Central Oregon nurses to hold union vote

By COLIN STAUB

A group of 40 home health and hospice nurses at St. Charles Health System will decide whether to join the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), the second recent union campaign at the Bend-area medical group.

ONA filed the petition on Oct. 5, covering workers in Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. According to a news release, the home health and hospice division has experienced high turnover recently, which workers attribute to instability in management. Remaining workers say they don’t have the resources to provide the care patients deserve. Unionizing will ensure workers get adequate pay, fair treatment and due process, according to the release.

The home health effort comes during a larger union campaign covering more than 300 doctors at St. Charles centers throughout Central Oregon. They’re seeking to join a new union, the AFT-affiliated Central Oregon Providers Network (COPN). That campaign does not have an election date yet.

ONA currently represents hospital nurses at St. Charles locations in Bend, Prineville and Redmond.

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