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News: 2013-04-06 OHSU Settlement on Influenza and Masking Policy Grievance

OHSU Settlement on Influenza and Masking Policy Grievance

ONA and OHSU have reached an agreement that modifies portions of the Influenza Vaccine and Masking Policy as it relates to bargaining unit nurses. For some background, OHSU implemented the Influenza Policy in October. ONA filed a grievance November 9, 2012 over OHSU’s implementation of the Influenza Policy. The grievance concerned ONA’s perception that OHSU implemented the policy without first bargaining with ONA over mandatory subjects of bargaining. Since the filing of the grievance, the parties have met several times in an attempt to reach a resolution. Over the last several weeks, the parties were able to reach the following agreement. Most of the agreement will take effect at the start of the new flu season in 2013-2014 except as otherwise noted:

  • The parties will work together to educate the workforce about influenza and ways to stop the spread of influenza, including by receiving a vaccine.
  • Nurses that decline to get an influenza vaccination will still need to fill out a declination form. However, that form will be kept confidential and separate from the nurse’s personnel file. The information will only be used to help OHSU make reports about vaccination levels to the Joint Commission and governmental surveys.
  • Nurses that decline to get vaccinated will be required to wear a mask within six feet of a patient in a patient care area during the “mask on” period.
  • OHSU will not count as an “occurrence” certain documented absences due to a flu-like illness. This provision takes effect as of December 19, 2012 (the beginning of the mask on period for the 2012-13 flu season), and applies to one occurrence per flu season, provided the following criteria are met for the absence:"
    • Occur during the mask on period
    • Be documented that a nurse has flu like symptoms by a physician or nurse practitioner during a scheduled appointment
    • The documentation is provided to the nurse’s manager no later than the start of the next shift that the nurse works
    • The absence is a maximum of four consecutive days (96 consecutive hours)
    • Any undocumented or additional unscheduled absences for flu-like symptoms will be considered an “occurrence”
  • All other provisions of the current Influenza Policy remain in effect.

Click here for a copy of the entire agreement.

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