2-year deal between Providence medical center, nurses averts strike

Nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City, Ore., have approved a new two-year agreement with their employer, ending a looming strike threat, according to hospital and union statements shared with Becker's.

The workers, who are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association, approved the deal July 11 after reaching a tentative agreement with Renton, Wash.-based Providence in June.

"Following more than a year of ONA nurse advocacy, nurses were able to reach an agreement which improves patient care and safety, makes healthcare more affordable for front-line workers and their families, and raises nurse staffing standards amidst a national staffing crisis," the union's statement said. 

The ONA represents more than 4,000 nurses working in 10 Providence facilities, including Providence Willamette Falls, Providence Milwaukie (Ore.) Hospital and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore. Union members at all three hospitals authorized strikes earlier this year, meaning they could call one if needed. 

Nurses at Providence St. Vincent will begin voting on their tentative agreement July 13, according to the ONA's statement. Nurses at Providence Milwaukie have reached a tentative deal but have not scheduled a voting date. 

Providence praised the ratification of the contract at Providence Willamette Falls.

"PWFMC would like to acknowledge the bargaining teams at PWFMC and ONA for their commitment to coming together on a fair and equitable agreement that reflects our shared priorities," the health system's statement said. "We look forward to continuing to work together with ONA and our nurses as we support the practice of nursing and providing high-quality, compassionate care for the patients and communities we serve."

The agreement at Providence Willamette Falls covers more than 250 nurses at the hospital and runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

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