After nearly a year of bargaining sessions, worksite actions, and narrowly avoiding an unfair labor practice strike, healthcare workers at Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Unity Center for Behavioral Health, and Randall Children’s Hospital voted overwhelmingly to approve the settlement with Legacy management on new five-year Union contracts.
A majority of Legacy members in our Union are Black, brown, and Asian, and winning improvements on economic justice, healthcare justice, and racial justice and equity were cornerstones to our negotiations to offset the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, gentrification, and racial discrimination. As 1,100 healthcare workers united, we were able to WIN on these priorities.
We won new joint wage scales to guarantee no SEIU 49 member is paid less because of which facility we work in. The scale includes a new step to recognize long-time employees! We won strong across-the-board raises, and a ratification bonus; over the life of the contract, the average wage increase over the life of the contract is over 25%!
Racial justice and equity
A key victory for patients and workers is having Legacy Environmental Service workers who clean and sanitize the hospital return to an 8-hour workday. EVS workers–many of whom are Black, brown, or Asian–had hours cut at the beginning of the pandemic to 7.5 hours per day, putting a strain on keeping the facilities clean but it was also a financial hit to housekeepers who work hard to keep our hospital clean and sanitized.
We won a commitment to ongoing conversations with Legacy Chief Diversity Officer regarding race and equity including hiring and promotion, recognition of non-Christian holidays, input on training, and policies on harassment and discrimination. We also won new language protecting immigrant members who must miss work due to work authorization issues and immigration proceedings.
To support our career growth, continuing education, and ensure we have the skills we need to provide the best possible patient care, we won access to the SEIU & Joint Employer Education Fund, which offers financial reimbursement, free classes, and counseling and more.
Healthcare workers deserve healthcare benefits that we can afford to use. That’s why we united to win new wage-based premium subsidies for medical benefits that will be automatically applied, making it easier for members to cover ourselves and our families under our Legacy insurance.
Our determination, unity, and commitment to quality care in the Portland community has paid off with better pay, affordable healthcare; a strong voice in staffing and patient care; access to the SEIU & Joint Employer Education Fund; and with the alignment of contracts, the respect we deserve for our Union.
“It’s been dangerous working this past year and winning improvements on healthcare, like the premium subsidies, was also important to me.”
-Shirley, Housekeeper, Legacy Emanuel
“Having our shifts returned to 8-hours means we can clean and sanitize to levels that help keep patients safe and healthy.”
-Sunita, Housekeeper, Legacy Emanuel
“I’m getting almost a $3.00 per hour raise. With this raise I can go to school and help my mom buy a house. The education funds are really appreciated—it is nice to see our employer and our union want to help us grow.”
-Sophia, CNA, Legacy Emanuel
“Winning the Education Fund makes a HUGE difference for me. The financial support really helps. I am incredibly thankful.”
-Kristen, Physical Therapy Aide, Good Samaritan