Nurses at Portland’s only psychiatric emergency facility say they want a union

Nurses working at Portland’s psychiatric emergency facility presented petitions in support of unionizing May 13. (Photo courtesy of Oregon Nurses Association)

At Unity Center for Behavioral Health in Northeast Portland, more than 170 out of the 215 registered nurses have signed cards seeking to join Oregon Nurses Association, the union announced May 13. Unity Center is a 24-hour psychiatric emergency room and behavioral health center. It’s operated by Legacy Health System as a joint venture with several other local health networks.

Nurses Jeff Ferrier and Sherrie Neff told the Labor Press they and their co-workers want a union so they can have more say in decision making and a safer environment for patients and staff. Since it opened in 2017, Unity Center has faced multiple investigations over violations of safety rules.

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