Nurses at 2 Oregon Providence hospitals launch strike authorization votes

Nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City, Ore., and Providence Milwaukie (Ore.) are launching simultaneous votes on strike authorization, according to the union that represents them.

The votes will launch May 23 and run through June 2.

If nurses at Providence Willamette and Providence Milwaukie authorize strikes, they will be the latest members of the Oregon Nurses Association to do so. Nurses working at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., voted to authorize a strike earlier in May. All three hospitals are part of Renton, Wash.-based Providence.

The latest vote is "to protest Providence's illegal unfair labor practices and demand fair contracts which improve patient care, raise nurse staffing standards, make healthcare more affordable and address Providence's growing staffing crisis," the union said in a news release shared with Becker's.

The Oregon Nurses Association represents 233 nurses at Providence Willamette, 239 nurses at Providence Milwaukie, and 1,600 nurses at Providence St. Vincent. Contracts at Providence St. Vincent and Providence Willamette expired last year. Providence Milwaukie's contract will expire this month. 

A strike authorization vote does not mean there will be a strike. It gives the union the ability to give the hospital a 10-day strike notice. If a notice is issued, a strike could be averted if a deal is reached before the scheduled strike date.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Providence Milwaukie called the strike authorization vote "disappointing and premature." 

The hospital also said it has proposed market adjustments and across-the-board increases that will average 6.76 percent and keep the hospital competitive for recruitment.  

In a separate statement shared with Becker's, Providence Willamette said it "believe[s] real progress is being made [in negotiations], [and] it's unfortunate that this vote will take time and energy away from the bargaining process."   

Providence Willamette also said it offered wage increases and contract enhancements, including average pay increases of 7.75 percent in the first year of the contract and additional increases in years two and three. 

The Oregon Nurses Association said the union anticipates announcing voting results at Providence Willamette and Providence Milwaukie on June 3.

Negotiations for Providence Willamette nurses are scheduled for May 25 and June 3. 

Negotiations for Providence Milwaukie nurses are scheduled for May 26 and June 16 and 23.

Both hospitals have contingency plans in the event strikes are ultimately called.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.

 

Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars