ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY REGISTERED NURSES/ONA
NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE FOR DECEMBER 11, 2001:
OREGON NURSES ASSOCIATION
Dear Fellow Nurses:
The time is drawing near for our collective action to take place. As we get closer to Monday morning, many of us are understandably jittery, especially now that management is asking for our ID badges. No one said this would be easy, and we certainly are seeing the effects of tension in our units/clinics. Please remember that this entire situation is about
strategy. The stronger we are, the more successful our strike action will be; however, with every day, management will do more to make us question our resolve.
The recent email from Human Resources was designed to create
division in our ranks and confusion regarding the truth. We knew this would happen and tried to prepare you. Now is the time to remain united. Below are some answers to questions members have posed, as well as information on upcoming events:
MEDIATION AND VOTING:
We have had some calls and emails asking why we are not voting on management's revised final offer. Encouraging you to vote on every low-ball offer is a management strategy designed to put the Negotiating Team in a position of weakness, forcing us
to check every nickel with the entire bargaining unit. That's the surest way to guarantee that we won't get anything better. And we know management has the money to improve their offer significantly!
We did not take management's recent offer to a vote because there were still days left in the week for new offers. As we suspected, the mediator has called both parties back to the table on Friday, 12/14. We will continue to follow the path the membership has chosen and hope that management will see
the seriousness of your intent and make a substantially better offer. This will be management's last opportunity before a strike to show us we are valued!
We will put to a vote on Saturday whatever offer management has made by the end of Friday's mediation.
VOTE ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 15 WILL BE HELD AT THE OLD LIBRARY AUDITORIUM:
0700 - 0900
1200 - 1400
1600 - 1800
1930 - 2100
BE THERE OR LET THE MINORITY RULE!
ABSENTEE BALLOT FORMS WILL BE AVAILABLE IN A SEPARATE EMAIL, FOR THOSE WHO
ARE OUT OF TOWN OR WORK AT AN OFFSITE CLINIC. (you can also have one faxed
to you from the ONA office by calling 503-293-0011)
SUPPORT FROM YOUR FELLOW NURSES:
We have been deluged with emails and phone calls from nurses in other hospitals -- even as far away as Ohio, Chicago and New York -- expressing support for our cause. Here are a few excerpts:
"As a member of the UAN, I'm proud to be associated with the nurses from ONA and the Nurses at OHSU who are taking such a courageous stand for all nurses and their patients. Here in NY, NYSNA nurses have been on strike for two weeks over the same issues. Nobody is going to fix things for nurses. We
are the ones who have to make it happen. NY and Oregon may be 3000 miles apart, but we are fighting the same fight... for ourselves, for our patients, and for each other."
(RN, New York)
"We sincerely hope you know that there is much support for OHSU nurses in the nursing community. We appreciate and understand what you are trying to do. We too are trying to work with our Administration to better our pay and benefit package. Keep up the fight -- there is support for you."
(From the Legacy Senior Nurses Committee)
"You are the backbone of patient care in your institution and nurses from all around the country are watching your example. Hold fast to your ideals and firm to your stance. We need to shout from the mountaintops about the staffing issues that management has tried to hide from the public. Get
their attention and let them know we won't allow this to go on!"
(Cheryl Johnson, RN, President of the United American Nurses, with a check for financial support for the OHSU nurses strike fund. Cheryl will be flying in from Michigan to join our picket line on Monday)
Nurses from all around the state have called to give support and many plan to be with us on the picket line. We've heard from nurses at Providence, St. Vincent, Willamette Falls, Kaiser, Tuality, Multnomah County, and others who will be marching down the hill with us on Monday morning at 0730 to meet nurses walking out of the hospital.
SUPPORT FROM OTHER UNIONS:
Yesterday, we attended meetings of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council of the AFL-CIO. They unanimously passed a resolution to support our strike and to issue a sanction that authorizes other union members to refuse to cross our picket lines. Every major union in the Portland Metro area, whose contracts
contain conscience clauses, will now be joining our strike. The Teamsters were the first to sign on, which means that their drivers may refuse to make deliveries. Electricians, Carpenters, Steamfitters, Pilots, and all manner of fellow workers are supporting our cause.
On Friday, the statewide Oregon AFL-CIO Executive Board will be hearing our presentation and is expected to similarly support our strike.
This is our public -- some of them are our patients -- and they know we are doing the right thing. It has been an inspiring week spending time with our new brothers and sisters from AFL-CIO unions all over the state, who know what it means to take collective action!
INFORMATIONAL MEETING THURSDAY 12/13
Find out from your Negotiating Team the latest developments and share your
thoughts with your fellow nurses: Old Library Auditorium 0730-0830;
1215-1315; 1700-1800; 1930-2230. Find out about ID badges and other details
(you should resist relinquishing your ID badge, since you continue to be a
permanent employee of OHSU. Management can always just deactivate your
badge for "security" purposes. However, if you are ordered to relinquish
it, do so under protest and remember to insist that your manager immediately
refund the money you paid for your Tri-Met pass!)
SOLIDARITY MEETING SUNDAY 12/16
What the walkout will look like. Join your Team as we put the finishing touches on the walkout plans and end the afternoon by making more picket
signs: AURN Union Hall 1pm - 2:30pm.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2001, at 0730
If you are off-duty, meet at the AURN Union Hall at 0630. We will join
together, arm-in-arm, and march down the hill to the 9th floor lobby
entrance of South Hospital.
Nurses who are on the 7a-7p schedule for Monday should report as expected at
0700 to your units. Do not accept an assignment, since you would need to
report it back off to your manager or "replacement" nurse within thirty
minutes. Be ready with your clothing and personal belongings.
At 0730, we will walk off the floors of the hospitals and clinics. We will
meet at the lobby entrance the army of nurses who has marched down the hill
to wait for us. They will have picket signs for us to carry and thus will
begin our strike.
TO THE NURSE EDUCATORS:
One more note..... the Nursing Faculty of OHSU have been told by their Dean
that they will be expected to cross our picket lines and staff the hospital.
The time honored tradition of academic freedom which, for centuries, has
allowed educators to make up their own minds about issues so that they will
be free to teach their students the truth, is clearly being suppressed at
OHSU. We ask them now to stand up for something and to join our collective
action. To you, the Nursing Faculty of the OHSU School of Nursing, we offer
this encouragement and challenge:
"Freedom is something you assume. Then you wait until someone tries to take
it away from you. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you
(from the album, "Fellow Workers" by Utah Phillips)
In unity, from your dedicated AURN Negotiating Team,