ONA will picket for two more days due to replacement contracts

MEDFORD, Ore. – Thursday was supposed to be the final full day of the three-day ONA strike outside of six Providence hospitals, including Medford. But the union may not be welcomed back Friday and Saturday.

While nurses have been striking, Providence has had replacement nurses on five-day contracts. The question that’s been on everyone’s mind is what would happen if a represented nurse, that’s striking Thursday, returned to work Friday? Would they be allowed to work? Or would they be turned away because their role is filled by a replacement nurse?

Providence released a statement to make it clear where they stand. The hospital means to honor the five-day contracts but will contact any striking nurses, if they are needed.

Providence said if nurses are not contacted, they are not on the schedule and do not need to report to work. The ONA finds this concerning, calling it an illegal lockout. The union said in their 10-day strike notice, they warned if Providence locked out, refused or delayed the reinstatement of nurses, the picketing would continue. Vice Chair of the ONA bargaining board and Providence charge nurse, Whitney Evans said,

If they’re not allowing 100% of nurses back in, you’re locking them out. If I’m not allowed to get into the hospital tomorrow [Friday] with the rest of my coworkers, 100%, I will be returning to the picket line and join my fellow coworkers and we’re going to keep this going for the next two days.

The ONA said it will file an unfair labor practice complaint with the federal government. Providence doubled down; that the ONA knew the contracts would be five days, and that this is a publicity stunt to shame the hospital.

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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