ONA members working at St. Charles Medical Center Bend sent a strong message to hospital administration on Monday, September 10, 2012, as over 600 supporters, including nurses and their allies, took to the sidewalks in an effort to draw public attention to concerns about the employer’s bargaining proposals on a variety of issues that would negatively impact patient care if implemented. A number of elected officials and political candidates came out to show support for nurses and their fight for a fair contract.
Nurses at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend have been in contract negotiations with the hospital for the past several months . We have held 17 rounds of talks, including 11 bargaining sessions and 6 meetings with two federal mediators. Last Wednesday, September 5th (during a marathon negotiation session), we were unable to reach an agreement on a contract that would protect patient safety, ensure the highest quality care for our community and provide nurses with the tools we need to keep you healthy and safe.
It was our hope that the hospital would come to the table ready to reach an agreement and all of the nurses at St. Charles were ready to resolve our disagreements; unfortunately, the hospital has rejected our efforts.
For us, these negotiations are about putting patients before profits, about ensuring our patients have access to the highest quality nursing care and about protecting the future of health care in Bend for our loved ones and our families.
Why are nurses at St. Charles worried about quality, safe patient care?
1.) St. Charles administration wants to eliminate the hospital’s only unassigned clinical resource nurses. This means that their expertise will not be available to assist nurses and patients when needed.
- Charge Nurses will have assigned patients who they cannot leave to be available as a resource to other nurses.
- Unassigned Critical Care Float Nurses will now have patient assignments, totally eliminating them as an important hospital-wide readily available critical resource.
- By locking these nurses into patient assignments, there will be no other readily available qualified clinical resources for nurses to call when they need patient care assistance. THIS WILL NEGATIVELY IMPACT PATIENT CARE.
2.) St. Charles administration wants to take the job of making patient care decisions and assigning nurses to patients on each unit away from the Charge Nurses, and give this job to non-clinical supervisors.
- Making patient care decisions is a very important clinical role. Supervisors do not do clinical work at St. Charles and having them in charge of patient assignments and patient care will negatively impact patient care.
PUTTING NON-CLINICAL SUPERVISORS IN CHARGE OF PATIENT CARE is not good for patients.
You can learn more about the ONA St. Charles Medical Center - Bend bargaining unit on their page here and you can view a gallery of images from the St. Charles - Bend informational picket on the ONA facebook page here.