Administrators at St. Luke's Hospital say they'll continue to object to the vote last November in favor of unionizing nurses at the hospital. They plan to take their objections all the way to Washington.

Region One of the National Labor Relations Board had dismissed complaints filed by Southcoast C-E-O Keith Hovan and other administrators that the union election had issues of voter fraud and misinformation.

Hovan says since that decision, a number of nurses at St. Luke's have relayed feelings of distress, and asked administrators to continue to object.

Hovan says Southcoast Health will now take the matter to the N-L-R-B in Washington.

Debra Falk, an emergency room nurse that supports the union says nurses are ready to negotiate.

"We feel its unfortunate that the hospital is sparing no expense to prevent us from negotiating rather than putting back money for care at the bedside, where we feel it belongs." Falk believes the hospital doesn't want to negotiate and is dragging its feet.

Falk also dismisses claims that many nurses are unhappy with the results of the union vote. "I haven't heard any negativity to speak of."

In fact, Falk says many nurses who initially opposed the union have called them in recent weeks to lend support. "They feel by not negotiating, the hospital is trying to demoralize and insult nurses, instead of working together as a team."

On Thursday at St. Luke's Hospital, nurses were voting again, selecting members of their executive and negotiating committees. Debra Falk is hoping both sides can begin negotiations even while the appeal is being heard.

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