(Local nurses call on St. Charles executives to reach a fair contract agreement that improves patient care and insures safe staffing standards throughout the hospital during a rally in September 2018. More than 95 percent of nurses at St. Charles Bend voted in to authorize an informational picket on January 21, 2019 if St. Charles executives continue refusing to address St. Charles chronic staffing and safety problems in contract negotiations | Photo courtesy of Oregon Nurses Association)
Nurses call for informational picket of St. Charles Bend after St. Charles executives refuse to address hospital-wide staffing and safety problems in contract negotiations.
Bend nurses overwhelmingly voted to authorize a community-wide informational picket of the hospital on January 21 if ongoing federal mediation efforts continue to be unsuccessful. Local nurses have been working without a contact for nearly seven months while they advocate to improve patient care and fix the hospital’s chronic staffing and safety problems in contract negotiations with St. Charles executives.
More than 95 percent of the nearly 900 nurses at St. Charles Bend voted to authorize the informational picket if a fair agreement isn’t reached by January 21. After months of failed negotiations, there are only two remaining contract mediation dates, January 10 and January 11. The nurses are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).
“Nurses are standing up to protect our patients’ safety and make sure our community has a say in what happens inside their local hospital,” said ONA leader and nurse at St. Charles Bend Angie Streeter, BSN, RN. “Our patients deserve safe health care every time. We can’t keep waiting for St. Charles corporate executives to fix the problems they’ve caused. Our community deserves better.”
An informational picket is a peaceful public event that allows community members to engage with nurses as they share information about how to improve local health care. It is not a strike or work stoppage. Nurses will participate in the informational picket during their personal time. Local community members are encouraged to attend the informational picket to ask questions and show their support for nurses.
The picket will be held Monday, January 21, 7:30-9:30am and 11:30am-3:30pm at St. Charles on public sidewalks between the intersections of Neff Rd., NE Williamson Blvd. and NE Medical Center Drive in Bend.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, nurses will also be collecting food for needy families in Central Oregon. If you plan to participate, please bring a non-perishable food item to donate to local families in need.