Providence Media Advisory - June 21, 2024

Providence Media Advisory - June 21

Union leaders mislead the public and nurses – again – on staffing law

The claim that Providence has been found in violation of the law is just not true.

In its latest truth-twisting statement, Oregon Nurses Association leadership claims that the state has found Providence in violation of the new hospital staffing law.

There’s only one problem with that accusation: It’s not true.

The letter union leaders are relying on to leap to that false conclusion doesn’t even mention Providence in its findings.

On top of that, union leaders call on Providence to collaborate on staffing issues. This is ironic at best, because ONA leaders on June 4 broke off from the coalition of unions, health systems and hospitals that came together to write the law.

“Collaborating by leaving the coalition doesn’t work,” said Jennifer Gentry, RN, chief nursing officer for Providence’s Central Division. “Providence has taken implementation of the new law seriously – and that’s proven by the fact that we have all our Providence Oregon nurse staffing plans submitted and posted."

Last night, Providence was grateful to receive OHA’s new guidance for the law that took effect June 1. We are evaluating our process with that guidance in mind as we go forward.

Providence will update this statement later this afternoon.

Providence Media Advisory - June 19

Providence prioritizes patient safety, not union PR

Three-day strike? Union leaders knew there would be a five-day replacement period

Providence is prioritizing patients. Bringing in a replacement nursing workforce and building clinical contingency plans is a complex process across six hospitals. Doing it well – as we did Tuesday – takes a total commitment of hundreds of leaders, volunteers and replacement workers. We also want to honor our contractual replacement period with our temporary nurses.

It would not be safe or wise to react to the union leadership campaign tactic of calling a three-day strike. They’re playing the media, and putting our nurses in the middle. 

Union complains about its own law on picket line

In the first two days of the ONA strike, union representatives have had a lot to say about staffing ratios, and the fact that they changed June 1, when Oregon’s new staffing law went into effect. 

It’s important to keep in mind that these are the ratios mandated in the law ONA helped write. Providence has implemented the law as agreed to by the coalition that wrote it – the coalition ONA was part of until last week.

 The union declared a major victory when the law passed – and again, it was passed with a coalition of unions and health systems. If union leaders want to change the law they championed, they should go back to the legislature, instead of striking over something Providence can’t change. 

As we’ve been saying, Providence is following the law the union helped write.


Union claims to be fighting for nurses, but doubles down on “shame” as PR strategy

Providence calls on union leaders to respect patient and family privacy, maintain safety

While union leaders talk about fighting for nurses, you can learn a lot by listening to the other things being said. Providence has heard some union representatives are talking about staging a scene at hospital entry points to “shame Providence.”

That follows a text from the union to its members on June 7: 

          “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.”

Causing any disturbance at entry points would occur at the same entrances where patients and families come into the building. In the interest of the privacy and safety of those patients and families, Providence calls on union leadership to take a higher road: Please don’t allow union representatives or advocates to attempt to advance their personal cause by endangering our patients.


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Welcome back

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