Oregan Nurses Sign 3 yr contract with 20.5% raise

  1. Oregon Nurses Approve Contract

    Nurses at the Oregon Health Science University today overhwhelmingly ratified a three-year contract that will grant wage increases of at least 20.5% over the term of the contract.

    ONA nurses there will return to work Wednesday, Feb. 13. For more details on the settlement, go to www.fairpay4nurses.org.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 12, '02
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  3. by   PhantomRN
    Good for them....I am glad to see that they are getting what they want. How long is the contract for?
  4. by   -jt

    The state gives that hospital millions of dollars in funding for improvements and the hospital used almost $33 MILLION of it to pay for replacements and the fight against its own nurses - $33 MILLION taxpayer dollars to keep that strike going rather than settle with its nurses.

    That did not sit very well with the state. How very coindental that just as the state legislature called a special meeting to discuss cutting the hospitals govt funding by the same amount of taxpayer money it wasted on replacing its nurses, (obviously the hospital didnt need the state money for improvements), the hospital suddenly saw its way clear to settle the contract. Losing state funding - a powerful incentive.

    <<ONA Raises Concerns About Scab Spending

    The Oregon Nurses Association has voiced concerns that the Oregon Health Sciences University, where 1500 ONA RNs have been on strike since Dec. 17, has spent almost as much on strikebreaking nurses as the Oregon legislature is considering cutting from the OHSU budget -- $33 million.......>>
  5. by   -jt
    Nurses Ratify Contract:
    Return to Work Rally and March Planned for 6:00 a.m. Wednesday!

    Nurses Will Return to Work IN UNISON: After nearly two months on the picket line, registered nurses represented by the Oregon Nurses Association will return to their jobs at Oregon Health and Science University on Wednesday.
    As a symbol of solidarity, the nurses plan to walk into the hospital
    together, whether or not they are actually scheduled to work that morning.
    Nurses will meet at the AURN Union Hall, 1010 SW Gibbs, at 6a.m., Wednesday, February 13, to march in unison down the hill to the hospital. Each nurse who struck will wear a purple ribbon.

    Eighty-six percent of the nurses marking ballots on Sunday voted in favor of a new contract, ending the strike after 56 days.

    The three-year contract includes:
    -wage increases of at least 20.5%
    -OHSU committment to developing a less expensive health insurance plan for its employees.
    - ensures nurses gained greater authority over patient care issues.

    "These nurses took a stand for their profession and for their patients. The new contract reflects their demand for respect and their right to better working conditions." - Kathleen Sheridan, ONA........
  6. by   Cascadians
    [ Fair Use: For Educational / Research / Discussion Purposes Only ]
    2/14/02, by Wendy Y. Lawton

    Nurses return to OHSU, but strike tension chills the air

    For the first time in 59 days, Laurelen Jabbour woke up to an alarm clock Wednesday. It was 4:30 a.m. As a nurse at Oregon Health & Science University, it was time to get back to work.

    Jabbour drove from her 10-acre Banks farm to the 263-acre Portland campus, fell in line with about 200 fellow nurses, and marched onto the job after striking for nearly two months. The symbolic pre-dawn stroll into the main lobby of OHSU Hospital put an end to one of the longest labor disputes in Oregon in a generation.

    When Jabbour got to the 14th floor of the hospital -- where she's worked since 1975 -- her employee badge didn't work. She recognized only one nurse's face. Over lunch, she had a chilly conversation with a colleague who had crossed the picket line.

    And Jabbour spent eight hours caring for five post-surgery patients. Nurses said that was the lesson after the labor dispute: Going back to work can be the toughest part of walking off the job.

    Oregon's busiest medical center was plainly divided during the strike. Rhetoric was harsh, rumors flew. But on Wednesday, staff members had to face each other -- and work together.

    Nurses, doctors, patients and managers reported a range of reactions, from warm hugs to cold shoulders. Just about everyone reported a lot of anxiety.

    "It's a little tense around here," nurse Kim Brolutti said. "People are being professional. But it's certainly not warm."

    Case in point: A top hospital administrator walked into Brolutti's unit Wednesday morning, shaking nurses' hands and welcoming them back. When he shook Brolutti's hand, the administrator said not to worry, that OHSU was still No. 1.

    "I said, 'As long as you respect your nurses, you'll be No. 1,' " Brolutti said. "Well, he let go of my hand at that point."

    Reporters were barred from OHSU hospitals and clinics Wednesday. University officials said they didn't want to disturb patients or staff. But medical director Dr. Roy Magnusson said the nurses' return went smoothly.

    Magnusson said all units were open and that 88 percent of hospital beds were full. About 160 OHSU nurses reported at 7 a.m. along with 50 replacement nurses. Despite any hard feelings, Magnusson said, it was business as usual: "It's quiet and it's controlled."

    Wednesday, however, was far from typical on Pill Hill.

    As nurses marched into the hospital lobby at 6:30 a.m., OHSU nursing director Bonnie Driggers stood outside to greet them. Magnusson welcomed them inside.

    Throughout the day, 45 post-strike meetings were held. The two-hour sessions were aimed at trying to rebuild teamwork. That, hospital officials and nurses acknowledged, could be a challenge.

    According to the university, nearly 400 nurses crossed picket lines during the strike. The Oregon Nurses Association -- the union representing about 1,500 OHSU nurses -- puts that number closer to 300. Meanwhile, OHSU hired about 800 replacement nurses through a California staffing firm during the course of the strike. Some of those replacements will continue to work for a few days or several weeks.

    To make the transition smoother, nurses and managers met in lounges and conference rooms to emphasize "respectful" communication and cooperation, a spokeswoman said. OHSU employees specially trained in dispute resolution were on hand.

    Barbara Glidewell, the university's patient advocate for 26 years, was one of them.

    Glidewell said nurses vented anger, fear, excitement, hope. She said nurses worried most about being judged for the decisions they made -- no matter what side of the strike they fell on.

    Dealing with those differences in a civil way, Glidewell said, is important not only for staff but also for the public.

    "To provide excellent care, we have to respect each another," Glidewell said. "We can't get caught up in emotions. If you do, you won't communicate well. And that's not good for patients."

    These "team building" sessions will continue for at least the rest of the week. Staff will be available for weeks to answer questions or diffuse conflicts.

    Nurses are also getting a post-strike booklet written by OHSU. "Re-establishing Teams: A Journey of Healing" includes advice on handling intense emotions and about talking without fighting. Tips on dealing with stress run to massage and meditation.

    Some nurses are already complaining about back-to-work treatment. Union officials said they took dozens of calls this week about unannounced changes in work schedules.

    "This is a hell of a way to restart things," said union negotiator Kathleen Sheridan, who spent the day touring hospital units.

    Sheridan said some nurses plan to quit over the schedule switches. Already, 77 nurses resigned over the course of the strike, a hospital spokeswoman said.

    Yet nurses voted overwhelmingly Sunday to end the strike that cost Portland's biggest employer at least $6 million.

    Nurses approved a contract offer giving them at least a 20 percent pay raise over a three-year period. Managers and the union also agreed to improve working conditions and seek national hospital accreditation for nursing excellence.

    Nurses and managers hope those changes will mend relationships -- and improve care. Dr. Christopher Richards, director of acute care in the emergency department, said this will take time.

    "You can't reinvent the wheel overnight," Richards said. "Everyone wants to snap their fingers and make it better -- but life doesn't happen like that."