On Wednesday, April 20th, a group of OFNHP members delivered a petition with over 800 caregiver signatures to PeaceHealth Columbia Network CEO Sean Gregory to propose a $5,000 retention bonus for all OFNHP PeaceHealth Southwest and St. John members. It was through our members’ organizing and action that we brought forward the signatures of 85% of our membership to demand a solution to the staffing crisis. Your coworkers spoke courageously about the conditions caregivers and patients face due to short staffing.
On Wednesday of this week, Sean Gregory rejected OFNHP’s call for a retention bonus for all members. Mr. Gregory said, “As our organization and industry face financial realities more challenging than we have faced in decades, remaining market competitive in base wages must remain our highest compensation priority.” We agree wholeheartedly that PeaceHealth Southwest must raise wages for all our members. Our members also need a solution now.
The retention bonus is a bridge between now and contract negotiations next summer for Mr. Gregory to recognize the efforts of our caregivers and retain staff until our union can negotiate higher wages in negotiations next year. The employer can afford to implement a retention bonus for our members now. PeaceHealth reportedly made a peak revenue of $2.6 billion in 2021. The employer can afford to pay each caregiver $5,000 as a necessary recognition of our efforts throughout this pandemic.
OFNHP will continue to advocate for the $5,000 retention bonus. We will reach out to all members in the upcoming week to invite you to a meeting to plan our next steps to win the bonus our members deserve.