Ohio State Surgical Techs Vote to Join Union

Contact: Michelle Day
Director of Communications & Technology


First group of surgical techs to unionize with ONA spans entire OSU Healthcare System

Columbus, Ohio – September 6, 2023 – Surgical Technologists at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) won each of their three union elections today, affiliating with the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to improve staffing and ensure equitable pay they deserve.

“We are excited to join our respiratory therapist colleagues as union sisters and brothers at OSU East Hospital,” said Amanda Boehm, surgical first assistant at OSU East Hospital. “We can’t wait to have a fair contract that values our experience.”

This is a big win for ONA with surgical technologists overwhelmingly voting to unionize 91 to 17.

“Working alongside unionized RNs, I’ve seen firsthand the power and protection a union contract brings,” said Ian Houston, certified surgical technologist at OSU University Hospital. “We are excited to sit down as equals and negotiate our own contract for surgical techs at OSU’s main campus. It’s past time that upper management takes our concerns seriously.”

The main priorities for the surgical techs are achieving fair and equitable wages, working conditions that will help to recruit and retain these specialized professionals, and a voice on the job to ensure that their role is respected by upper management.

“I’ve had 28 wonderful years as a surgical technician and look forward to doing my part to ensure that our next generation of technicians have an equally rewarding career,” said Kendra Parks, surgical technologist at OSU’s Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute.

Affiliated with AFT and ONA, the 140 surgical technologists at OSUWMC are the latest group in OSU’s health system to unionize. On August 8, respiratory therapists at OSUWMC voted to unionize with ONA as did the bone marrow transplant coordinators on June 22.

“This is a big milestone that represents the collective effort of OSU’s surgical techs to join the fight for improved working conditions, more pay and be able to continue providing the highest-quality care for our patients,” said Rick Lucas, RN, OSUNO President.

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.