Providence St. Vincent nurses avert strike with 2-year deal

Nurses at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Ore., 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 15 after reaching a tentative agreement in June. 

"Nurses want to give patients the best care we can, but we can't do that when we're papering over gaps throughout the hospital. This contract recognizes the essential work ONA nurses do and gives us the tools we need to turn the page and begin delivering the care our community deserves," John Smeltzer, RN, ONA executive committee president at Providence St. Vincent, said in a union news release. "These were challenging negotiations but because nurses and our community stood together we were able to win a fair contract that creates a healthier future for patients and caregivers. ONA nurses look forward to implementing these critical changes and continuing to raise health care standards for all Oregonians."

The ONA represents more than 4,000 nurses working in 10 facilities that are part of Renton, Wash.-based Providence, including Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City, Ore., Providence Milwaukie (Ore.) Hospital and Providence St. Vincent. Union members at all three hospitals authorized strikes in May, meaning they could call one if needed. Ultimately, ONA nurses from Providence St. Vincent, Providence Willamette Falls and Providence Milwaukie reached agreements.

Providence St. Vincent praised the agreement approved there. According to the union, the agreement includes creating a "break nurse" pilot program; limiting floating between departments; boosting access to appropriate personal protective equipment; and increasing wages up to 16.5 percent over the next two years.

"We know that these past nine months have been challenging to our relationship as we have worked through the contract terms of wages, benefits and the work environment," Jennifer Burrows, chief executive of Providence St. Vincent, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "Providence St Vincent leadership is committed to continuing to address the important issues that have been raised that affect our nurses. We will also work at resetting and strengthening our relationships."

She added: "We are proud of the hard work the PSV leadership and the ONA bargaining teams did to negotiate and deliver a fair pay and benefits package to our nurses. We look forward to our work together to offer our patients the high quality, mission-focused care we are known for."

The new two-year contract runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars