CareFlight nurses, medics may unionize under Ohio Nurses Association

Vote to take place in early March.

CareFlight nurses and medics may soon be represented by the Ohio Nurses Association, a professional association and nursing union for Ohio’s registered nurses.

The Ohio Nurses Association recently filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board to represent the employees.

The union is seeking to represent Careflight registered nurses and medics employed at all Miami Valley Careflight locations. This includes 72 employees, according to the representation petition.

“The CareFlight nurses and paramedics are united in their journey to unionize with the Ohio Nurses Association,” said Rick Lucas, president and executive director of the Ohio Nurses Association.

The unionizing effort is also meant to empower those employees to voice their concerns, Lucas said.

“This union is more than a collective effort; 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,” Lucas said.

As CareFlight nurses and medics decide their future, Premier Health plans to work with the National Labor Relations Board on the process, the health system said.

“Our representatives will work with the NLRB as they process the petition. We understand that this will include a review of the role groups in the petition, the resolution of any related issues, and the scheduling of a secret ballot election,” Premier Health said in an organizational statement.

In that election, CareFlight employees will have the opportunity to vote on whether they would like to be represented for purpose of collective bargaining by the Ohio Nurses Association.

The election will take place March 5-6, the National Labor Relations Board said.

To vote for union representation, 50% plus one of voters must vote yes for the union. If they don’t reach that amount, the workers will not have voted for union representation.

Premier Health said it would prefer to continue working directly with its CareFlight employees instead of through a union.

“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,” the health system said.

Premier Health said it supports its’ “employees’ federally protected right to choose whether or not they wish to be represented by the ONA through the secret ballot election that will be conducted by the NLRB.”

About the Author