by COLIN STAUB
Members of the Oregon Nurses Association at Providence hospitals in Portland and Milwaukie have voted to approve two-year contracts with their employer.
At Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, about 1,600 registered nurses will get raises of 10% to 12.5%, retroactive to Jan. 2, 2022. In January 2023, nurses will get an additional 4% raise. Contract language also requires Providence to make substantial efforts to meet established staffing criteria, and it caps medical plan deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for the entirety of the contract.
The St. Vincent nurses had rejected an earlier tentative agreement by an 80% vote. One key change from the rejected agreement is the pay raise becoming retroactive; previously the raise would have begun upon ratification. The revised contract passed “overwhelmingly” when voting concluded July 15.
At Providence Milwaukie Hospital, nurses approved a contract during a July 20 to July 25 vote. Upon ratification, the hospital’s 239 nurses get a $1.75 hourly increase and a 2.25% across-the-board raise. They’ll get another 2.25% across-the-board raise in May 2023, and entry-level wages will increase 30 cents. After ratification, nurses start at $43.61 an hour. The highest step wage, at 25 years of service, is $62.78.
Nurses at both hospitals previously voted to authorize strikes.
Earlier in July, a group of 233 nurses at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City also reached a contract agreement with their employer.
Contract negotiations are also under way at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. ONA members and supporters held an informational picket there at the beginning of July.