Members of the Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Nurses Association bargaining teams met Wednesday in their first collective bargaining session, held virtually.
After participant introductions, the teams discussed ground rules for bargaining and are moving toward agreement on these important guidelines.
Often the first day of negotiations is slow-moving. Not this time, as ONA brought forward several proposals about issues that they would like to have agreement on while the parties negotiate a new contract. Both ONA and OHSU had additional proposals ready to present, but did not have time to cover them all in a planned short day.
The OHSU bargaining team appreciates the planning and preparation demonstrated by the ONA team, and looks forward to continuing negotiations and addressing proposals not covered at the next session.
In addition to the parties’ progress on ground rules, this week the ONA team shared several proposals:
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding bargaining team support. ONA’s proposal seeks to increase the number of paid bargaining team members, and asks that bargaining time be included in overtime calculation.
- Letter of Agreement (LOA) regarding ECMO transport pay. Continuing a discussion that OHSU initiated before today’s session, ONA counter-proposed that the ECMO transport team receive a lump sum incentive for picking up extra call shifts, as well as call-in pay at double time if they are called in to work. OHSU agreed with this concept, and counter-proposed clarifying language.
- LOA on the Oregon Paid Family Leave program. Under a new law effective at the start of 2023, OHSU pays 40% of the required contribution toward employees’ state-run paid family leave, while employees pay 60% of the required contribution. ONA proposed that OHSU pay the full required contribution.
- MOU on winter surge of respiratory illnesses. OHSU and ONA currently have agreements on incentives regarding RSV and enhanced CNI. These agreements expire in December and January. ONA’s proposed MOU seeks to expand and increase these incentives through the end of March.
After exchanging proposals and counterproposals, the parties reached a tentative agreement on the LOA regarding ECMO pay.
Collective bargaining is a process, and the OHSU team appreciates the constructive start to negotiations with ONA. The teams will next meet on Wednesday, Dec. 21, which is the final session in 2022. In the new year, the teams will meet weekly or bi-monthly as determined by the teams.