St. Charles caregivers could call for a vote about union representation within the next few weeks.
SEIU Local 49 spokesman Zach Roberts says the National Labor Relations Board and St. Charles administration have settled some charges that stemmed from earlier conflicts and charges of intimidation to pro-union workers, and now the union members want a vote.
Roberts says the mood in the hospital is a bit tense and it is affecting patients: "There is a lot going on at St. Charles these days. You know, we have been bargaining with the hospital for our first contract over the past year and a half. The nurses have been now bargaining for another contract. They've been represented by the ONA for 30 years now, but they've been bargaining for another contract for the past few months and have been having a lot of difficulty. The community is probably aware of the picket that took place a few weeks ago. So there's a lot of energy at the hospital and there's a lot of things going on that is affecting patient care."
Roberts says people are being treated respectfully, but there is a lot of talk.
He says he knows the union workers are looking forward to the vote and he's confident of a "yes" vote in the election.