BEND, OR -- A second mediation session between Oregon Nurses Association members and St. Charles Medical Center in Bend is planned for this week. But a survey taken by the union shows little support for the hospital’s contract offer.
The nearly 720 nurses at the Bend hospital have been working without a contract since July. And if last week’s informal survey of members is any indication, it might be a while longer before the two sides come together.
ONA members were offered a survey by union leadership asking if they approve of what the hospital is currently proposing in a new contract. Nurses were asked about salary increases, earned time off, shift premiums, disability and staffing. The union has been vocal about what it considers inadequate staffing of nurses for patient loads at St. Charles. 609 Bend nurses took the survey; 606 said they do not approve of the hospital’s current offer.
It is important to clarify this was not a ratification vote of the contract offer, rather a survey to see what the ONA membership is thinking.
Union leaders say they’ll take the overwhelming results into Thursday’s federal mediation session between the two parties.
St. Charles does not comment on contract negotiations but has stated, ”St. Charles remains focused on reaching an agreement on a contract that is competitive across the industry and provides a work environment that is consistent with our vision, mission and values."