Ohio State Respiratory Therapists Vote to Join Union

Contact: Michelle Day
Director of Communications & Technology



First group of respiratory therapists to unionize in OSU Healthcare System

Columbus, Ohio – August 8, 2023 – In a historical vote cast on Tuesday, August 8, respiratory therapists at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) voted overwhelmingly to unionize, 101 to 19, affiliating with the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to fight for the pay and conditions they deserve.

“I am so excited for all respiratory therapists at OSU,” said Julie Barnes, RT, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “We worked long and hard to get our union. With our union, we are looking forward to creating positive changes, improving working conditions, and ensuring our contributions to healthcare are valued and respected.”

“This is a big step forward in building solidarity in the healthcare workforce to improve working conditions and quality care for our patients, said Rick Lucas, RN, OSUNO President.

Affiliated with AFT and ONA, OSUWMC respiratory therapists join the union alongside nearly 4,000 registered nurse colleagues at the medical center who are already part of the Ohio Nurses Association local bargaining unit.

“This is a historic vote for ONA and a huge win for OSUWMC’s respiratory therapists,” said Amy Pompeii, RN, Chair of the ONA Economic and General Welfare Commission. “We are honored to have the first union of respiratory therapists at OSU join thousands of Ohio nurses already unionized across the state to make their voices heard.”

The State Employment Relations Board (SERB) will officially certify the results at an upcoming board meeting and then the members will begin the process of negotiating a contract with the medical center.


About ONA
Formed in 1904, the Ohio Nurses Association is a powerful network of registered nurses who are committed to advancing nursing through education, political action and workplace advocacy. ONA is the leading voice of the approximately 190,000 professional registered nurses in Ohio. To become a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, visit www.ohnurses.org.