The union representing nurses and health professionals at St. Charles said the hospital has followed through with filing a lawsuit to stop a planned strike.
Earlier this week, the hospital’s medical techs gave notice they would strike on March 4 if the two sides were unable to agree on a contract.
Late Friday night, the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals issued a statement that said an Unfair Labor Practice was filed by management at the hospital, contesting the length of the notification period.
The hospital said on Monday it planned to file the lawsuit.
The union claimed it followed all the requirements of the National Labor Relations Act when it gave the hospital a 10-day notice.
“The hospital’s frantic response is another example of their efforts to break up the bargaining power of the medical providers who are fighting for fair compensation, safe working conditions, and respect in the workplace,” the release said.
“We are a core part of this community, we are essential to its care, and all we are asking is to be treated that way,” said George Wainscott, a certified surgical technologist in the family birthing center. “The workers who are most capable of safely and reliably staffing this hospital are available. The employer is simply unwilling to treat us with the respect and value that we are worth.”
Here’s the rest of the release from OFNHP:
“The hospital filed an Unfair Labor Practice contesting the length of the notification period, something that labor law experts have rightly said shows their misunderstanding of the NLRA. They originally wanted a state court to issue an injunction to halt the strike. By filing in state court—the wrong jurisdiction—they would have been provided an unfair path to an injunction. This matter actually belongs in federal court, which is why it was immediately moved to a federal jurisdiction.
This is another example of extreme tactics that are intended to frighten St. Charles’ employees into submission, something that management often does in an effort to avoid unionization. While this action has been couched in the language of public health, it is a transparent attempt to undermine their own employees’ right to collective action. The union is fighting this in court, and the strike will still commence on March 4th, with community and political leaders from around Bend joining them on the picket line.”