Essentia Health advanced practice providers will vote on unionization

Essentia Health announced Friday, June 14 that around 400 of their advanced practice providers (APPs) will be asked to vote on unionization following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board. Essentia Health said this will impact APPs currently caring for patients at Essentia Health clinics and hospitals in northeaster Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.

In response to the ruling, a representative from Essentia Health issued the following statement:

“In our view, this decision is a major departure from the NLRB’s own long-standing Health Care Rule that governs bargaining units in hospitals, and which typically separates hospital and clinic employees. These health care professionals work in a variety of settings and specialties with individual interests and skills, which would be very challenging to represent in a single bargaining unit.

We deeply value our APPs and the high level of care they provide. We believe the goals and objectives of our APPs are best addressed without being represented by a union.

It is our opinion that the unionization of APPs would affect our ability to be innovative and transform care to meet the needs of our communities. Our patients rely on the teamwork of our professional physicians and APPs as they work together closely to provide much-needed access to care, especially in rural communities. APP unionization could further impact current workforce challenges, affecting our ability to recruit and retain skilled providers in the communities we serve.

The unionization of providers is largely new and untested in the health care environment, and we ask our APPs to make a personal, informed decision when voting in the coming weeks. We will share updates with our patients, colleagues and the community as the process moves forward.”

Advanced practice providers who will be eligible to vote on unionization includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives, and certified nurse specialists.

The vote will take place by mail and ballots are expected to mailed by June 24 and returned by July 22.