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RMCHCS doctors vote to unionize

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CEO does not dispute the result

Only a day before the emotional town hall meeting that highlighted many disappointments with the current administration at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services, a ray of hope arrived for some in the form of a vote.

A vote count of the doctors who wanted to join a union was taken by the National Labor Relations Board Oct. 1 over Zoom. Twenty-four doctors cast their ballots and the majority voted to join the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, a union with offices in California and Washington State which represents physicians, dentists, health practitioners and professionals all over the country.

The precise number of votes is not being released, however, UAPD organizer Bryan Toledano said the union considers the vote to be a “strong majority” in favor of collective bargaining. An internal letter from RMCHCS interim CEO Don Smithburg refers to it as a “narrow margin.”

The NLRB notified the hospital of the vote and RMCHCS did not contest it. The letter from Smithburg said the administration is prepared to begin communicating with the union in good faith.

The next step in the process is for a representative to be named for the local UAPD members. The representative will join several, possibly as many as four doctors, at the bargaining table when they meet with hospital administrators.

This union covers doctors at the hospital. It does not cover nurses, medical assistants or other hospital workers. Should those workers decide to organize, their interests would be covered under sister unions such as the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.

By Beth Blakeman
Managing Editor