Get the facts, not the myths

Get accurate information about the work stoppage at six Providence ministries.

Updated June 18, 2024

Myth: Union leadership says Providence is unwilling to bargain.

FACT: Union leadership rejected multiple requests for bargaining dates, refused federal mediation until the 11th hour, and instead of responding to comprehensive proposals, served up strike notices.

Union leadership refused to agree to bargaining dates on multiple occasions. In some cases weeks – or even months – passed without any bargaining, despite multiple dates being offered by Providence.

We know from past experience that federal mediation helps us reach agreements. But union leaders refused to allow mediation until the final weeks before the strike.

On the final day of our four-day mediation session, Providence passed comprehensive proposals over to the union at all six bargaining tables. Instead of responding or negotiating, the union served up strike notices and held a news conference.

We hope the union will accept bargaining and mediation dates promptly at the conclusion of its work stoppage.

Myth: The union says Providence is not following Oregon’s hospital staffing law.

FACT: Providence is following the law as written.

  • Our ministries’ staffing proposals that the union has rejected acknowledge the ministries’ obligation to comply with the new staffing law as written. We intend to follow the law.
  • Rather than live with the law as it was passed by the legislature, ONA is taking positions that are inconsistent with the statutory language and insisting that their interpretation be added to the parties’ collective bargaining agreements.
        • For example, the staffing law plainly states that if the nurse staffing committees for certain units cannot agree on a staffing plan, they default to the nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in the statute. ONA is insisting that instead of applying the statutory ratio as the law requires, the parties instead apply the old staffing plans, which are expired and parts of which no longer align with the required ratios in the new staffing law. 
  • When Providence ministries said no, primarily because these concessions would jeopardize access to hospital care in our communities, ONA responded by calling a six-ministry strike.

Myth: The union claims Providence will be locking out represented nurses.

FACT: The union announced a strike beginning at 6 a.m., Tuesday, June 18. The contractual replacement period at Providence hospitals will run for five days, ending Sunday, June 23.

  • Providence ministries are not locking out nurses. When the union made the decision to go on strike, its negotiators were well aware that the contractual period to bring in replacement nurses is five days, which was the length of their three Oregon strikes last year. 
      • That’s clear from this text sent to union members, which was shared with Providence leadership. It’s also clear that they chose to call a shorter strike than last year to fabricate a basis to try to “shame” Providence over the length of the contractual replacement period:
      • The text reads “Our RN bargaining team declared a 3 day strike starting 6/18 @ 6 am with the goal of creating the most cost for Providence – we know that scab contracts last 5 days. RNs will return to work 6/21 at 6am, if Prov chooses to lock us out for 2 days in order to save money, we will shame them in the press.”
  • The union made the choice to strike, despite Providence’s market-competitive offers at all 6 bargaining tables. But the work of caring for patients continues. 
  • Providence ministries have an obligation to provide seamless care to the communities they serve. They will do what it takes to meet that obligation.
  • The union also chose the length of the strikes. During that time, the affected Providence ministries will keep their doors open and continue to care for their patients. The contractual replacement period to attract high-quality replacement workers from across the country to help the ministries meet that commitment is five days. 
  • Our hospitals will prepare return-to-work schedules to meet their staffing needs after the strike.
  • We are deeply disappointed that the union is trying to mislead the public.   
  • It would be unfortunate if the union chose to take any action to limit our patients’ ability to access care at our hospitals.

Myth: Providence caregiver benefits are “worse than” our patients’. 

FACTS: Providence benefits are comprehensive, highly competitive and affordable.

  • Providence offers the same medical plans at each hospital, whether a caregiver is part of a union or not.
  • Providence Oregon caregivers pay a lower percentage of their overall cost of benefits than other comparable hospital systems.
      • On average, Providence pays 82% of the cost of health care coverage for its employees. The industry average is 70%.
  • Every benefits-eligible Providence caregiver has a choice of medical plans with a variety of costs and coverage.
      • For full-time caregivers, this includes the option of a plan with $0 premiums for individual coverage.
  • Again, every benefits-eligible Providence caregiver has a choice of medical plans with a variety of costs and coverage.
  • We want to attract and retain key talent and compassionate caregivers. It’s in our best interest to offer high-quality, market-competitive plans. 
  • These claims are another attempt by the union to distract and discredit us. Providence is an organization that takes care of the people who work here and serve our communities.
Previous Article
Providence Little Company of Mary recognized among Newsweek's America's Best Maternity Hospitals 2024 for the second year in a row
Providence Little Company of Mary recognized among Newsweek's America's Best Maternity Hospitals 2024 for the second year in a row

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance (PLCMT) was recognized on Newsweek’s annual list ...

Next Article
Meet the TAVR Team at Providence Mission Hospital
Meet the TAVR Team at Providence Mission Hospital

TAVR is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to replace a diseased and restricting aortic valve wit...