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Providence Extends One-Time Bonus for ONA Nurses to All Employees Statewide

Tualatin, OR (December 16, 2009) – Providence Health System (Oregon Region) has announced that all Providence employees in the state will receive the same one-time bonus that the Oregon Nurses Association secured for its members during recent retirement negotiations. The announcement, which was made to employees via email from Chief Executive Officers at Providence facilities statewide, indicated that all employees in the state would receive the same one-time bonus ONA won for its members; either a $750 or $250 bonus, depending on total hours worked.

Paul Goldberg, Assistant Executive Director of Labor Relations, said, "ONA’s advocacy on behalf of our members throughout the Providence system has forced the administration to do the right thing and extend the same benefit to its employees who are not represented by a union.”

ONA, which represents registered nurses at most Providence facilities in Oregon, spent several months in discussions with Providence over its recent unilateral decision to degrade retirement benefits for nurses. Providence was unwilling to compensate for any losses to nurses’ retirement benefits because, according to Providence, there would be no losses. Instead, Providence agreed to provide a one-time bonus to all ONA represented nurses in the amount of $750.00 each, a total award of more than $2 million.

Susan King, ONA’s Executive Director, said, "This is the perfect example of the impact that union  representation has on all employees, those in the union and those who are not. After ONA successfully negotiated this bonus for our members, Providence was put in the position of having to explain why only ONA represented nurses deserved a bonus and not all other employees. Our win for our members has turned into a win for every Providence employee in Oregon.”

According to an email sent to the staff of Providence St. Vincent Hospital by Janice Berger, St. Vincent’s Chief Executive, employees who worked more than 576 hours before November 21, 2009 will receive a recognition check of $750, while employees who worked fewer than 576 hour will receive $250.

According to Alan Yoder, Labor Counsel for ONA, "In the past, the only employees at Providence who would have received such bonuses would have been top administrators. ONA is proud to have played
a role in securing this historic award for both our members and all Providence employees statewide. It never would have happened without the union and our members.”

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