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Session 10: OHSU-ONA bargaining update

OHSU ONA collective bargaining

The Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Nurses Association collective bargaining teams met on Wednesday, April 12, after an agreed caucus day last week. Both OHSU and ONA made several new proposals. In the afternoon, OHSU provided details about its current economic status, as well as its initial economic package. 

OHSU's initial economic package

The OHSU team yesterday shared its initial economics in the form of a package — meaning no item can be agreed to individually, rather the whole package must be accepted — in response to ONA’s previously submitted proposals. Highlights from the OHSU economic package fall into five categories: 


  • (Appendix A) Across-the-board increases: OHSU is proposing across-the-board wage increases of 6% for 2023, 3% for 2024, and 3% for 2025. 
  • (Article 5.9) Year of Service: No pause in accrual of years-of-service (credit toward next step) for leaves less than 90 days (was 15 days).

Differentials and premium pay: 

  • (Article 10.2.2) Increase night shift differential by approximately 7%, to $6.50/hour.
  • (Article 21.7) Certification Pay. OHSU proposed to increase the certification bonus by 20% to $3,000/year (up from $2,500).
  • (Article 10.5) Preceptor Differential. Preceptor differential would be increased by 25% to $2.50/hour, and nurses assigned to teach any student would be eligible for the differential, rather than current state of just new RN hires and transition to practice RNs.
  • (Article 9.3.1) Payment for work while on call. Nurses would receive double their straight time wage when called in to work on a holiday (Article 9.3.3) Hours worked on designated holidays. Nurses would receive double call pay when on call on a holiday.
  • (New) Prescheduled Incentive. As an alternative to CNI that would result in more predictability for the nurse and OHSU, OHSU proposed an incentive of $35/hour for nurses who sign up and work at least four extra shifts in a four-week schedule period.
  • (Article 10.11) Critical Need Incentive. The contractual CNI rate would be increased by 25% to $25/hour (from $20/hour).
  • (Article 21.9) Graduate Benefit. OHSU’s proposal would increase funds available for the graduate benefit subsidy by 40% to $350,000/year.
  • (Article 10.9) Specialty Float Pool Differential. Remove 0.75 FTE requirement for specialty float pool differential, so that all FTE RNs in the specialty float pools receive the $8/hour differential. 
  • (New) Perioperative Services/MSPU Incentive. To provide an incentive for nurses who are not on call but willing to remain at work to finish a procedure in progress, OHSU proposed a $50-$75 bonus, depending on the day the incentive is earned. 

Leaves and time off: 

  • (Article 21.6) Staff Development Educational Leave Hours. Education leave per benefitted RN would be increased by 50%, to 24 hours/fiscal year.
  • (Article 14.2.4) Bereavement Leave. Nurses would receive 24 hours (double the current amount) of paid bereavement leave (in addition to up to two weeks of unpaid leave).
  • (New) Juneteenth Floating Holiday. OHSU’s proposal would add to the contract an annual floating holiday to recognize Juneteenth.
  • (New) OHSU’s proposal would add to the contract one wellness day per calendar year, which could be paid at the nurse’s option using sick, vacation, or comp time.     
  • (Article 12.4) Cash-out of Benefit Time. To provide relief for nurses nearing the vacation cap, OHSU’s proposal would increase the yearly cash-out maximum by 50%, to 150 hours (from 100 hours).
  • (Article 12.4.2) Change in Status to Resource Nurse. Regular nurses changing status to resource would have the option to retain up to 120 vacation hours (for use if they return to an FTE position) rather than having those hours cashed out immediately.


  • (Article 10.2.1) Evening Shift. Outpatient nurses would be eligible for evening differential starting at 3 p.m. (versus 5:30 p.m.).
  • (Article 10.8) Float Differential. Under the current contract CHO nurses are not eligible for this differential unless they float to units outside of CHO. OHSU’s proposal removes this exception, so that CHO nurses will be eligible for float differential for floating out of their primary organization.

Resource Nurses:

  • (Article 5.9) Adjusted Service Date. OHSU’s proposal would allow resource RNs to accrue a year of service each year, rather than only after they have worked 1,040 hours. This proposed change would impact 88% of resource RNs.
  • (Article 24.3) Compensation. Resource nurses working more than 48 or 60 hours in a pay period would see an increased differential of 10% (up from 7%) or 7% (up from 5%), respectively.

OHSU’s proposed economic package takes into consideration the latest financial data, which shows an operating loss of $90 million for Fiscal Year 2022 and a break-even budget for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 combined. There is a gap between clinical payment rate growth (2-4% per year) and labor/cost inflation (5-7% per year) that places $120 million of downward pressure on earnings each year. To succeed, OHSU must grow patient activity while managing increasing costs.

OHSU put forward a package proposal that commits more than $120 million over three years to its ONA bargaining unit members. This dollar amount is equivalent to a 31% wage increase for the average nurse over the three years of OHSU’s proposed contract. For reference, ONA’s opening economic package would cost more than $400 million, equivalent to more than a 120% wage increase over two years.

ONA Proposals

The ONA bargaining team brought forward three proposals yesterday:

  • Article 5: Definitions
  • Article 7: Hours of Work
  • Article 27: Committees

Tentative Agreement 

The parties did not reach tentative agreements this session. 

Going forward 

Negotiations will resume in person at ONA's offices on April 19, 2023.   

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