Members of the Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Nurses Association bargaining teams on Wednesday, May 3, met for in-person negotiations at ONA, exchanged several counterproposals, discussed the Transition to Practice Program with guest speakers from OHSU, and had a great conversation about interests in these negotiations. The OHSU team very much appreciates the ONA team’s candor and willingness to engage in this conversation.
This week the ONA team shared three counterproposals:
- Article 25 – Parking and Transportation, including proposals on ADA parking, subsidized bus passes, and parking safety.
- Article 5 – Definitions, including revised definitions of split positions, cross-trained positions, and temporary nurses.
- Article 15 – Leaves, accepting OHSU’s proposal to streamline certain sections, agreeing to OHSU’s counterproposals on Leave for Victims of Certain Crimes, and proposing language changes around jury duty and bereavement leave.
OHSU provided two counterproposals regarding three articles for ONA’s consideration.
- Package of Article 19 – Posting and Filling of Positions – and Appendix D – Transition to Practice Program (TTP), including language on interviewing priority, the transfer introductory period and when the TTP program is completed. OHSU also agreed as part of this package to eliminate the requirement that a nurse stay in their original FTE after completing the TTP program or risk providing reimbursement for the TTP investment.
- MOU 8 – Employee Health Care Access Committee – agreeing to expand the Ambulatory Strategy Committee to an organization-wide Healthcare Access Committee.
To discuss the program generally and to answer questions from the ONA team, Transition to Practice Program experts Alycia Rivera-Tutsch and Sara Bergeron joined the teams virtually in the afternoon session.
OHSU raised the question of when to request a state-assigned mediator to assist with these negotiations. Mediation is a common part of the process in negotiations, both at OHSU and other employers. In previous contract cycles agreements were reached through mediation. In mediation, the parties work with the mediator to share interests, perspectives and positions and pose questions to determine how to move forward on remaining issues. The mediator does not take a position or make decisions on issues, but acts as a facilitator to keep the process moving forward. Although OHSU does not believe teams are ready for a mediator in these negotiations, given the difficulty of scheduling mediation, the OHSU team communicated interest in reaching out soon to start that process.
The parties did not reach tentative agreements this session.
Negotiations will resume May 10, 2023, in a virtual session. ONA communicated that it will have guest speakers to discuss staffing issues, while OHSU will try to have a response to ONA’s Remote Work proposal, as well as others.