Nurses at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center Reach Tentative Agreement
After a marathon mediation session that lasted late into the night on October 12, ONA-represented nurses at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (GSRMC) in Corvallis have tentatively agreed to a mediated settlement with hospital management.
Initially, ONA and hospital management each came to the process with very different ideas about what a fair agreement should look like. From the beginning, ONA’s proposals were aimed at bringing more fairness and transparency to how nurses are treated and compensated hospital-wide. The employer initially countered with a zero-percent cost-of-living-adjustment, 30 percent increase to health premiums over the two year contract, and general resistance to the bulk of nurses’ concerns.
The movement forward happened slowly, and not without a bit of heartburn on both sides. In the six months at the table, nurses stepped up again and again to support their ONA Team, demonstrating collective strength as a union to management. At the height of this effort, over 150 nurses took to the sidewalk outside the hospital with signs for a series of informational pickets. Without the continued effort and willingness of nurses to take actions that may have felt scary at the time, an agreement of this magnitude would not have been possible.
Here’s a snapshot of the major points of the deal:
- Full overtime pay for .5/.6 nurses
- An across the board cost-of-living adjustment of 2 percent in each year of the contract, including retroactive pay to July 1, 2011
- Significant steps towards pay parity for Home Health nurses, who will receive an additional 4 percent increase over the two year agreement
- Increased funding for PNCC
- An option for Per Diem nurses to receive benefits if they regularly work greater than .5 FTE
- Steps towards better floor coverage for nurses who want to attend education days and staff meetings
- Holding the line on health insurance premium increases at the current rate
- Disincentives for sending staff home early after working mandatory call
- New language to limit the number of times nurses can be floated during a shift
- Removal of restrictions for nurses at Step 30 of the wage scale
- 80 hour maintenance of PTO bank following a FMLA leave
The ONA Bargaining Team will be scheduling a series of informational sessions at the hospital in coming weeks so that nurses have an opportunity to see the full tentative agreement, ask questions, and engage in discussion about the changes. The Team will also be setting a date for a vote to ratify the contract. Stay-tuned for details about both.
Meanwhile, thank you to ONA members from around the state for your support of GSRMC nurses!
Be sure to check back with the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center BU page for more details as they become available.