Nearly 1,000 Health Care Workers at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center Vote to Join IAM Union

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 3, 2024 – Nearly 1,000 Patient Care Associates (PCAs) and Psychiatric Care Technicians (PCTs) at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center have voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The healthcare workers chose IAM representation in a mail ballot election conducted between Dec. 5 and 19, which concluded with the counting of ballots on Jan. 3.

The organizing effort was a collaboration between the IAM and the Ohio State University Nurses Organization (OSUNO), a local of the Ohio Nurses Association and an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents approximately 4,000 Registered Nurses (RNs) at the Wexner Medical Center.

As a PCA, I am so happy to have a voice in the workplace finally, said Lyndsee Cody, PCA at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “Alongside my colleagues, we came together knowing that we deserve to be heard to have a better quality of life for ourselves and others surrounding us. Having a Union at OSU will strengthen us as a team and as a whole alongside the nurses. I am looking forward to our future with the IAM.”  

IAM Organizing Department Grand Lodge Representative Ali Rhodes, at the forefront of this strategic and comprehensive campaign, along with her colleagues, initiated this effort over a year ago. Their dedication aimed to empower healthcare workers with a genuine voice on the job, improved wages and benefits, and heightened staffing levels, ultimately enhancing patient care.

“The resilience and unity demonstrated by the Patient Care Associates at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been nothing short of inspiring,” said Rhodes. “We are proud to welcome them into the IAM family, and we look forward to working together to secure better conditions for all.” 

“This victory is a testament to the steadfast dedication of our members and the effectiveness of our organizing strategy,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “The IAM remains committed to strengthening our presence in the health care industry, and this success is a crucial step forward in achieving that goal.”

This historic triumph underscores IAM International President Brian Bryant’s unwavering commitment to expanding the union’s influence in the healthcare sector. It also continues the successful IAM-AFT Health Care Organizing Partnership, showcasing the collaborative strength between the unions.

“This monumental victory not only solidifies our position in the healthcare sector but also sets the stage for future successes in Ohio and other states in the Eastern Territory,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “As we continue to build on the IAM-AFT Health Care Organizing Partnership, we anticipate more positive outcomes for our members.”

The PCAs are fighting for a change that will not only enhance their lives and their colleagues’ lives but also increase patient care. They are fighting for workplace safety measures, increased staffing levels, and fair wages and benefits, which they greatly deserve as healthcare professionals. The PCAs have seen the power of coming together collectively in the past year, as Wexner Hospital has seen multiple healthcare groups unionize. They are eager to have a voice alongside them. 

“This victory by the dedicated healthcare professionals at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center is a testament to the strength of the group and their commitment to respect and dignity in the workplace,” said Vinny Addeo, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “This victory also reflects the strength of our IAM Organizing Department and IAM-AFT Health Care Organizing Partnership. I am thankful for OSUNO’s leadership and assistance throughout this process.”  

“The successful outcome of this organizing campaign is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our organizing team,” said IAM Organizing Director Mike Evans. “We are proud to have empowered these healthcare workers and believe this victory will serve as a beacon for further organizing efforts within the healthcare industry.”

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.

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