National Union President Shows Support for ONA Nurses at OHSU During Contract Negotiations

PORTLAND, Ore. – Today, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten met with Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) President Katy Cooper, BSN, RN, CCRN, and other ONA nurses at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Weingarten visited nurses at the hospital’s Portland campus to discuss nurses' work and ongoing contract negotiations with OHSU. Nurses and OHSU administrators began state mediation today to attempt to agree on a fair contract that improves patient care, ensures adequate hospital staffing and protects health care for nurses and their families. 

ONA represents more than 2,500 registered nurses at OHSU and more than 14,000 nurses across the state. It is a local AFT affiliate.

“ONA nurses at OHSU work on the front lines in their community, caring for the sick and vulnerable when they need it most. I was honored to spend time visiting with some of them at the OHSU campus in Portland today. To continue providing patients with the care they deserve, OHSU should immediately agree to a fair contract that maintains safe staffing levels and helps recruit, support and retain more nurses,” said Weingarten. 

“As lawmakers in Washington consider changes to our healthcare system, we must protect against any attempts to put profits ahead of patients and ensure nurses receive the fair contract they need to continue providing high-quality care for their community.”

Since November 2016, ONA nurses and staff have met with OHSU administrators 21 times to try to reach a fair agreement. The previous contract between nurses and OHSU expired March 31, 2017.

ONA was founded in 1904 as the professional association for nurses in Oregon. It is Oregon’s largest nursing professional association and union. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit

The American Federation of Teachers is a union of 1.6 million professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. It is committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work its members do.

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