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News Release
Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11.
Community allies join nurses and elected leaders in a march and informational picket against Providence in downtown Oregon City, Wednesday, May 11.
Oregon Nurses Launch 2 New Strikes Votes Against Providence Hospitals (Photo) - 05/22/22

10 a.m. PT, Monday, May 23, 2022

More than 2,000 Frontline Nurses at 3 Portland Area Hospitals Are Voting or Have Voted to Strike Providence.  

Monday, May 23
10 a.m. PT
Oregon AFL-CIO 
3645 SE 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) leaders from Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Providence St. Vincent Medical Center will speak and answer media questions along with statewide ONA leaders and labor allies. Contact Scott Palmer or Kevin Mealy to confirm.  

(Portland, OR) – Frontline nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City and Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Milwaukie are launching simultaneous strike votes Monday against Providence—one of Oregon’s largest companies. The strike votes are to protest Providence’s illegal unfair labor practices (ULPs) and demand fair contracts which improve patient care, raise nurse staffing standards, make health care more affordable and address Providence’s growing staffing crisis.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) represents 233 frontline nurses working at Providence Willamette Falls and 239 frontline nurses working at Providence Milwaukie.

The strike votes will take place from May 23 - June 2. If approved, the nurses would join 1,600 ONA frontline nurses working at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland—one of Oregon’s largest and most profitable hospitals—who voted nearly unanimously to strike Providence on May 3. 

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 to expire in 2021. Providence Milwaukie’s contract will expire this month. 

ONA nurses and community allies are coming together to speak up about safety issues and put patients first in a fair contract. 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. 

Strike vote results are expected to be announced Friday, June 3 after ONA’s Labor Cabinet reviews vote results and determines whether to authorize additional strikes against Providence—one of Oregon’s largest and most profitable health systems.

If ONA members vote to authorize strikes at Providence Willamette Falls and Providence Milwaukie, ONA’s nurse leaders will determine next steps including setting potential strike dates. If strikes are called ONA will provide Providence with a 10-day notice to allow management adequate time to cease admissions and transfer patients or to reach a fair agreement with nurses and avert a work stoppage. ONA’s nurse bargaining team at Providence Willamette Falls is scheduled to meet with Providence management for bargaining sessions on May 25 and June 3. ONA’s nurse bargaining team at Providence Milwaukie is scheduled to meet with Providence management for bargaining sessions on May 26 and June 16 and 23.

ONA represents more than 4,000 frontline nurses working in 10 Providence Health System facilities from Portland to Medford including Providence Willamette Falls, Providence Milwaukie and Providence St. Vincent. ONA nurses at Providence Hood River are also in negotiations over an expired contract. 

Providence St. Joseph Health is the third-largest health system in the US with tens of billions in annual revenue. It is Oregon’s largest health care system and one of the state’s largest corporations. Despite its national reach, Providence regularly collects more than half of its total profits from Oregonians. ONA nurses are asking Providence’s corporate executives to re-invest in safe, high-quality, affordable health care.

“While Oregon’s nurses were running into COVID-19 rooms wearing reused PPE we pulled from paper bags, taxpayers handed Providence and other hospitals billions to ensure our hospitals stayed open during the pandemic. Providence alone collected nearly $1.3 billion in taxpayer bailouts from the CARES Act to add to its $14 billion in cash and investment revenues,” said ONA President Lynda Pond, RN. 

“Frontline nurses have invested in Providence with our blood, sweat, tears and our dollars. Now we’re demanding Providence invest in our communities and put those profits to work as intended. It’s time for Providence to listen to nurses and reinvest in patient safety, safe staffing, and caregiver retention to improve health care for all Oregonians,” Pond said. 

Click here to learn more.

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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