Central Oregon DailyNurses, elected leaders expected at St. Charles nurses picket Monday

Nurses, elected leaders expected at St. Charles nurses picket Monday

Nurses, elected leaders expected at St. Charles nurses picket Monday

‘Hundreds’ expected at St. Charles nurses picket Monday

Hundreds of nurses and health car providers plus local elected leaders are said to be taking part in what is being called an informational picket outside St. Charles Medical Center in Bend Monday afternoon. The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) union says it’s meant to call attention to a staffing shortage at St. Charles and how that may affect care for the community.

Bend mayor Melanie Kebler, members of the Bend City Council, Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang and leaders from ONA are among those expected to speak.

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ONA says is seeking what it calls a fair contract “to improve our community’s health and safety.” The union claims St. Charles has struggled to fully staff due to salaries that make it difficult for caregivers to be able to afford to live in the communities they serve.

St. Charles countered in a statement Monday, claiming that the average annual full-time salary is $108,000 a year.

The union claims St. Charles has 200-300 unfilled nursing positions at the hospital in Bend. In a statement, St. Charles said it has 80 open positions.

St. Charles said Monday it has hired more caregivers than it lost in the past nine months. It also claims it has 80 open nursing positions.

“We respect our nurses for the difficult job they do caring for our patients and community and are proud to offer a competitive pay and benefit package,” Julie Ostrom, service line administrator for trauma and surgical services and a member of the St. Charles bargaining team, said in the statement.

The picket will happen from 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of NE Neff Rd. and NE 27th Street. Those wishing to attend can park at the Church of the Nazarene.

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