Nurses at two more Portland hospitals have voted to authorize a strike

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.(KPTV)
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 9:05 PM PDT
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PORTLAND ORE. (KPTV) – Both Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City have voted to authorize strikes against Providence. This follows a previously authorized strike by Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in May.

The Oregon Nurses Association, which represents the workers, says altogether more than 2,000 nurses have voted in favor of the strike.

“The unprecedented strike votes are to protest Providence’s illegal unfair labor practices (ULPs) and demand fair contracts which improve patient care, raise nurse staffing standards, make health care more affordable and address Providence’s growing staffing crisis,” the Oregon Nurses Association wrote in a release Thursday night.

ONA says if strikes are called, they will give Providence a 10-day notice to “allow management adequate time to cease admissions and transfer patients or to reach a fair agreement with nurses and avert a work stoppage.”

In regard to the strike authorization vote, Providence said a plan remained in place if nurses walk.

“While we think it is premature and are disappointed by ONA’s strike authorization votes, we are eager to continue dialogue with ONA as we work to find mutually agreeable solutions. Since contracts are settled at the bargaining table, we encourage the union to avoid a costly strike for our nurses. It’s important to note that if an actual strike is called at any of Providence’s Portland area hospitals, we will turn all of our attention to preparing to serve our patients and return to negotiations after the strike. Continued access to high-quality care remains our highest priority.”