The Oregon Nurses Association is saddened at the loss of former ONA Labor Relations Representative Tanya Collier, after a lengthy illness. Tanya was a longtime government and labor leader as well as the wife of Gregg Hartmann, of Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan attorneys, ONA’s legal counsel.
Diane Hedrick, RN, former Labor Relations Representative and current Secretary of ONA said of Tanya, “She was one the most organized, detail oriented, progressive people I have ever known. She was a great teacher and a good friend. It’s such a tremendous loss.”
Hedrick reminisced, “In the early 1980s Tanya was hired to be one of ONA’s first organizers. She was tasked with working with bargaining units that needed additional help with membership and internal organizing.” Later, Tanya was assigned to represent the ONA bargaining units at Dammasch and Fairview State Hospitals. Hedrick represented the bargaining units at the state’s Eastern Oregon Training Center and Eastern Oregon Psychiatric Center, which were both located in Pendleton.
At the time, each of the four bargaining units was negotiated under a separate contract. Hedrick remembered, “When Tanya realized this, she said ‘This is crazy! What a waste of ONA and State resources.’ And she set out to convince State representatives it was crazy too. Not too long after, she merged all four agreements and negotiated a single contract to cover all facilities. As a result, my Pendleton nurses got a huge wage increase because Fairview and Dammasch were pegged to Portland wages. They were thrilled.”
Teresa Stone, BSN, RN, PRP, CP, former bargaining unit chair at OHSU and past president of ONA remembered Tanya as one of the most dynamic and impeccable person she has ever worked with, before or since. “Tanya negotiated a very successful contract for us, after setting up strict ground rules which included no animosity ever be shown at the table. Tanya listened to administration’s lengthy presentations and was able, without taking notes, to eloquently respond word for word, comment for comment, without ever being critical. Everyone at the table respected her ability to put prioritized interests first. We were astounded too, because it was her first contract negotiation.”
ONA Executive Director Susan King, RN, MS, CEN, FAAN noted, “Tanya was a dedicated political leader, lobbyist and strong advocate for nurses in Oregon. We appreciate her many contributions and send our most sincere condolences to each member of her family.”
A celebration of Tanya’s life will be held on Sunday, September 20, at the Multnomah Athletic Club in SW Portland (adjacent to Providence Park). Details will be forthcoming.