BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Another group of nurses in the St. Charles Health System filed Wednesday to join a union, the Oregon Nurses Association.
The selection will cover about 40 home health and hospice nurses in Bend, Redmond, Prineville, Madras and surrounding areas, an ONA representative said.
Because of their duties visiting people in their homes, they are classified as their own bargaining unit and will not be part of the hospital nurses, the union said. ONA represents about 1,100 nurses in St. Charles Bend, Redmond and Prineville.
Here is the ONA news release and statement from St. Charles Health System:
Nurses at Home Health and Hospice of St. Charles file for union representation (Photo)
Oregon Nurses Assn. – 05.10.22 15:18
BEND, Oregon – Today, home health and hospice nurses at St. Charles Health System in Bend filed union election papers to join the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) on October 5, 2022. An overwhelming majority of medical sisters filed union authorization cards with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after the St. Charles administration refused voluntary recognition. The NLRB will set a date for the nurses union election in the next few weeks.
“We are disappointed that St. Charles has refused to recognize our union, but we are deeply committed to building a workplace where we can provide quality patient care with the proper supports and tools to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Karin Arthur, RN. “Unfortunately, we have seen St. Charles go against its stated values many, many times. To better serve our patients and protect ourselves, we are forming a union.
Frontline nurses want input in decision making because they know what their patients need. By forming a union, they will ensure that home and hospice nurses receive fair treatment, access to due process and adequate compensation, and local patients receive high-quality, affordable health care.
“St. Charles has experienced much instability in management and changes in priorities have meant that many highly qualified staff have left the system. We do not have the resources to adequately serve our patients, but we are expected to maintain the same high level of care. It’s not fair to our patients or healthcare providers,” said Cheri Iannucci, RN.
If a majority of home and hospice nurses vote to join ONA in the union election, they will elect a local nursing leadership team, create a bylaws and begin contract negotiations with St. Charles.
ONA now represents hospital nurses at St. Charles facilities in Bend, Prineville and Redmond. The contract for nurses in Bend expires at the end of the year and they are already preparing for negotiations. In June, about 300 doctors, nurse practitioners and assistants also announced their intention to form a union.
Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest nursing organization. We are a professional association and union that represents more than 15,000 nurses and allied health workers across the state, including nearly 1,200 frontline nurses working in multiple St. Charles health care facilities in Central Oregon. We are a proud state affiliate of AFT and the American Nurses Association. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nurses, quality health care, and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.
St. Charles Statement and Notice of Petition:
Today, the Oregon Nurses Association filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to request a secret ballot in union elections. This election will decide whether a majority of St. Mary’s Home Health, Hospice and Transitions Navigator registered nurses. Charles wish to be represented by this union as part of a new separate bargaining unit.
We recognize and respect the right of our employees, including our nurses, to freely choose whether they wish to be represented by a union. We also respect the National Labor Relations Board’s processes that allow our employees to participate in secret ballot elections following the NLRB’s review of a proposed bargaining unit. To ensure that our nurses can exercise their full rights under the law regarding representation, we declined to recognize a new bargaining unit without an election by secret ballot, as requested by ONA late Tuesday night.