Wisconsin Planned Parenthood employees vote for union representation

By: - February 9, 2024 5:00 am
A Planned Parenthood Clinic in downtown Milwaukee. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

A Planned Parenthood Clinic in downtown Milwaukee. (Isiah Holmes | Wisconsin Examiner)

Employees at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin voted to join the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals union Thursday with an 81% majority of those who voted.

The union will cover a total of 133 nurse practitioners, registered nurses and other health care workers at the health care nonprofit that provides a wide range of services related to reproductive health care.

The election was conducted by mail, with ballots due by Thursday. A total of 69 ballots were counted, with a vote of 56 in favor and 13 opposed to union representation, according to the National Labor Relations Board, which conducted the election. Any ballots delayed in the mail and arriving after the deadline will not be counted.

In a joint statement, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President and CEO Tanya Atkinson and Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals President Connie Smith said they would seek to work together cordially.

“With the care of employees and patients at the center or our collective work, we intend to build a good working relationship as we navigate the next steps together in support of our employees,” the statement said. “We thank employees for voting and look forward to bargaining in good faith to ensure Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin continues to provide excellent patient care.”

The union, affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, made the organizing drive public early this year. Employees said the union drive was prompted by concerns about wages, scheduling procedures, staffing policies and paid time off policies.

In a petition they presented to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin management in December, employees said they sought “a legally binding contract” giving them “an equal voice in decision making”.

Planned Parenthood declined voluntary recognition of the union at the time but agreed to the NLRB election and did not campaign against unionizing. The union and the organization negotiated the election details voluntarily.


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Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary.