OFNHP consists of nurses and health professionals who’ve been on the frontlines, providing our communities with lifesaving care throughout this pandemic. To us, a union not only helps protect healthcare workers by fighting for living wages, benefits, and agency on the job. But, it also defends patients by helping medical staff get the resources needed to put patients first.
That’s why we’re thrilled to voice our support for the newest addition to the American Federation of Teachers, Nurses and Health Professionals (AFT) from the St. Charles Medical System in Bend and Central Oregon. A new union representing colleagues we work closely with, including physicians assistants, doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, and a huge range of other professionals also providing excellent care to our communities. OFNHP’s newly unionized technicians and technologists at St. Charles in Bend certainly know the power that building a union has had in their workplace, and that when more workers join together to collectively bargain, it benefits all of us.
“As siblings entrenched in the same fight for equity, justice, and agency, OFNHP cannot be more excited for and supportive of these fellow healthcare professionals,” says Jonathon Baker, the President of the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP). In 2021, Oregon witnessed a determined strike at St. Charles Bend to secure a fair and well deserved first contract for our technical bargaining unit. So, we acutely understand their journey. The roads of our movement aren’t paved with smoothed stone. However, the fights we muster are always worth the tribulation along the way.”
A central principle of the labor movement is that we are stronger together than we are alone. As a union, we have more power when we come together across professions, bargaining units, and worksites to work towards a common goal. This collective power is even evident across different unions, as healthcare workers fight for a culture that respects our work and maintains our commitment to patients.
We look forward to building a unified relationship with this new union. Since, we know this will only improve the quality of care Central Oregon deserves. Currently, healthcare workers across Oregon, Washington, and the entire country are transforming their workplaces through their unions, to develop healthcare systems which work for all of us. This new union is just the latest example of the progress we’re working towards every day in our fight for equity, justice, and community well-being.