Late 19 June morning, about 20 nurses lined up in front of the Providence Home Services building on Northeast Halsey to show how unhappy they were with the company. Schneider is an occupational therapist for Providence. She is one of about 1,800 nurses from Providence Portland, Providence Seaside, and Providence Home Health and Hospice who walked off the job on Monday and started a five-day strike. Schneider and his group want higher pay, better health care, including care for mental health, and more paid time off and sick leave.
Officials from Providence said their most recent offer to nurses included 30 more hours of paid time off spread over three years, a 12% raise in the first year of the contract and two more 3% raises in the years after that. Providence also said that the average salary for a nurse is already $128,000.
In a news release last week, the union said that the disagreement isn’t just about salaries but also about paid time off and that $128,000 per year is the top end of the current pay scale, not the average.
Gentry said that even though Providence hired replacement nurses to cover for the hundreds of striking nurses, Providence Seaside Hospital and Providence Portland Medical Center are still feeling the effects.
Tweet On Nurses on strike start to picket outside:-
Hundreds of Providence nurses begin five day strike over higher wages and benefits https://t.co/xKdOLymrZc
— KGW News (@KGWNews) June 20, 2023
“PPMC has cut its normal capacity by about 25%, and Seaside has cut its capacity by 50%,” Gentry said.
The strike should end Friday night. Providence has said it won’t start talking with the union again until the strike ends.
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In a news release sent out late Monday afternoon, Providence said that the first day of the strike had gone “very smoothly — as expected.” The news release also discussed an email sent to unionized staff, telling them that Providence would return to the table with a less lucrative offer.
Providence said that its most recent contract offer included three things—back pay, an approval bonus, and 30 more hours of paid time off—that depended on there not being a strike. It told the union about these things right away.