Workers represented by SEIU 49 ended their two day strike at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center on Thursday morning. CNAs, dieticians, housekeeping staff, and more struck for fair wages, affordable healthcare, and to stop outsourcing of jobs. The union is set to return to the bargaining table Tuesday and if they do not receive an adequate offer from management they could strike again.
Gypsy Smith is a housekeeper at McKenzie-Willamette and is one of the 100 workers whose job is set to be outsourced on October 24. Smith started the job at the beginning of the pandemic, but says she also knows co-workers who have worked at the hospital for several decades that are facing outsourcing. “People who devoted their lives and risked [their] lives are being betrayed,” Smith said. “[McKenzie-Willamette] just betrayed us, discarded us, and people are being forgotten.”
In addition to facing outsourcing, all members of the bargaining unit, which represents over 400 workers in 100 different jobs, are fighting a 27% raise to healthcare costs over the next three years. Workers are also seeking competitive wages from their company that received $4.5M in CARES act funds.
Many community members showed up to support including allied unions and politicians. Members of GTFF, SEIU 503, ATU, ONA, Roofers, UFCW 555, AFSCME, OSEA, OFNHP, and SEA showed their support on the picket line. John Gangl, who works for LTD and is the recording secretary of ATU 757, said he remembers when the healthcare workers had his union’s back and it is important to stand up for these workers now.
They expect to begin the process of getting a fair contract this week, but could also be back on the picket line.
Former parks employee and unhoused residents living in Washington-Jefferson Park allege that Joe Waksmundski has misused his powers as ambassador of Washington-Jefferson Park.
“Although Heckathorn’s name was not included in the Oregon Medical Examiner’s list of deaths during the June heatwave, he died while homeless on June 27, the day after Eugene’s temperatures surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Monday, 2:30-3:30 PM — UO NASU Indigenous Peoples’ Day ceremony @ EMU Amphitheater
Monday, 5:30 PM — City of Eugene Council work session
Community Safety Initiative update
Right-of-way resolutions on federal aid projects
Monday, 6:00 PM — City of Springfield Council work session
Vote on pay raise for City Manager
Monday, 7:00 PM — Springfield Economic Development Agency Regular meeting
Update on Glenwood project
Tuesday, 9 AM — Lane County Board of commissioners morning meeting
Approval of intergovernmental transfer of property adjacent to the new Parole and Probation building located at 2699 Roosevelt Boulevard and Highway 99 in Eugene to Homes for Good. If approved the organization would build 50 housing units with Sponsors inc. for County residents that have completed prison sentences.
Tuesday, 1:30 PM — Lane County Board of commissioners afternoon session
Wednesday, 12 PM — City of Eugene Council work session
Housing Implementation Pipeline (HIP) update
Wednesday, 6:15 PM — 4J Special board meeting
Vote on proposal to increase bus drivers’ pay
Saturday, 11 AM – 1 PM — ESSN Community forum: housing for the working class @ Whirled Pies, 199 W 8th Ave, Eugene