We did it! Samaritan SEIU 49 members win strong raises and more protections with new contracts

samaritan-victoriesAfter months of negotiations, essential frontline healthcare SEIU 49 members at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital and technologists at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center remained united to win strong new Union contracts that acknowledge the dedication and quality care that we have consistently provided our patients and our communities.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced during the COVID-19 healthcare crisis, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, dietary workers, radiologic technologists, certified nursing assistants and more took a stand to win respect and recognition for our hard work to keep our communities safe and healthy. We stuck together to win strong guaranteed annual raises; access to financial assistance in paying for Samaritan medical bills; and a stronger bargaining position for COVID-19 protections going forward.  

We were united and strong, and we were able to win our largest raises ever. Now we’ll be able to live in the community where we work and give more to our local economy. My sister works at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital doing the same job that I do and she made $10,000 more a year than me. But with the raises we won, I’ll now be earning the same. It will make a huge difference. I’m so proud and relieved to say we will be making the same wage for the same work.”
-Sheri Khan, Cook, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, Newport, OR

“As Respiratory Therapists at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, we play a vital role in providing life support and other therapies. Our job is essential, and more important than ever during this pandemic, but our pay has been lower than other hospitals. With eighty percent of our unit underpaid, we stuck together to be paid on par with other hospitals. To provide the best care we need the best staff, but low wages make it hard to recruit and keep people. Recently we have been working short staffed–just last week we had five shifts that weren’t covered. Our pay increases will help attract good Respiratory Therapists who provide excellent care. My pay will increase over $4 an hour by the end of our new contract, which adds up to $10,000 more a year, and will be a big help in keeping the best care available for our communities.”
-Chris Galer, Respiratory Therapist, Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center

“I’ve always been drawn to helping people throughout my career and becoming a Phlebotomist was a natural step for me to take, wanting to ease patients worries during their hospital experience. I believe having a voice at the table with management means that I’m able to advocate for patient safety and be heard. It also means that my coworkers and I no longer feel forgotten or left behind in the Samaritan Health system. The wage increases and benefits finally make our jobs equal with those at other Samaritan Hospitals.”
-James Tonick, Phlebotomist, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital

Our new contracts make wages and benefits more competitive so we can recruit and retain great employees at both hospitals, and ensures that we as essential workers have the same health and safety improvements as other workers in the Samaritan health system.

With more protections and financial security, will be able to better care for our communities and we are prepared to support fellow Samaritan healthcare workers in bargaining to win even more!

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