Nurses in Oregon Continue Strike For Better Staffing, Higher Pay For Third Day

Nurses in Oregon Continue Strike For Better Staffing, Higher Pay For Third Day

On Thursday, over 3,000 nurses at six Providence hospitals in Oregon announced they would keep protesting this week even after their planned three-day strike ends. The Oregon Nurses Association has warned the authorities that if their provision is locked out and delayed back bringing the nurses, they will continue the protest. On early Friday morning, the protest was set to end, but Providence said that they had to guarantee five days of work for replacement nurses, so the nurses who are protesting will be called back only as needed. The Oregon nurses’ union stated that the strike will continue until all nurses return to their regular working schedule.

Oregon’s new staffing ratio law

Outside Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Southwest Portland, Jessica Lobell, the delivery nurse, stated that on Friday she will be back on the protest. Lobell said, “We are fighting for a fair contract. We want staffing language in our contract that is enforceable so that we can have secure staffing ratios. The new law on staffing ratios of Oregon is a significant issue in the negotiations. It started on 1 June and sets a number of patients a nurse can take care of. As per the Providence, they are following the law, but the nurses’ union argues that sometimes a patient needs more care and attention than the maximum allowed. Emergency room nurse Nicole Hudon, who is also striking work at Willamette Falls Medical Centre in Oregon City, is one of the nurses’ union bargaining committee. Nicole Hudson said, “We want them to give respect—the spirit of law, which is, those are maximum numbers. Those are not a steady state ratio.” As per the ratio laid out in current state staffing law, Hudson might be assigned four patients in the emergency room.

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The two groups still disagree on various other issues, including the cost of their health care benefits and paid time off. The delivery nurse Lobell stated that she had her son where she works at Providence. She said, “Out of pocket, I paid thousands of dollars. If I were to work at Kaiser Down the street, my child would have cost $10 to have.”Gentry stated that the health care benefits of Providence are cost-efficient and affordable.On Friday, the strike is set to continue at Providence St. Vincent in Northwest Portland, Providence Medford, Providence Newberg, Providence Hood River, Providence Milwaukie, and Providence Willamette Falls in Oregon City.Regardless of the strike, both sides are advising the patients to seek medical attention whenever they need it. Negotiations have been going on for months.The Oregon Nurses Association indicated its readiness to resume negotiations at any time. Providence mentioned that there is typically a cooling-off period following a strike before negotiators can return to the bargaining table. Nurses are not receiving pay while they are on the picket line. However, union members can apply for assistance in case of an emergency.

About Wrighter

Wrighter covers news across the global on Human Rights, Migrants Rights, and Labor Rights. Wrighter has vast experience in writing and is a doctor by profession.

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