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LAH vote on union readied <br><br>

| Monday, May 14, 2012, 2:51 p.m.

About 165 technical employees at Latrobe Area Hospital will vote on union representation April 19 in a National Labor Relations Board election.

In February, HealthCare-PSEA, a statewide health workers' union, filed for an election on behalf of the hospital's technical employees, citing a need for more employee input in decisions affecting workload and patient care.

The technical employees include licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists, X-ray technicians, lab technicians, surgical technicians and orthopedic technicians.

The hospital's registered nurses also sought union representation in their own election Feb. 22, but voted it down, 164-109.

Alf Nelson, director of HealthCare-PSEA, said he couldn't predict if the recent election would affect the upcoming vote.

'We win some and we lose some,' Nelson said. 'If we had been victorious in the registered nurses' vote, there would have been a certain amount of momentum.'

Both Nelson and Robin Jennings of hospital community relations encouraged all eligible technical employees to vote. The election will take place at the hospital.

'There are multiple voting times throughout the day to accommodate everyone,' Jennings said.

Gerald Kobell, director of the NRLB's regional field office in Pittsburgh, said three voting periods will allow employees from all shifts to vote. The first period begins at 5:45 a.m. and the last ends at 6:30 p.m., he said.

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