Care Providers News & Contracts
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After many months of hard bargaining, workers at Lawrence Convalescent Center (LCC) in Portland won their first union contract late in the evening of September 25. Besides improved wages and benefits, the contract gives structure to workers’ voice on the job, resulting in better resident care and healthier working conditions.
LCC workers voted to form a union on April 17, 2014 in the face of a tough fight where the boss brought in anti-union consultants and pulled out all the stops to prevent them from winning. The issues they organized around–low pay, lack of respect and poor facility maintenance–are being addressed through the bargaining process and through worker action in the facility.
The settlement preempts an informational picket that was scheduled for September 26. The workers will ratify their contract next week.
Workers at Avamere Sunnyside Transitional Care and Avamere Rehab. of Beaverton became the latest groups of nursing home workers to join our union this year. The 74 workers at Sunnyside and the 72 workers at Beaverton join with workers at 47 other nursing homes who are already members of SEIU Local 503. Just this year, 9 new groups of nursing home workers have organized, and almost 40% of Oregon nursing home workers are now united in our union!
Congratulations to the workers and to SEIU 503 member S.L. Grace who helped on both campaigns.
Our Work at the Capitol Pays Off
Nursing home workers in our union have done amazing work in the last year—securing strong union contracts with wage and benefit improvements, helping other workers join our union and by advocating for quality care and staffing ratios at the Capitol. These actions combined led us to victory where we won guaranteed raises in each year of our contracts.
Our fight to advocate for ourselves and our residents continues. Let’s build towards making sure we have a great year in 2015. There are three things you can do RIGHT NOW to support our efforts together:
Workers at Lawrence Convalescent Center are fighting for quality jobs and quality resident care in a union contract. A respected and fairly compensated workforce is essential to provide the quality care that seniors in our community deserve.
Workers at 17 local nursing homes have already formed unions and bargained contracts that provide fair wages and benefits to workers and a way to work collaboratively to ensure quality care. In April, workers at Lawrence Convalescent center voted to form a union as part of SEIU Local 503. Management fought hard to try to break the organizing drive and they are still fighting in negotiations to weaken the union and not agree to the standards and raises that other local nursing home employers have agreed to.
Workers need your support to win a fair contract! Please send a message to the Lawrence today: ask them to settle a fair contract with Lawrence workers.
Nursing home workers at Fernhill Estates and temp workers at Marion County won organizing victories in the past week and became the newest members of SEIU Local 503.
With the addition of Fernhill, workers at 50 nursing homes and assisted living facilities are now members of Local 503! Fernhill workers are the 7th group of nursing home workers to organize this year. Fernhill workers organized for respect and fair wages. Many union members at Laurelhurst and Porthaven nursing homes who also work at Fernhill helped win this election victory.
Marion County temporary workers finally became part of our union after years of attempts and legal hurdles. About 100 temporary positions will now be part of the union at Marion County and workers will begin bargaining shortly. Pay equity and job security are two of their most pressing issues.
Many members helped on this campaign, including Sara Fillion, Stacey Harp, Trish Straw, Charles Arnold, Kendra Stafford, Bernadine Newland, Steve Nerrow, Oscar Izaguirre, Mark Terrill and Roseanne O’Connor.
Workers at Timberview Care Center in Albany won union recognition yesterday from Prestige! They are the 3rd group of nursing home workers to join our local union this year. The 55 workers at the facility united around winning wage increases and respect.
“I support the union because we need to be listened to. It’s not right to wait till someone gets hurt to have a problem looked at. Our union will be our voice here at Timberview for respect and safety.”
—Edna Lara, C.N.A., Prestige Timberview
—Kimberley Siemens C.N.A. and Melissa Thornton C.N.A., Prestige Timberview
—Clara Martineau, C.N.A., Prestige Timberview
Eugene-area care providers enjoyed some much-deserved accolades from city officials on April 8, as Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg declared April 8, 2014, “Caregiver Recognition Day.”
The mayors joined hospital workers from McKenzie Willamette Medical Center, nursing home workers, local homecare workers and developmental disability workers for a heartfelt roundtable discussion, followed by an official joint proclamation declaring April 8th “Caregiver Recognition Day”.
“I’m so touched at how proud [these caregivers] are of the work they do, how much they care about the people they provide services for and how much they know those services are very valuable for the quality of life for people in our community.”, said Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene.
“I can’t tell you how much we truly appreciate the work that caregivers do. Thank you so much for what you do said Springfield’s Mayor Christine Lundberg.
Standing alongside the Mayors, local caregivers reflected on the importance of having the support of local leaders and the community.
“It means so much to receive this appreciation from our elected leaders and community. Everyone deserves to have a good life and to be taken care of, regardless of their age or disability.” said Jhansie Turner, a local developmental disability worker with independent living services company Alvord Taylor.
Caregivers provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Their work in our community ranges from providing critical care in our hospitals to providing in-home care to seniors, children and people with disabilities. Despite the critical services they provide, caregivers continue to face significant challenges that include having a meaningful voice on the job, getting access to affordable care and making a living wage.
“This is a special day that is just as much about our community and our patients as it is us. We are here today because we are proud of the work we do and deeply care about our community, said Ken Charpie a Lab Tech worker at Mckenzie Willamette Medical Center. “But at the same time caregivers are facing increasing challenges that are forcing us to do more with less.”
In response to growing care provider concerns, employees across Mckenzie Willamette Willamette Medical Center – from nurses to technical workers – are holding an informational picket on Thursday, April 17th from 1-4pm at Willamalane Park (Across from McKenzie Willamette Medical Center). Caregivers will be joined by elected leaders and community supporters in standing up for quality affordable care and good jobs at the hospital.
SEIU Nursing Home workers across the state testified in Salem on February 18, 2014 in favor of staffing ratio changes to improve quality care.
This summer, SEIU care providers will once again take the state by storm! From Bend to Lincoln City and Eugene to Medford, care providers are planning to reach out to fellow workers to sign them up for membership, build political power through our union’s political fund (CAPE), register voters in key legislative districts, and invite them to volunteer with our union. In 2012, 39 member leaders participated in the blitzes, and together we knocked on 2,011 doors, signed up 254 new members and 202 CAPE contributors, and registered 92 new voters through weekend visits to communities across the state.
Will you join us? Whether you can come out for the whole weekend or just devote a day or a few hours, it all makes a big difference. We’ll feed you, train you and pair you up with someone who has knocked on doors before. Lodging provided for folks traveling more than 75 miles. Blitzes scheduled throughout the state on weekends: Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Register here to participate: http://seiu503.seiu.org/page/s/2014blitz
Congratulations to workers at Avamere Rehabilitation of Rogue Valley on their new union. On January 23, they became the first group to join Local 503 this year. More than 80% of the 56 workers signed union cards, and Rep. Peter Buckley counted the cards and certified that a majority supported forming a union. The majority of nursing homes in Josephine and Jackson county are now organized and our campaign was helped by the large number of former SEIU members at the facility.