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Session 17: OHSU-ONA bargaining update

OHSU ONA collective bargaining

Members of the Oregon Health & Science University and Oregon Nurses Association bargaining teams on Wednesday, June 7, met in person at OHSU to continue exchanging proposals. It was a productive day, with the parties exchanging eight proposals and having good discussions.  


The ONA team provided four counterproposals: 

  • Article 5 – Definitions, including language about when a nurse in a Cross-Trained Position (new definition) would receive float pay, and limitations on the use of traveler nurses and international nurses. 
  • Article 22 – Grievance and Arbitration, including that any removal of an assignment that includes a differential would be a demotion and grievable. 
  • Article 25 – Transportation and Parking, including that bus passes be free to all nurses upon request, enhanced security in parking facilities, and $500 per incident of theft or damage to a nurse’s vehicle or bicycle. 
  • Article 20 – Layoffs, including clarifying language on restructures, and maintaining new language that if management chooses to move nurses to other units beyond floating or temporary/special assignments, that will require a restructure.  

The OHSU team provided three counterproposals: 

  • Article 15 – Leaves, including payment without using accruals for nurses who cannot get back on the schedule after being released from jury duty. 
  • Article 17 – Retirement, including setting the default contribution for nurses who do not elect a contribution to the UPP at 6% (which provides the maximum OHSU match), and setting the timeline at six months after hire to place an employee in the UPP if they do not elect a retirement plan. Parties subsequently tentatively agreed to this section. 
  • Article 20 – Layoffs, OHSU responded by agreeing to ONA’s concepts.  


The ONA bargaining team shared that they had significant concerns with the staffing proposal that OHSU presented last week, and asked that OHSU provide a different proposal. OHSU agreed to do so, but explained that preparing a new proposal without feedback on the prior one would be difficult and potentially counterproductive. The ONA team provided some feedback, and said they would provide more after reviewing OHSU’s proposal again.

Status of Economic Proposals

ONA provided its most recent economic counterproposal on May 24. During that session, OHSU promised to have a counterproposal on economics by June 14, with the intent to have it before mediation, as OHSU indicated in the bargaining updates and email communications with ONA.  

On Monday, OHSU communicated to ONA that the team would provide a response on June 14. Given the number of open economic issues, turning around economic proposals is very time-intensive and requires connecting with numerous stakeholders. Both teams have previously taken significant time to prepare counterproposals on economics. OHSU focused time last week on the staffing counterproposal, because ONA stated that was their priority. OHSU will fulfill the commitment to have an economic proposal next week and share at the session, which will be open to observers before the teams formally begin mediation. To try and reduce the number of items in the package, which should help with turnaround time, OHSU is also examining whether it can remove items from its economic package to consider outside of it.  


OHSU and ONA will begin mediation Wednesday, June 14, and will continue with a second day of mediation on June 20. Mediation is a routine part of the collective bargaining process where a neutral third party works with both parties to facilitate reaching an agreement. 

Tentative Agreement 

The parties reached Tentative Agreement on Article 17 – Retirement. 

Going forward 

Negotiations will resume and mediation will begin on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at ONA for an in-person session.  

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