Members of the Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Nurses Association bargaining teams on Wednesday, May 10, met virtually and welcomed multiple guests, including Oregon House Representative Travis Nelson and Lace Velk, RN; Erica Swartz, RN; Matt Calzia, RN; and Jaimie Smith, RN. Each guest gave a presentation in support of ONA’s staffing proposal. The OHSU team thanks each guest for taking the time to join the meeting, and for providing helpful context regarding the ONA staffing proposal. OHSU understands that ONA is eager for a response to its staffing proposal, and is working diligently to provide one soon.
This week the OHSU team shared four counterproposals:
- Article 30 – Remote Work (responding to ONA’s April 19 proposal) – including commitments to provide standard technology and equipment necessary for remote work employees to perform their job duties, paid time to deliver malfunctioning equipment or retrieve repaired equipment, and allowing remote workers to attend work meetings whenever a reasonable remote option is available.
- Article 25 – Parking and Transportation (responding to ONA’s May 3 counterproposal) – agreeing to ONA’s proposal to allow information to be provided electronically rather than by phone, adding language about parking for employees with ADA reasonable accommodations, and offering paid administrative leave for employees whose vehicle or bicycle is stolen from OHSU facilities.
- Article 22 – Grievances and Arbitration (responding to ONA’s April 26 counterproposal) – including expansion of what qualifies as an Association (group) grievance and allowing a witness from the grievant’s unit to participate in the informal pre-grievance meeting.
- MOU regarding Oncology Float Pool (responding to ONA’s April 19 proposal) – agreeing that inpatient oncology nurses will not be required to float to outpatient units (and vice versa), that they will receive their unit assignment location at least two hours prior to their shift and will have their report time adjusted if parking is unavailable at their assigned location.
ONA did not present any counterproposals during this session.
After briefly discussing the possibility last week, the parties this week agreed to request a mediator. It is likely that the mediator will not be available for several weeks, and the parties agreed that even if the mediator were available immediately, they will need to resolve some of the many open proposals before they are ready for mediation.
Mediation is a common part of the process in negotiations, both at OHSU and with 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.
The parties did not reach tentative agreements this session.
After a planned week off, negotiations will resume on May 24, 2023, at OHSU for an in-person session.