Get the latest on Providence services during the ONA strikes: Thursday, June 22
Day 4 operational update from Jennifer Gentry, RN, chief nursing officer for Providence’s Central Division. (Thursday, June 22, 10:30 a.m.)
OPERATIONS: As you have heard over the last couple days, Providence Portland Medical Center is accepting transfers of patients who need a higher level of care from other hospitals in the community; the neo-natal intensive care unit is open at Providence Portland Medical Center; and the labor & delivery department has reopened at Providence Seaside Hospital. Overall, operations with our temporary replacement workers continue to go smoothly.
STAFFING: I’d like to emphasize the importance to Providence of safe staffing and high-quality patient care. While we’ve been going through negotiations, Providence has been collaborating with ONA on House Bill 2697, which establishes hospital staffing standards and ratios throughout Oregon. We believe HB 2697 will meet the needs of our nurses while allowing us to continue serving our communities. We’re pleased that HB 2697 looks like it will pass this legislative session. Once it passes, we look forward to partnering with ONA to implement the law.
WELCOMING CAREGIVERS BACK: And finally, ONA is aware that the replacement period ends at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, at which time normal schedules will resume. We look forward to welcoming our nurses back at that time.
Q: How expensive has this strike been?
A: Strikes are disruptive, they’re upsetting, and they’re expensive. We did everything we could to avert a strike, including adding key elements to our most recent proposals. Those three elements, which were contingent on ONA not striking, included retroactive pay, a ratification bonus, and 30 additional hours of PTO. That’s why we were so disappointed and even mystified by ONA’s decision, which also cost each striking nurse a week’s worth of wages. Now that the strike is almost over, we look forward to returning to the bargaining table and resuming negotiations.
Q: When will you resume negotiations?
A: We are awaiting a response to the request for bargaining dates we sent to ONA on June 9.
Q: Can you elaborate on why ONA has been working with Providence on HB 2697?
A: Our nurses faced a great many challenges over the last three years, a time when staffing shortages were a problem across the country. It’s understandable that they would be advocating for strong solutions to the challenges in their work environment. House Bill 2697 addresses the vast majority of those issues; it reflects input from Providence and other Oregon hospitals; and it applies to every hospital across the state.
Get the latest on Providence services during ONA's strike: https://blog.providence.org/oregon