OHSU Awaits ONA's Final Contract Proposal

11/15/01    Portland, Ore.

Fact sheet outlining OHSU's offer

A final contract offer from the Oregon Nurses Association to Oregon Health & Science University is due today, according to a mediator assigned to resolve contract differences between the two. OHSU issued its final offer to the union last Friday, more than doubling its wage proposal from its first offer in May.

This update provides current information about the final offer OHSU submitted after ONA declared an impasse in the negotiations.

OHSU's offer includes:

  • WAGE INCREASE: Two consecutive 5.5 percent increases (Oct. 8, 2001 and Oct. 6, 2002), which result in an increase in excess of 11 percent over the life of the contract. This establishes a pay scale for ONA-represented BSN nurses of $19.54 per hour ($40,600/year) start step to $28.35 per hour ($58,900) after 20 years.
  • INSURANCE DOLLARS: Increase the amount paid to nurses who purchase health insurance through UniversityFlex by $30 per month, which raises the total dollar amount to $445/month for nurses who are .7 or greater FTE and $310/month for nurses who are .5 to .69 FTE. This is the same amount provided to OHSU's managers and faculty. OHSU also has offered to further increase nurses' monthly benefit dollars if there are additional increases in the amount of benefit dollars received by managers and faculty during the term of the new contract.   
  • CRITICAL NEED INCENTIVE: A minimum of $7.50 per hour incentive to cover shifts that are difficult to fill and peaks in census and acuity.
  • RETIREMENT: OHSU puts 12 percent of employees' salary into PERS or the university's pension plan. (The cost to OHSU is 14 percent.)
  • TUITION DISCOUNT/STAFF FEE PRIVILEGE: OHSU subsidizes tuition at universities and colleges in the Oregon University System for its employees who are .5 FTE or more. It also subsidizes tuition for its employees who are enrolled in undergraduate programs at OHSU's School of Nursing. As part of OHSU's final offer, OHSU will make available $100,000 per year in graduate tuition assistance for ONA-represented nurses at OHSU's School of Nursing. For ONA-represented nurses who have worked at OHSU more than five years, the new offer also further reduces the School of Nursing graduate tuition fees paid by nurses, based on tenure.

The cost to OHSU of its final offer to the nurses for a two-year agreement through Sept. 30, 2003, includes increases in the wage and benefit package of nearly $10 million. ONA's current proposal, which includes a wage increase alone of 29 to 33 percent, would cost four to five times that amount. OHSU anticipates receiving ONA's statutory final offer, as required by law, Thursday, Nov. 15.

OHSU is hopeful that ONA members will accept its offer when it votes Tuesday, Nov. 27 and Wednesday, Nov. 28. However, OHSU has taken the necessary steps to ensure patient care is not disrupted should this impasse continue.

Note: An Oregon Health & Science University representative will be available to respond to the Oregon Nurses Association's final offer on its nursing contract when the information is made available by the ONA. As soon as OHSU receives the details of the ONA's final offer, Bonnie Driggers, R.N., M.S., M.P.A., OHSU nursing director and one of the OHSU negotiators, will be available for interviews.

To arrange an interview or obtain information about OHSU's final offer, please contact OHSU University News at 503 494-8231, or after 5 p.m. page Jim Newman through the OHSU operator at 503 494-8311.

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