the National Labor Relations Board to join the MNA and Secure an Independent Voice to Help Meet Growing Student Health Needs

Smith College clinicians at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness have signed union cards to have a real voice in setting workplace priorities and ensuring a thriving future for students

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – Staff therapists at the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness at Smith College filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on June 5, empowering them to gain a legally protected voice and make positive change for clinicians, students, and the entire campus community. 

Prior to filing with the NLRB, the therapists sent a letter to Kris Evans, Director, Schacht Center for Health and Wellness, requesting that Smith College voluntarily recognize their union because an overwhelming majority signed cards expressing a desire to be represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA). The therapists asked Evans and the college to put resources into supporting Counseling Services, instead of engaging union-avoidance consultants in the lead-up to a formal election. Evans did not agree to a process for voluntary recognition.

There are seven therapists who would be represented by the MNA following an election overseen by the NLRB. The NLRB will determine the timing and other details of the election. The therapists will join seven nurses and nurse practitioners who are already represented by the MNA at Smith College. The main themes therapists have identified for why they are joining the MNA include:

“We provide an essential service to our campus community, and our campus partners frequently rely on our services to support Smith students for any number of sudden events, both on campus and in the wider world,” the therapists wrote in their letter to Evans. “Securing a legally protected voice as part of a union will help us to provide honest input on these issues. Forming a union will also enable us to work cooperatively with Smith College administration to develop and implement solutions that are informed by staff experience.”

The MNA is the largest union and professional organization of nurses and healthcare professionals in Massachusetts. It represents 25,000 members in healthcare facilities across the state, including nurses at more than 70 percent of the Commonwealth’s acute care hospitals, as well as a growing number of nurses and health professionals working in schools, visiting nurse associations, public health departments and state agencies. The MNA is led by a board of directors that is directly elected by its membership and consists of front-line nurses and healthcare professionals.



Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 25,000 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.