What kind of a difference does standing together as a union make for caregivers?


A Voice for Staffing

Eric

“Being short staffed makes my job very difficult – I worry every day about how it will affect our patients. So, I stood up and took action because I was really concerned about workload in the Material Service department. My coworkers and I raised these issues together, and as a result, management posted and filled 5 positions. Now, we have the necessary staffing to do a great job for our patients and colleagues!”

Eric Bradfield, Logistics Tech
Legacy-Emanuel Hospital, Portland


Stephanie

“Last year, management at Kaiser Sunnyside decided they wanted to switch all CNAs and Unit Specialists to 12 hour shifts. The result would have been a massive cut in staff, 89 people would have lost their jobs. But 8 hour shift lengths are in our contract, so we didn’t have to agree to even talk about the change to 12 hour shifts. Instead, we went to the bargaining table with management to look at the scheduling and staffing problems they were trying to fix with this massive, and unfair, change. By standing together and staying united, we actually made the opposite happen! Now we’re actually adding 10 more FTEs to our schedule. When front-line caregivers have a voice in planning patient care, we can really make a difference.”

Stephanie Nodurft, CNA 2
Kaiser Sunnyside
Clackamas


Standing Up for Affordable Healthcare

Jen

“Caregivers shouldn’t face financial disaster because of medical bills. At McKenzie-Willamette, our union contract guarantees a subsidy for low-earning members, with the lowest-earning getting their premiums fully-paid. That means those of us who work hard but can least afford healthcare premiums aren’t left out in the cold when a costly health situation hits our family.

Jen McCall, Respiratory Tech
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center


Anita

“Negotiating our first contract has been a long process, but we’re close to getting it done. We’ve already agreed with management on a Labor Management Committee and a Grievance Procedure. And we just responded to their wage scale proposal with one of our own. But finalizing this first contract is just a foundation. And with caregivers in Oregon uniting with us, we’ll really have a voice across the whole PeaceHealth system to make better jobs and better patient care a reality.

Anita Claymore, Environmental Services
Peacehealth St. Joseph
Bellingham, WA


Overtime & Per-diems

Christina

“Being a union here means per diem employees can only be used to fill regularly scheduled shifts that are open because of leave, illness or vacancy. They can’t be used as permanent solutions to staffing needs. Also, when there’s a need to fill a position or take an extra shift, it means longer, irregular hours, disruption of our home life, and often exhaustion. It’s only fair that we get compensation for that hard work, without complicated and unfair rules. At Peacehealth Labs in Longview, caregivers who normally work 8 hours a day get overtime pay for every hour worked over 8 hours. And that’s how it ought to be!”

Christina Welter, Lab Assistant
Peacehealth Labs
Longview, WA


Economics

Brianne

“We stuck together when things got tough and showed our solidarity. I’m proud of our union, and I voted yes to ratify our new contract. We kept our wage scales and with this new contract we are getting between 8.25% and 8.75% over the next 3 years, in addition to more PTO, higher differentials, and other improvements.

Brianne Simpson, CNA
Peacehealth St. John
Longview, WA


Malia

“We formed our union because we deserve respect and a voice at work. And it wasn’t easy. We really had to work together to get Samaritan to listen to us, but it was worth it. Now, I’m proud to pay my union dues, because I’m proud to have a contract at work with guarantees that I couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. I am looking forward to guaranteed 3% annual raises, in addition to the 4% raise we negotiated in this contract. This means a big deal to my family.”

Malia Scanlan
Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital


Carey

“Since I am a union member, I know I have raises that I can rely on, and am able to have security in planning for my family’s future. With prices of food, childcare and other necessities increasing, my annual raises provide me with certainty that non-union jobs just can’t provide.

Carey Myers, Environmental Services
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center


Education

Jonathan

“I’ve been at Kaiser for 2 years now, and it’s a world of difference coming from a non-union workplace. I’m active in my union, as a steward and on the bargaining team, because I can see what standing united has gotten us. A key benefit for me is our education fund, which is in our contract. Right now, it’s paying for me to take classes – including tuition, books, parking – in computer science at Portland Community College – towards a degree and a job in health information systems. For me, that means a pathway up, and hope for an even better future.“

Jonathan Gillespie, Environmental Services
Kaiser Westside


A Voice on the Hospital Floor

Olivia

“At Kaiser, our union helped create teams on each unit that work to solve problems on the floor and make decisions in the workplace around scheduling, resources, and workplace processes. These teams aren’t just for show, we solve real problems. For instance, a few years ago the team in Central Sterilization spent time reviewing department materials, usage rates, ordering patterns and waste levels. Staff on the floor did this, and they uncovered a pattern of ordering out-dated supplies that weren’t being used. By having caregivers on the front-line being included in the conversation, we saved our hospital over $250,000 a year.”

Olivia Devers, CNA
Kaiser-Permanente, Portland