By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
A medical professional shared with our team of a local Portland hospital worker who quit their job last fall because of Oregon’s vaccinate-or-be-fired mandate. The worker was vaccinated, yet they knew that the mandate once in effect would create layoffs and quickly become an unbearable strain on the system. Oregon is suffering already from a 15,000 health care worker shortage. That’s 15,000!
This particular nurse quit and became a traveling nurse and is now being paid more with flexible hours. The Oregonian reported that health care positions, like traveling nurses, are making $225 an hour — the highest in the nation!
KGW-TV cited OHSU as where 60% of their nurses were considering leaving the profession, when at the same time as many as 90% of them were vaccinated (as measured by Oregon Nurses Association average). OHSU has 12,000 employees. That calculates to several thousand vaccinated health care workers considering leaving the profession.
The Oregon Catholic Sentinel reports on this phenomenon of nurses leaving over stressful conditions and the unintended impact that higher paid traveling nurses have created, “…nurses have left their jobs. For the most part, ‘they’re leaving because they’re overwhelmed and overworked, because of losing so many patients…This is not normal’.. four nurses in her emergency room have left to work in less stressful positions. “We love the travelers,” she said. “But it feels like the systems are waiting it out, not investing in the regular staff and when it’s time they’ll let the travelers go. None of us wants to leave our jobs, but it’s hard to sustain hard work when you see you could leave, have less stress and make more money…”
These anecdotal stories reflects the larger picture of chaos created by Oregon enacting some of the nation’s most restrictive vaccine mandates. Oregon was among the six states with the most restrictive vaccine mandates.
Oregon had choices.
Oregon could have been more flexible like most other states who required “vaccination or be tested weekly” options. Most states didn’t even have a vaccine mandate. Oregon took the most painful, invasive and disruptive path.
If Oregon did not wish to be more flexible (consider how that sounds), they could have dedicated some of the near $5 billion in Covid relief funds to hire nurses. Oregon could have contracted with national hiring firms (like New Hampshire), offered $12,500 hiring bonuses (like Montana), or lured baby boomer retirees back into service with incentives. Quebec recruited 1,000 nurses using incentives.
Oregon could have reduced their high hospital taxes so hospitals could afford to hire more staff.
Oregon could have suspended anti-competition laws that hinder hospitals from hiring out-of-state workers.
Instead, Oregon just passed highly restrictive laws upon an already pandemic wounded system and let the workers deal with the fallout.
We know Oregon can protect jobs. Oregon can protect jobs because the most protected job during the pandemic was their own government jobs.
We know government can offer pay raise incentives because government jobs lead all other job categories for raises during the pandemic.
Remember, as we explained, the problem existed before the pandemic. The failure to address reflects how dysfunctional and disconnected politicians are from the actual problems Oregonians face.
Oregon needs to address the crises at hand with solutions that work.
SPECIAL MENTION: As you may know, anytime we mention words like “vaccine” or “mandate” in an article like this one, it will be down graded for distribution by social media. Their formula for fighting misinformation means a lot of factual and thoughtful discussions are unfairly caught up in this preventative algorithm. Such articles are slowed-down so it takes more Likes and Tweets than normal for this article to be seen by others. So, if you think this article is important, please consider a Like, Tweet, comment, email or link share to pass it on. The good news is, that if enough people do it, this article will rise above the downgrade and go viral like our other stories on this website, which means this article can easily be seen by a a few thousands readers in just a few days. As of 6:30AM Monday Jan 31st, this article was the most clicked news story on OregonWatchdog.com news service, which means we have real-time actual proof that people like this article and would read it if given the chance. The numbers prove that people want to have a discussion on Oregon’s mandates and Covid policy. We just need a little extra push to overcome the downgrade.