Nurses At St. Vincent Hospital Approve New Contract, Strike Averted

PORTLAND, Ore . — After tentatively accepting the terms of a new contract last month to avert a strike, 1,600 frontline nurses at Providence St. Vincent Hospital have formally voted to ratify a new two-year deal.

The nurses had voted to nearly unanimously to strike over what the Oregon Nurses Association says are unfair labor practices.  During negotiations, the ONA demanded fair contracts that improve patient care and nurse staffing standards, address Providence’s growing staffing crisis and make health care more affordable.

“This contract recognizes the essential work ONA nurses do and gives us the tools we need to turn the page and begin delivering the care our community deserves,” said ONA Executive Committee President and Registered Nurse, John Smeltzer.

The contact takes effect immediately.

Nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center voted to ratify their own contract this past Monday.  Those at Providence Milwaukie Hospital will vote on a deal next week.

In May, nurses at all three hospitals in the Portland area voted nearly unanimously to authorize strikes.  Providence is one of the state’s largest and most profitable health systems and has never faced a strike in Oregon.

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