By COLIN STAUB
A unit of 70 nurses in Lincoln City is organizing with Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), seeking better work conditions and a say in company decision-making. Their employer, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, is the only Samaritan facility in Oregon without nurse union representation.
On Aug. 22, nurses resolved to change that: They asked hospital administrators for voluntary recognition of their bargaining unit, and asked the National Labor Relations Board to hold a union election in case the hospital declines.
In an Aug. 23 press statement announcing the campaign, medical/surgical nurse Amanda Carpenter said hospital administrators aren’t taking effective action to retain or bring in more workers, and nurses are leaving because of stress and burnout. Short staffing means nurses often can’t take the breaks they’re entitled to, Carpenter said.
At press time, management had not voluntarily recognized the union, and the NLRB hadn’t yet set an election date.
Medical tech workers at the hospital are represented by SEIU Local 49, which recently ratified a new contract.