The St. Charles Health System and the Oregon Nurses Association reached a tentative agreement on the contract October 11 after a bargaining session that lasted more than 24 hours. The three-year labor contract was voted by a margin of 95 percent.
“These negotiations dealt with very difficult issues. We are very pleased that such a large majority voted to ratify it,” said Alison Hamway, labor representative for the ONA in
Negotiations began May 23 and progressed in a professional and respectful manner over the past several months.
“Both teams worked very hard to reach this agreement and I am proud of the work that went into it,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of Human Resources for St. Charles Health System. “We are happy the nurses voted to approve the contract and look forward to working together to continue to improve patient care.”
Some of the highlights of the contract agreement include two percent general wage increases each year and changes in the health plan that gives
In addition, the two sides agreed on language in the contract that will result in more nursing care at the patient bedside and an overall improvement in patient care and safety. Charge nurses will maintain their current positions and will be focused on clinical development and expertise to help mentor and enhance the skills of other nurses on their unit. Charge nurse patient care assignments will be reviewed on a unit by unit basis, and a mutually agreed upon job description includes patient assessments and helping develop practice policies and procedures.
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Oregon, owns and operates the St. Charles medical centers in Bend and Redmond, leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville and provides management services for Mountain View Hospital in Madras.