A group of Central Oregon medial workers announced their plans to unionize Friday, doing it in front of St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
The Central Oregon Providers Network (COPN) filed for union representation. Nearly 300 St. Charles employees are members of COPN.
“We are very concerned St. Charles will make more staff cuts to improve the bottom line but will only serve to hurt patient care,” said Dr. Joshua Plank of St. Charles.
Dr. Plank also said there is no leeway when a provider has to call out. That means, at times, there is only one provider working at small critical hospitals.
Organizers added that ignoring the input of staff in medical advisory boards and cutting health services, like access to labs, are other reasons they are pushing to unionize.
Dr. Les Dixon of St. Charles said, “It really just means a voice” when asked why a union is important to him.
St. Charles declined a request for an interview.