Press Release: St. Charles Medical Center Doctors and Other Providers Re-file Petition with NLRB for Union Recognition

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For Immediate Release
Aug 1, 2022

Janet Bass


BEND, Ore.—The Central Oregon Providers Network, representing about 300 St. Charles Medical Group physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other healthcare workers re-filed their petition today with the National Labor Relations Board for union representation, a re-do after hospital management stalled the process with unsubstantiated accusations.

The healthcare workers initially filed their petition on June 3, but St. Charles management alleged that some of the campaign’s original organizing team leaders were supervisors. The union disagreed but chose to re-start the process with a new card collection. The new petition for a union, like the previous one, would include all 300 providers.

“As providers, we know what services, staff and locations are needed to help our patients have equal access to healthcare services. Instead of listening to our concerns and ideas to improve the financial situation but not worsen patient care, hospital administrators laid off crucial staff. We need a union to participate in patient-care decisions,” said Debbie Rief-Adams, a St. Charles nurse practitioner. “Unfortunately, the hospital is throwing petty roadblocks in our way with the help of one of the country’s most expensive law firms—all during a financial crisis. When the administration makes it more difficult to take care of our patients, we will make our voices louder.”

Since the original petition filing, St. Charles has undergone a top management shake-up. Under that management, the hospital asked the NLRB to dismiss the union petition.

“We are hoping for a far more collaborative climate under new management. We want a seat at the table so healthcare professionals can have a voice in patient care and make sure that changes are made in a meaningful way for our profession and the community,” said Josh Plank, a St. Charles hospitalist.

COPN said it will work with the NLRB to schedule a new hearing on the petition so it can finalize a date for its secret ballot election.