© 2024 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

PeaceHealth hospice and home care nurses near Eugene set to begin strike over the weekend

FILE - Heather Herbert, a hospice nurse with PeaceHealth, speaks at a press conference in Springfield, Ore., on Dec. 29, 2023.
Nathan Wilk
FILE - Heather Herbert, a hospice nurse with PeaceHealth, speaks at a press conference in Springfield, Ore., on Dec. 29, 2023.

After almost a year of negotiations, nurses with PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Home Care Services are going on strike. More than 90 nurses with the Oregon Nurses Association will be striking for two weeks starting Feb. 10. These nurses provide hospice care and other services to patients in the Eugene area.

The nurses have been working under an expired contract since April 2023 and are looking to raise safety standards, increase recruitment and retention, and secure better pay.

Heather Herbert is a hospice nurse with PeaceHealth and an ONA member. She joins us to share more about her job and nurses’ hopes for the future.

In a statement to OPB, PeaceHealth officials wrote:

“After notifying the ONA that their initial strike date of Feb. 1 would cause a lapse in benefits for their members, the union pulled their initial notice and filed for the new strike date of Feb. 10. PeaceHealth notified the union of their error to prevent caregivers from unnecessarily losing their health benefits due to the strike timing. PeaceHealth’s employment policy states that benefits expire the last day of the month in which you work – i.e. if an employee’s last day of work is Jan. 31, their benefits expire at the end of January. If an employee’s last day of work is Feb. 1, their benefits expire at the end of February.

“Once PeaceHealth received the strike notice from ONA, we immediately postponed our upcoming bargaining sessions to focus our full attention on ensuring the continued delivery of safe, high-quality patient care during the union’s strike. We look forward to resuming negotiations at a later date, but right now our focus must be on our patients and providing uninterrupted care.

“As is standard practice, PeaceHealth has contracted with an agency to provide experienced temporary replacement caregivers during the strike to ensure patient care continues uninterrupted. This strike will not impact operations at PeaceHealth hospitals and clinics in Lane County. PeaceHealth has successfully negotiated four other long-term union contracts over the last 12 months – including one with ONA – providing wage increases and stability for nearly 3,000 caregivers in Lane County.”

If you’d like to comment on any of the topics in this show or suggest a topic of your own, please get in touch with us on Facebook, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. The call-in phone number during the noon hour is 888-665-5865.
Copyright 2024 Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Rolando Hernandez
Related Content