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E&GW Accomplishments

Over the years, the Oregon Nurses Association has accomplished a lot in terms of economic and general welfare, professional development and legislation that helps further the profession of nursing.  The following are just some of the economic and general welfare accomplishments ONA has achieved over the years.

1. Wage Protection and Enhancement

ONA has provided Registered Nurse wage protection and enhancement over the past 20 years.

ONA nursing wages have increased 135% over the past 20 years compared to a general consumer price index increase of 60%.

ONA has also achieved even greater pay for more experienced practitioners resulting in a 172% increase over this same period for our most senior nurses (expanded number of pay steps).

Due to ONA’s advocacy nurses are now being increasingly recognized for their individual professional work experience wherever they may have practiced when placed on the pay scale. This allows nurses professional choice and employment mobility without loss of pay when changing employers.





Average ONA Wage Increase over 20 years




Average ONA Wage Increase per year








Average Total Consumer Price Index Increase




Average Consumer Price Index Increase Per Year




Many ONA nurses have gained economic parity with other regional facilities during their organizing drives or negotiations. For example in the Spring of 2005 ONA nurse’s wages increased 27% at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg in direct response to ONA’s organizing drive and negotiation, making them for the first time competitive with Eugene and Medford nurses.

2. Enhanced Professional Voice and Shared Governance

ONA representation has enhanced professional voice and moved toward a shared governance model for nurses in their practice settings through the establishment within our contracts of labor-management committees, unit-based practice councils, Professional Nurse Care Committees, and Staffing and Safety Committees.

3. Contract Protection Promoting Work-Life Balance

ONA has achieved contract protections that promote work-life balance.

Predictability of work schedules and assignments are contractually addressed allowing nurses to maintain a private life away from work. This typically includes no changes in work schedules once posted, as well as, limitations and economic disincentives for employers to schedule nurses to work variable shifts, consecutive weekends, excessive shifts and call. Vacations once granted cannot be rescinded. These provisions provide a balance between a nurse’s private and professional life, allowing her to fulfill family and other obligations.

Guaranteed rest breaks and meal periods have been incorporated into our contracts and enforced by grievances ad negotiated settlements. At Rogue Valley Medical Center ONA achieved a rest/meal settlement worth $511,000.

4. Assuring Fairness

The ONA represents nurses individually and collectively assuring fairness while avoiding favoritism.

All ONA contracts have a built-in insurance policy known as a grievance procedure that ends with a neutral third party arbitrator. The arbitrator makes a final determination about the fairness of an employer’s actions. Many nurses have used this process to reverse unjust disciplines and to be reinstated after being improperly discharged. Contract language and the payment of benefits have been enforced utilizing this same type of representation. In a 2008 arbitration ONA won adjustments to pay step placements for nurses at Mercy Medical Center worth over $300,000 in back pay.

ONA also protects the rights of nurses by filing Unfair Labor Practice complaints against employers with federal or state agencies when appropriate. During the OHSU strike in 2001 ONA won a settlement for $330,000 for improper bonuses paid to strike-breaking nurses.

ONA has promoted and implemented objective job bidding criteria, assurance of fair nursing unit reorganizations and layoffs when necessary, etc.

5. Differential Pay for Clinical Expertise

ONA has advanced professionalism by implementing differential pay for clinical expertise in many of our contracts. This includes extra pay for clinical ladders, national specialty certifications and BSN/MSN degrees. It also includes educational funds and release time for educational workshops and training of the nurses’ choosing to advance his or her career goals.

6. Improvement of Night Shift Staffing

Night shift staffing has been dramatically improved within the nursing industry by establishing night shift differentials of up to 22% of a nurse’s base wage rate. Over the past 10 years ONA pushed and achieved this type of recognition for night shift work when it became apparent that hospitals could not retain experienced night shift nurses. Staff turnover rates and therefore patient care has dramatically improved with these significant differentials.

7. Protecting Patient Care in Home Health and Hospice Settings

ONA has stopped pay practices that are detrimental to patient care in Home Health and Hospice settings. In 2008 the ONA sponsored a bill to prohibit pay-per-visit nursing visits so that Nurses would not have to choose between cutting short their home visits to make more money for themselves and their employer.

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Oregon Nurses Association
18765 SW Boones Ferry Rd. Suite 200, Tualatin, OR 97062
(503) 293-0011 or 800-634-3552 (Oregon Only)