ONA second strike day, says Providence is sending “mixed messages”

MEDFORD, Ore. – ONA nurses and supporters continued their strike Wednesday, fighting for better contracts from Providence hospitals. ONA said there has been some double speaking going on, from Providence in regard to the situation.

Friday, ONA nurses and supporters showed up for the second day of the strike in high spirits, outside of the Providence Medford hospital, at the intersection of Crater Lake Avenue and East McAndrews Drive. Providence registered nurse on strike, Breanna Zabel said,

Today we’re back on the line and our energy is high. We’re feeling good, kind of tired from yesterday, right? But more people are showing up today that weren’t here yesterday. We’re kind of feeding off of those good vibes as well.

ONA insists, no nurse wants to be on strike, when they could be bedside, but the union said Providence forced their hand with offers they felt were not substantial. ONA said Providence has been sending mixed messages, even saying the hospital is playing all sides. Chief of Staff for the ONA, Scott Palmer said,

‘ONA is preventing us from attracting temporary nurses, we might not have enough nurses to provide care.’ And then five minutes later, they turn around and tell the community, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re fully staffed.’ It’s confusing and our perspective is providence is doing that intentionally. They’re specifically making things confusing and chaotic to give your community, the impression that the nurses are responsible.

Providence released a statement, which said the union claims to be fighting for nurses, but doubles down on “shame” as a PR strategy. The hospital cites a text message from the union to its members on June 7th, reading in part quote,

“If providence chooses to lock us out for two days in order to save money, we will shame them in the press.”

This refers to Thursday being the final day of the ONA strike but the replacement nurses by Providence have five-day contracts. ONA members say if Providence turns them away from work, they will file a complaint about unfair labor practice.

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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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