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News Release
Hundreds of ONA nurses and allies rallied outside Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR during an informational picket Tuesday, March 15.
Hundreds of ONA nurses and allies rallied outside Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR during an informational picket Tuesday, March 15.
MEDIA ADVISORY: ONA Nurses Picketing Providence in Oregon City, May 11 (Photo) - 05/11/22

Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11 from 5-7 p.m.

WHAT: Frontline nurses and community allies are leading a march and informational picket about raising health care standards for nurses, patients and our communities on Wednesday, May 11. The march is being led by ONA nurses from Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City. 

It comes less than a week after ONA nurses at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center voted to authorize a strike to protest Providence’s illegal unfair labor practices (ULPs) and demand a fair contract to raise nurse staffing standards, improve patient care, make health care more affordable and address Providence’s growing staffing crisis.

Providence allowed nurse contracts at both hospitals to expire in December 2021–leaving hundreds of frontline nurses working without the safety and security of a contract agreement. 

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) represents more than 4,000 frontline nurses working in 10 Providence Health System facilities from Portland to Medford including Providence Willamette Falls and Providence St. Vincent—one of Oregon’s largest and most profitable hospitals. Nurses are Providence Hood River and Providence Milwaukie are also in negotiations over expired or expiring contracts and will also participate in the march. Providence is Oregon’s largest health care system and one of the state’s largest companies.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, 5 - 7 p.m.*

  • 5:10 PM March Begins outside the Providence Willamette Falls Community Center, 519 15th St, Oregon City, OR 97045
  • 5:50 PM Speeches From Nurses and Community Leaders outside the Clackamas County Circuit Courthouse, 807 Main Street Oregon City, OR 97045
  • 6:20 PM Group Begins Return March to Providence Willamette Falls Community Center.

*Times are approximate. Media members are encouraged to attend the speech portion of the event outside the Clackamas County Circuit Courthouse, 807 Main Street Oregon City, OR 97045.

WHERE: Downtown Oregon City, OR. On sidewalks and public spaces between the Providence Willamette Falls Community Center (519 15th St, Oregon City, OR 97045) and the Clackamas County Circuit Courthouse (807 Main Street Oregon City, OR 97045). Speeches will be at the Clackamas County Circuit Courthouse.

WHO: ONA frontline nurses will be marching alongside elected officials, worker advocates and community allies. Frontline nurses and allies will also be speaking in support of ONA nurses. Scheduled speakers include:

  • U.S. Congressional candidate and emergency response coordinator Jamie McLeod Skinner
  • Oregon Labor Commissioner candidate and civil rights attorney Christina Stephenson
  • Jobs with Justice Executive Director and health care union organizer Jill Pham
  • Frontline ONA nurses from Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Providence Milwaukie Hospital, Providence Hood River Memorial Hospitals among others.

WHY: ONA nurses are picketing to improve patient safety by addressing Providence’s staffing crisis and raising standards to recruit and retain caregivers. Despite nurses’ sacrifices over the last two years serving on the frontlines of a deadly pandemic, Providence has left hundreds of frontline nurses working without the safety and security of a contract. Providence allowed nurse contracts at major Oregon hospitals including Providence St. Vincent and Providence Willamette Falls and Providence Hood River to expire last year. Other contracts are also close to expiration and are in bargaining including Providence Milwaukie. 

ONA nurses from 10 Providence facilities and community allies are coming together to put patients first and make much-needed safety, staffing and care improvements for their communities. During contract negotiations, ONA frontline nurses are asking Providence for basic safety standards to protect our patients, our coworkers and our families including: 

  • Stronger patient safety standards to reduce future COVID-19 outbreaks and ensure the highest standards of care for all Oregonians.
  • Safe nurse staffing to ensure high-quality care and patient access.
  • Affordable health care and paid leave so frontline nurses can seek care after COVID-19 exposures and afford health care for their own families.
  • A fair compensation package that allows hospitals to recruit and retain the skilled frontline caregivers our communities need to stay healthy and safe. 

ONA nurses continue to be our community’s primary health care advocates, publicly calling on Providence and other health care giants along with government and industries to prioritize patient and community safety during and after COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, nurses have led efforts to increase access to free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, upgrade workplace safety standards through state and national OSHA standards, provide free mental health support to frontline workers, improve mask availability and use, and support frontline health care workers by providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), timely disease exposure notifications, COVID-19 sick leave and worker input on COVID-19 and other key health care issues. 

Now nurses are standing together to address long-term safety, staffing and benefit issues as nurses’ contracts at multiple Providence facilities are expired or are expiring in 2022.

Wednesday’s march and informational picket is open to the public. It is an outdoor, rain-or-shine event. All participants are highly encouraged to wear masks, take measures to ensure social distancing and follow guidance from designated picket captains and safety personnel.

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 health care standards at Providence and throughout Oregon.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 15,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 4,000 nurses working at 10 Providence Oregon health care facilities throughout the state. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.
 

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