MEDFORD, Ore. -- After more than eight months of negotiations, nurses at Providence Medford Medical Center voted to approve a new contract agreement Saturday.
The Oregon Nurses Association represents the 287 nurses at the hospital.
In a statement sent out by ONA, it said the agreement will improve patient care and increase local nurse retention and recruitment.
Nurses led an informational picket in April, bringing in more than 200 nurses and supporters.
“It’s been inspiring to see nurses and community members stand side-by-side throughout this process to advocate for better health care and a stronger workforce,” said Christalyn Matlock, a local ONA nurse and negotiating team member at Providence Medford Medical Center. “This is a real victory for our community.”
ONA said the new two-year agreement:
• Improves patient care and safety by allowing nurse experts to set training standards for nurses who float to multiple units
• Raises health standards by increasing certification pay for nurses with specialized training
• Helps Medford attract and retain skilled nurses by adopting a more competitive wage scale
• Creates a better work-life balance through collaborative scheduling plans
• Integrates new nurses into the health care team quickly
ONA said the agreement also takes steps to attract and keep skilled nurses by increases wages 6 to 9.5 percent, based on nurses' experience, over the length of the contract.
Providence Medford Medical Center sent this statement Saturday night from Julie Levison, Human Resources Director:
"We’re pleased that our represented nurses voted today to approve our new contact agreement. Providence Medford leaders have always been confident that we would be able to reach this result.
We believe the agreement provides a market-competitive package. It also allows us to continue our collaboration with our nurses to make sure our workplace is ready to meet the needs of our patients and provide them with high-quality care.
The agreement also reflects the fact that Providence Medford is a great place to work. In a highly competitive marketplace, year-to-year, more than 80 percent of our caregivers choose to stay with us.
We’ve also seen great interest in our new Providence Medford nurse residency program. We’ve already received more than 80 applicants for the positions we have available. Again, these are people who have lots of choices about where they want to work – and they are choosing Providence."
The new agreement is effective immediately.