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News Releases
ONA nurses and supporters on the strike line at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services in February 2024. Nurses are advocating for a fair contract that addresses patient safety and community health; secures equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth's staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.
ONA nurses and supporters on the strike line at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services in February 2024. Nurses are advocating for a fair contract that addresses patient safety and community health; secures equitable pay; and solves PeaceHealth's staffing crisis. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mealy, ONA.
Nurses Vote to Authorize Second Strike at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services (Photo) - 04/17/24

(Springfield, Ore.) – Nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services in Lane County have voted to authorize an open-ended strike against PeaceHealth to protest PeaceHealth’s unlawful unfair labor practices (ULPs) and reach a fair contract agreement that improves community healthcare.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) represents more than 90 frontline nurses at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. Nurses' latest strike vote was held April 12 - April 16. 

"Our community’s health care is eroding under our feet. PeaceHealth has cut our birth center, our sleep clinic, our home infusion services and our hospital. Now they are degrading the high quality home health and hospice services vulnerable patients rely on. Our community’s health care is in danger of disappearing completely if we don’t stand up and fight back. Our strike isn’t just about wages, benefits and ULPs; it’s about demanding dignity and respect for our community from a health system that consistently puts profits over people,” said Jo Turner, ONA bargaining unit chair and nurse at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. “Anyone who’s tried to get healthcare lately can see that patients are suffering. Local nurses are running ourselves ragged trying to give our community the care it deserves but PeaceHealth executives have their heads stuck in the sand in Vancouver. It’s unbelievable that multimillionaire executives at a multibillion dollar company have turned their back on their mission to serve and care for our community. Your nurses are fighting to hold PeaceHealth’s corporate executives accountable.”   

Local home health and hospice nurses have endured 45+ contract bargaining sessions with PeaceHealth executives since Feb. 2023 including six sessions with a federal mediator. Nurses led a limited-duration strike on Feb. 10 - 24 to protect community health and safety, increase recruitment and retention, secure equitable pay and address the staffing crisis at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services.

Upon ending their limited duration strike and returning to mediation, PeaceHealth executives continued demanding nurses accept nearly 5% lower pay than PeaceHealth pays hospital nurses in Eugene/Springfield and hospital and home care nurses in Florence–despite both groups of home care nurses sharing managers and staff meetings and regularly caring for the same patients. PeaceHealth’s continued disrespect towards local nurses and their patients is driving nurses to leave–threatening our community’s health and exacerbating the care shortage. 

Since PeaceHealth let nurses’ contract expire last year, more than a quarter of home care nurses have quit. Another one-third of nurses plan to leave this year if PeaceHealth continues shortchanging patients and providers. 

“I voted yes to strike because I feel it is important for me to advocate for myself, my colleagues and my community. We deserve equal pay for equal work and our community needs a robust home care services team that can provide the care it needs. This fight is bigger than just myself and I am committed to standing firm against corporate greed,” said Cathy Smith, ONA member and nurse at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services. 

In a series of unfair labor practice charges, PeaceHealth is accused of waging a campaign of interference, intimidation and threats against nurses for exercising their rights; refusing to meet and bargain in good faith; and threatening to terminate health insurance for home care nurses and their families.

PeaceHealth also faces serious allegations from workers about its failure to properly care for local home health and hospice patients during a previous strike including missed care, cancellations, hospital readmissions and scab workers quitting.  

The community has rallied around its nurses over the past few months as patients, healthcare providers, elected officials, and community allies have joined strike lines and pickets and contacted PeaceHealth executives to show their support for local nurses.

“Nurses providing home care and hospice care are among the most important members of our health care workforce, serving on the frontlines of care for many of the most vulnerable and fragile people in our community. Their work allows patients to live in their homes with dignity while their medical needs are being addressed—and their work also allows patients and their families to face the end-of-life process with that same level of care and dignity. By giving these nurses our full support, we are in turn supporting those in our community who urgently need this type of care,” said Oregon House Speaker and Eugene resident Julie Fahey in a letter to PeaceHealth executives earlier this month. “These frontline workers deserve financial stability and safe working conditions, which will also protect their vulnerable patients. Our community deserves nothing less.” 

Nurses' strike vote authorizes the bargaining team to call a strike. If a strike is called, ONA will provide our community and PeaceHealth with a 10-day notice to allow PeaceHealth executives adequate time to connect patients to alternate care options or to join us at the table and reach a fair agreement. 

The next mediation session is scheduled for April 24. The nurse bargaining team intends to work towards a positive resolution but will call for a strike if they believe it is necessary to move PeaceHealth to meet the needs of patients, providers and our community.

Media Advisory: Oregon Nurses to Hold Informational Picket On April 10 to Demand Fair Contract - 04/09/24

Nurses with Providence Hood River will be joined by elected officials, labor leaders, and community allies 

WHAT: Frontline nurses who work at Providence Hood River will participate in an informational picket about raising healthcare standards for nurses, patients, and our communities on April 10. The nurses—represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA)—will be joined by Oregon elected leaders, worker advocates and community allies. 

ONA represents more than 4,000 frontline nurses working in nine Providence Health System facilities from Portland to Medford. Nurses are standing together to raise standards for themselves and other healthcare workers, patients, and communities within Providence--Oregon’s largest healthcare system and one of the state’s largest corporations. 

WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, April 10
4-5:30 p.m. Informational picketing outside Providence Hood River on May St. between 12th and 13th Streets.
5:30-6 p.m. Rally at Jackson Park (one block west)
Times are approximate.

WHO: ONA-represented frontline nurses will be picketing alongside elected officials, worker advocates and community allies. Scheduled speakers include (tentative):
• ONA President Tamie Cline, RN
• ONA Providence Hood River Bargaining Chair Brittany Foss, RN
• Oregon State Rep. Travis Nelson, RN

WHY: Nurses at Providence Hood River began bargaining with management in December but are frustrated with the disappointing counterproposals being offered. In addition to meager wage increases, management wants to eliminate contract language that makes sure patients get the care they need. ONA nurses are picketing to improve patient safety by addressing Providence’s staffing crisis and raising standards to recruit and retain caregivers. 

During contract negotiations with Providence, ONA nurses at Hood River have been asking for: 
• Adding RNs for Safe Patient Assignments: Providence frequently doubles patient assignments during meal periods, with assignments as high as eight patients for one nurse, and our RNs seek safe assignments throughout every shift.
• Workplace Safety & Technology: Safety resources include security at all entry points, signage, metal detectors, and technology for clinicians.
• Market Competitive Wages & Differentials: Wages better than 50% or below market for caregivers at the Northwest’s largest health system.
• Market Competitive Health Benefits: Deductibles and out-of-pocket max for ONA and ONA-affiliated caregivers are up to $6,000 more per year than competitor health systems.

Despite their sacrifices, Providence has left hundreds of frontline nurses working without the safety and security of a contract. The contract for nurses at Providence Hood River and Providence Medford expired in March. Nurses at Providence St. Vincent, Providence Willamette Falls and Providence Newberg have been working despite contracts that expired in December. 

The community is encouraged to attend the informational picket to show support for the caregivers they rely on. 

Note: An informational picket is not a strike or work stoppage. It is a demonstration of solidarity to Providence’s administrators and a promise to our community that nurses, elected leaders and allies are united to raise healthcare standards at Providence and throughout Oregon.