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2010 OHSU/AURN/ONA Negotiation Updates

November 22, 2010

OSHU Ratification Vote Results Are In!

65% of voters cast a ballot to ratify the changes made during negotiations!

The NO votes centered around the wage increases. 8.25% over three years was not enough for some. Hopefully if we fall behind we can make this up in the next contract when the economic times are better.

We made progress on health insurance premiums and reducing the costs to nurses who insure their families.

Watch for newsletters and monthly updates on the OHSU Bargaining Unit page.

We will let you know when changes get implemented, when a final version of the contract is ready and, of course, when retro payments are coming.

November 5, 2010

A tentative agreement has been reached with OHSU. Read more in the latest bargaining update below. Full details will be available Monday.

October 28, 2010

A full session of bargaining yielded Tentative Agreements on the vacation scheduling process and on Resource Nurse compensation. Read the details in the latest bargaining update below. 

October 14, 2010

We finished our discussions on layoff and health insurance access and billing. While layoffs are never fun, we believe we have a process that is easier to administer and fair. We also think the inclusion of the option for severance in lieu of layoff will make the impact of layoffs to OHSU and to nurses less burdensome.

OHSU is working on improving access to its providers under their PPO Plan, and they are working on improving the billing process. We have agreed to a process for getting updates from OHSU on this work, and we are confident that access and billing problems will diminish over the life of this contract or at the very least we will have a way of tracking how the work on these issues is proceeding. For a full update, click on the bargaining update below.

October 6, 2010

We believe we have bargaining on the layoff process completed. In addition to maintaining your seniority and the ability to "bump” a less senior nurse in order to preserve your employment, we have also gained a severance program for nurses who are willing to avoid the layoff process. The final details of this proposal will be worked out at our next session. We received a comprehensive set of economic proposals from OHSU. All of the issues are now on the table. The highlights of their opening economic proposals and counter offers to our economic proposals are provided in this bargaining update. If you want to make a quick comparison please review ONA Bargaining Update Fifteen on September 22 below.

September 30, 2010

We spent the bulk of our morning together talking about OHSU’s proposals to require nurses who work in the Adult ICUs and in Labor and Delivery to take mandatory call shifts. To that end, the manager and one of the staff nurses from Labor and Delivery joined our bargaining session to augment the discussion. (Representatives from the ICUs for both ONA and OHSU are already on the Bargaining Teams). We discussed why OHSU thinks mandatory call is needed in these areas. We talked with them about what has been tried in order to get more staff to work voluntarily to cover the scheduling needs and why they think those strategies have not worked. We learned that various strategies have been implemented over the years to deal with the census fluctuation in Labor and Delivery. We also learned about the commitment OHSU has made to take on STEMIs, strokes, and ruptures of triple As for The Dalles, Longview, Astoria and Portland Adventist. Your Team is very anxious about these proposals. We believe that mandatory call is a burden that impacts health and family life as well as job satisfaction. Currently there are only required call obligations for nurses who work on units that are not open 24/7 in which the bulk of these units are concentrated in perioperative services and the Adult Trauma ICU.

We also are sensitive to patient care and safety concerns and understand that the community and all of you want there to be enough staff available at any given time to handle appropriately the patients and the situations that come to our Hospital. Watch for more discussion and proposals and possible options to come forward at our next session from both OHSU and your ONA/AURN Bargaining Team.  Read the full bargaining update below.

September 28, 2010

September 22, 2010

We put all of our economic proposals on the table for discussion at our most recent session. We are down to just over a dozen remaining issues and of course wages, insurance, parking, and other economic concerns. We expect to get counter economic or opening economic proposals from OHSU either at our next session or at our first session in October. Provided in the bargaining unit update below is a summary of the proposals that we made.

September 16, 2010

An explanation of how nurses are paying too much out of pocket for insurance and some highlights of new proposals and counter
proposals made at our most recent negotiations session.

September 10, 2010

More proposals were exchanged at our most recent session. Here are the highlights of new proposals and counter proposals made by your ONA/AURN Committee and by OHSU’s employer representatives.

September 3, 2010

A lot of proposals were exchanged at our most recent session. Here are the highlights of proposals made by your ONA/AURN Team and by OHSU/Employer representatives. The parties will make more proposals at our next session on September 8
and offer counter proposals or thoughts about what was presented. No agreement has been reached on anything just yet. Many proposals still need more discussion.

August 27, 2010

Two weeks ago OHSU and ONA/AURN expressed concern about the pace of bargaining. Both parties like the Interest Based approach, but we were both concerned about how slow the process was moving.

We decided to discuss several problems at once. We had each side express their concerns and then ask the party that came up with the initial problem statement to develop a draft proposal that might be acceptable to both OHSU and ONA/AURN. Last week we discussed several concerns around eight (8) and twelve (12) hour shifts, benefit eligibility, the float pool, resource RNs, working on call, etc. These concerns are to be developed into proposals each side will exchange next week. To see some of the concerns, view the full bargaining update document below.

August 20, 2010

At our most recent session both OHSU and ONA/AURN expressed concern about the pace of bargaining. Both parties like the Interest Based approach and the more open discussion that the process allows. We have particularly appreciated the opportunity to get to know the new Chief Nurse Executive better. But both parties are concerned about how slow the process is. We have been at this since May, and we are not half way through all the issues. The contract expires on September 30, and without some change in our process, it could take several more months beyond the expiration date to complete our work.

Part of what slows down the pace using the Interest Based process is deliberately only dealing with one topic at time and "working” the issue until it is resolved. While this ensures good dialog and consensus solution, it drags bargaining out. When we are not bargaining using the Interest Based process, we are usually juggling ten (10) or fifteen (15) proposals at any one (1) time at any singular session.

We discussed the need to deal with more than one topic at a time but preserve the parts of the process we like, open dialog, looking at several options, and allowing everyone a chance to speak. We decided to discuss several problem statements at once, have each side express their concerns, and then ask the party that came up with the initial problem statement with developing a draft proposal that might be acceptable to both OHSU and ONA/AURN. Read more and find out the concerns being discussed in the full bargaining update below.

August 12, 2010

In another week, bargaining will turn its attention to a report and recommendations from the workgroup regarding unscheduled absences. We all want sick leave to be available for our use when we are sick or when our coworkers are sick. We all also know that unplanned absences create staffing and patient care challenges.

How can we make sure people stay home when they are sick, but also stop some of the abuse that we know happens? How can we make sure there is some way to get time off on short notice without calling in sick, and can we do something to reward the bulk of us who have good attendance?

August 5, 2010

How would you feel about a reward and recognition system at OHSU for RNs that compensated you financially and recognized you professionally above and beyond the current salary scale and its steps or certification pay? Do you think a way to get compensated
for your nursing skills or additional commitments to OHSU should be rewarded?

As a part of the next contract these are some of the questions that a group of OHSU nurses and managers will have the opportunity to address.  For more details, check out the full bargaining update below.

July 22, 2010

We spent the bulk of our session this Wednesday finishing up an issue around changing FTEs and writing joint problem statements to help us get ready for our next session on August 4. You can read the details about changing FTEs on the back of the barganing unit update document below.

As a reminder, you can find the main topics and themes for our bargaining with OHSU on the bargaining update below. This is not everything we are bargaining, but these topics highlight our most important or significant concerns.

July 16, 2010

As a part of the interest based bargaining approach, ONA and OHSU agreed to set up four different work groups around the topics of unscheduled absences (dealing with attendance), vacation scheduling (making it easier to take and cover the annual accrual), shared governance (finding more and better ways to involve nurses in operations and patient care planning), and recruitment and retention (how will we attract and retain nurses to work at OHSU).

The idea behind the work groups is to make it so that more people can get involved in the bargaining process and address problems and issues that have not always gotten attention. They were charged with having discussion about the topic and making joint recommendations to the bargaining team for contract proposals, process improvements, task forces, etc. for the mutual consideration of both ONA and OHSU’s bargaining team members.

Each work group met several times and involved both staff RNs and nurse managers and human resource professionals. All of the work groups have completed their work. 

June 30, 2010

Our fifth session was held on June 30. We presented ten additional concerns for problem solving, as did OHSU.

June 23, 2010

Our fourth session was held on June 23. We presented ten additional concerns for problem solving and worked on a few more "housekeeping” issues. We also started substantive discussions about what should happen to RNs who experience a temporary closure of their unit due to low census that will not lead to an on-going closure. Both ONA and OHSU suggested this concern needs to be addressed. Thus, it made for a good problem concern to tackle initially.

June 2, 2010

Our third session was held on June 2. We finished up most of the "Housekeeping” discussion (minor changes to the contract) and continued our work on the issue of ONA staff access to OHSU. We presented several concerns for problem solving. The housekeeping items and the concerns presented can be found in the June 2, 2010 Bargaining Update.

May 20, 2010

OHSU presented around 40 proposals that they deemed "house keeping”. This means they were either very minor changes or wording suggestions that update language in the contract to conform to current practice, but do not change anything substantively. For example, they asked to change "job incurred disability” leave to "worker’s compensation leave”. (We agreed to this change). House keeping proposals were made around dues deduction, following state and federal laws, travel policies, and bereavement and CNI.

Other proposals included sick leave upon reinstatement when you return within 90 days, military leave, and incorporating some of the memorandums of understanding in the back of the contract into the main body (other articles) of the contract. We agreed to make many of these changes thatwere suggested.

Not everything that OHSU thought as minor or house keeping was either from our perspective. For example, there were several proposals made around shift curtailment and cancellation that we are reviewing before we agree to the suggested changes. The same is true for changes that were proposed around health and safety. We agreed to address the remainder of the house keeping issues at the next session.

May 7, 2010

Our first session was held on May 5. We discussed ground rules (things like 1.) no interruptions when people are speaking 2.) using the principals of interested based bargaining to resolve problems 3.) how we will signify agreement on an issue 4.) the role of visitors, etc. See page 2) and the how the work groups will operate (process and scope of their work) and be facilitated. We used the interestbased bargaining process to address these matters and reached agreement on both of them. Our next session is scheduled for May 19. We plan to hear pening proposals from OHSU that they consider housekeeping (usually uncontroversial changes that only update the contract where items are out of date or inaccurate) and their thoughts about issues to tackle using the interest based process that are not being addressed by the Work Groups. Stay tuned.

May 6, 2010

The AURN and OHSU Bargaining Teams met for the first time last week to participate in an Interest Based Bargaining training. Interest Based Bargaining is intended to be a more collaborative process for bargaining. The parties begin by describing problems and why they are problems. The problem is then turned into an issue statement that the parties attempt to solve. This is done together. The parties then share why working on the problem is important, referred to as their interests, which can reflect overt or underlying concerns about the problem. The parties then focus on mutual interests and meeting theconcerns of both parties involved. Then they try to find consensus around contractual changes that support those mutual interests and even interests that might not be mutual but are important to either party. Once a solution is identified that both sides can support, that solution is reduced to contract language. We are excited to try bargaining in this manner with OHSU. We believe it will work and lead to better outcomes in bargaining.

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