By COLIN STAUB
A group of 37 home health and hospice nurses working in Central Oregon has joined Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).
In ballots counted Dec. 8, the St. Charles Health System nurses voted 29-5 to affiliate with the union. The nurses provide care for patients in Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond.
A separate union campaign is in progress covering more than 300 doctors at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. They’re seeking to affiliate with the Central Oregon Providers Network, a new affiliate of American Federation of Teachers (AFT). St. Charles hired a Florida-based union buster to oppose that campaign. That campaign still doesn’t have an election date.
ONA already represents hospital nurses at St. Charles hospitals in Bend, Prineville and Redmond. Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP) represents medical technologists at the Bend hospital.
St. Charles has a record of being a particularly anti-union employer. Besides the union buster, the medical group dragged out bargaining with OFNHP for that unit’s first contract, driving workers to carry out a nine-day strike in 2021. ONA also has three unresolved unfair labor practice charges against the employer, alleging the company is refusing to bargain in good faith, disciplining workers for protected activity, and enacting unilateral contract changes without bargaining.