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CareFlight nurses, medics file to unionize

A CareFlight Dauphin helicopter sits at the ready on the Miami Valley Hospital helipad.
Char Daston
A CareFlight Dauphin helicopter sits at the ready on the Miami Valley Hospital helipad.

CareFlight nurses and medics within one of the region's largest hospital networks might soon vote on whether to unionize or not.

The Ohio Nurses Association, a professional association and union for Ohio's registered nurses, recently filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board to represent CareFlight employees within Premier Health.

In a social media post last month, some CareFlight staff say they want to improve working conditions, work-life balance and job satisfaction for staff at all area locations for the medical helicopter service.

Their main objectives include pay transparency, paid time off, and crash and injury insurance for all workers.

In a statement shared with WYSO, Rick Lucas from the Ohio Nurses Association said the unionization move is a collective effort to help nurses and medics make their voices heard through bargaining.

"It's a dynamic platform, empowering nurses and health professionals to assert concerns and ensuring their voices resonate with strength and influence — not only at the bargaining table but also at the bedside," the statement says.

A Premier Health spokesperson confirmed with WYSO that they have received notification of the filing.

They said Premier Health representatives will work with the National Labor Relations Board as they process the petition.

"We remain committed to providing our employees with the education, mentorship, leadership, and resources needed to be exceptional caregivers, and we believe there are important reasons to continue to work directly with our employees instead of through collective bargaining," Premier Health's statement says.

Dates have been set in March for CareFlight employees to hold a vote on unionizing.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.
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