Nurses accuse Bend hospital of unfair labor practices

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Nurses working at St. Charles Bend have alleged that the hospital threatened them after they raised concerns about workplace staffing and participated in union activities.

The Bulletin reports that last week, three local nurses filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency that oversees and enforces laws related to organized labor. Representatives from the hospital denied engaging in unfair labor practices, describing the charges as a negotiating tactic.

However, nurses and representatives from the Oregon Nurses Association described the situation as a harmful workplace environment that’s only getting worse.

The charges are the latest foray in a prolonged labor dispute between the Bend hospital and the approximately 900 nurses who work there. Lisa Goodman, public information manager for St. Charles, said St. Charles has not engaged in any unfair labor practices and the safety of patients and staff continues to be the hospital’s highest priority.