Press Release: Bend Nurses Reach Tentative Contract Agreement With St. Charles

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Bend nurses successfully reached a tentative agreement on a new four-and-a-half-year contract with hospital administrators at St. Charles Bend on January 12. The agreement follows two straight days of federal mediation. Nurses and hospital administrators have been meeting since June 2018 to try and reach a fair agreement that improves patients’ care.  

“This agreement is a win for our community’s health,” said local nurse leader and ONA bargaining unit chair David Hilderbrand, RN. “I’m very proud of nurses and hospital administrators who came together to reach an agreement that puts patients first and gives us new tools to address shared concerns like staffing and practice standards. We have more work to do, but this is a promising step in our shared efforts to make sure high-quality, affordable health care is available to everyone in Central Oregon.”

As part of the tentative agreement, nurses have agreed to cancel the informational picket scheduled for Jan. 21 and want to thank the entire Central Oregon community for their support throughout negotiations.

Nurses will continue their planned food drive this month to support Central Oregon families in need. More details on the food drive will be shared on nurses’ Facebook page when it becomes available:

Agreement highlights:

  • Improves patient care by limiting floating between hospital departments to ensure every patient is treated by nurses trained to meet their specific needs.
  • Creates a shared governance structure to increases accountability around staffing and practice issues. The new shared governance model will allow direct-care nurses and managers to work together to quickly address practice concerns.
  • Gives nurses an equal voice on unit practice committees to raise health care standards.
  • Offers variable cost-of-living increases to provide financial flexibility for the hospital while helping recruit and retain nurses. Cost-of-living-increases will be based in part on the consumer price index and range between 2-4 percent per year.
  • Supports plans for new residency and fellowship programs to improve staffing and training for high-demand specialties.   

The local nurse negotiating team is recommending a “yes” vote on the contract agreement. Nurses will schedule a vote to approve the tentative agreement in the coming weeks. If approved, the new agreement will be effective immediately and run through Dec. 31, 2022.

The nearly 900 registered nurses at St. Charles Bend are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association.

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