The Astorian is failing the community in reporting incomplete facts of the current nursing union actions taking place at Columbia Memorial Hospital. As a nurse at CMH, I would like the community to know the truth.

The nurses have received a great deal of community support in person, and in more then 760 signatures gathered in a community petition that calls for the addition of fair wages, investment in education and the Oregon law for safe staffing to the nurses contract. Currently, 19 Oregon hospitals have included this in their contracts.

What the community may not know is that while a new facility is being planned and financed, the infrastructure inside — the trained nursing staff — is disintegrating, weakening and at risk.

The enforcement of the existing Oregon state staffing law is insufficient and ineffective in ensuring that staffing levels at CMH are adequate and compliant. There is evidence of this in the frequency of infractions and delays in CMH addressing and correcting them.

There is negative impact to the health, welfare and safety of nursing staff and the community we have committed to serve. We, the nurses, place great value on our relationship to this community, and so we will continue to work towards excellence.

Please call Erik Thorsen, CEO of CMH, at 503-325-4321 and tell him you support CMH nurses. The Oregon safe staffing law belongs in our contract.


Surgical services staff nurse, Columbia Memorial Hospital


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