St. Charles Hospital in Bend hires union buster

By DON McINTOSH

To talk to its own employees, St. Charles Medical Center in Bend flew in a Florida union buster. According to a required federal disclosure, the health system’s human resources vice president Rebecca Berry contracted with Marla J Bardi, an RN from Sarasota, Florida, starting in August. 

That’s after St. Charles workers requested a union election for a group of 304 doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, social workers, perfusionists, registered nurses, counselors, therapists, and certified nurse midwives. They want to join Central Oregon Providers Network, a newly formed affiliate of American Federation of Teachers (AFT). The workers first made the request June 3, and after months of legal back and forth, they’re still waiting for the National Labor Relations Board to set an election date. 

Meanwhile, a unit of 40 hospice nurses in Bend, Madras, Prineville, and Redmond wants to join Oregon Nurses Association which is also an AFT affiliate. Mail ballots in that campaign will be counted Dec. 8 to determine if a majority still want to unionize. 

Nurse Bardi the union-buster has been busy: Last year, she was one of six union-busters hired by Dollar General to talk a unit of six minimum wage employees in Connecticut out of joining UFCW. And in October, she was off to Portland, Maine, to oppose a union effort by Maine State Nurses Association.

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