Workers at northern N.M. hospital approve contract

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) – A northern New Mexico hospital and its employees now have a contract, one overwhelmingly approved by the workers more than six years after they first voted to form a union.

Union-covered employees at Alta Vista Regional Hospital in Las Vegas voted Wednesday to approve the contract negotiated by the hospital and a local of National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees.

The Las Vegas Optic ( ) reports that negotiations on the contract took more than a year and followed extensive legal battles in which the hospital fought the unionization effort.

Union-represented workers include nurses, technicians, pharmacists, clerks, housekeepers and laundry aides but not managers, doctors or security guards.

The new agreement expires Aug. 31, 2015.

Alta Vista’s parent company is Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc.