By a 4-to-1 margin, nurses at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis voted down a contract offer Dec. 4 that they say fails to ensure safe staffing levels.
Represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), the unit of over 500 nurses has been working without a contract since June 30. Nurses say the 188-bed facilty—Corvallis’ only hospital—has chronic staffing and safety problems, and they want an end to excessive forced overtime. Operating room nurses are being assigned 12 or more hours a week of mandatory overtime beyond their full-time schedules. ONA says Samaritan Health Services has also cancelled negotiation meetings with little notice, and has failed to respond to information requests or to proposals to improve staffing. Hospital managers turned down four proposed mediation dates in December. Nurses, frustrated, plan more public events. They’ll gather at city hall 5 p.m. Dec. 20 for a public caroling event with altered holiday favorites.