Wednesday, Feb. 15, members of the OHSU and Oregon Nurses Association bargaining teams met virtually for negotiations and exchanged a new proposal and counterproposals.
This week the ONA team shared its staffing proposal along with significant historical context, perspectives from the Housewide Staffing Committee, and stories from many inpatient and outpatient areas. In the afternoon, OHSU provided counterproposals to two articles that ONA proposed last week.
The ONA team provided its staffing proposal, which incorporated existing language from the OHSU contract, language from other Oregon health care contracts, and entirely new language. The proposal includes new minimum staffing requirements for each inpatient unit; requirements for break nurse positions and assignments; ambulatory and remote staffing parameters; and increased hours for UBNPC/HBNSC activities.
The ONA team expressly asked OHSU to seriously consider its proposal and to take the proposal and context for it to OHSU leadership. OHSU agreed to do so, and told ONA that given the breadth of the proposal, it would not likely have a response for several sessions.
OHSU provided two package counterproposals for ONA’s consideration. A package proposal means that no part of the proposal can be tentatively agreed unless the entire package is agreed upon.
- Article 20 – Layoffs and Restructure, agreeing to include an expanded definition of restructure, adding the opportunity to offer changes in FTE equitably across shifts, and shortening the timeline for implementing approved FTE changes from six months to 90 days (matching the transfer language changes that OHSU agreed to several sessions ago).
- Article 24 – Resource Nurses, responding to increased incentive differentials (from 3% to 10%) for resource nurses who work 36 hours or more, allowing expanded holiday hours and mandatory education hours to count toward resource nurse availability requirements, and allowing mandatory and approved non-mandatory education to count toward educational leave/certification pay thresholds. In return, OHSU proposed an increase in resource nurse availability from 360 to 520 annual hours and from 24 hours per four-week schedule to two shifts per two-week pay period. OHSU values its resource nurses and is willing to increase the benefits available to them in return for increased availability to help with staffing needs.
The parties did not reach tentative agreements this session. OHSU asked about reaching agreement on Article 18 – Seniority, which the parties seemed very close on last week. ONA is considering whether it can tentatively agree on this article.
The parties are not meeting next week by agreement, though ONA is having a working session. Negotiations will resume virtually on March 1.