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CMH Info Picket a Success


Waving signs that read “Safe Staffing Saves Lives,” “Nurses Need Consistent Hours,” and “People Over Profits,” about 200 people participated in Tuesday’s informational picket at Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Astoria. Representatives from OSEA, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Teamsters, Steelworkers, the Longshoremen, the Pipefitters and OEA also attended.

Nurses at CMH have been working without a contract since May 31. Multiple negotiation sessions, including two with a federal mediator, have yet to produce a fair contract. The nurses’ priorities include safe staffing levels, economic stability through consistent scheduling, and recruitment and retention of skilled nurses.

During the last picket of the day, CMH nurse Laura Parvi pointed out why she and her colleagues are so important. “We take pride in our person-centered care facility. We not only take care of the patients we take care of their families. CMH takes pride in that. But who is doing that care taking? It’s the nurses. Without us they would not have person-centered care and if we are overloaded we cannot take care of our patients.”

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain also encouraged the picketers saying, “The strength of the labor movement is when we stand together. The strength of the labor movement is when we don’t give up. The strength of the labor movement is the solidarity you see here.”

CMH nurses have another mediation session scheduled with hospital administration on Friday, Aug. 23.

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