MEDFORD, Ore. — Approximately 100 nurses held an informational picket outside Providence Medford Medical Center this morning.
Nurses, represented by the Oregon Nurses Association, were on the sidewalk from 7 am - 9 a.m., and plan to picket from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. as well.
A press release issued yesterday by Kevin Mealy, ONA Communications Manager, indicated that local nurses “are asking Providence’s administrators to take steps to agree on a new, fair contract agreement for nurses that will reduce staff turnover, end unpredictable scheduling, and provide appropriate backup for nurses during 12-hour shifts.”
Providence’s Lisa Helderop, Senior Manager of Communication for Oregon, said “We have been in negotiations for some time and as recently as yesterday.”
Tomi Ryba, chief executive of Providence's Southern Oregon Service Area, issued the following statement this morning:
“Providence is committed to ensuring that caregivers’ rights related to labor organizing are respected, honored and upheld. Providence has a long history of working together with unions that caregivers have chosen to represent them.
Providence supports open communication. Caregivers can always talk with each other, any core leader or an HR representative about questions or concerns. We are committed to open and honest communication and will answer questions so people can make their own informed decisions. Providence does not question caregivers about their position related to the union, and we are always mindful of our core value of respect.
Providence does not negotiate in the media. We negotiate with the union that represents our nurses – Oregon Nurses Association. The two sides have been meeting since November and agreed to bring in a federal mediator in March. We have had numerous conversations and were talking as recently as last night.
We care deeply about our caregivers and believe we will come to an agreement with the union that represents them.”
According to the ONA press release, “More than 600 community members have already signed a petition asking Providence’s administrators to reach a fair agreement with local nurses to ensure patients continue to receive safe, high-quality health care.”
The post will be updated throughout the day, and we’ll have segments in our broadcasts at 11 a.m., and 4, 5 and 6 p.m.