Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center workers and allies picket & rally
Corvallis, OR-Over a year after Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center (GSRMC) workers voted to join SEIU Local 49, hospital workers and AFL-CIO union members held a spirited informational picket and rally to help the workers in their effort to gain a stronger voice in patient care, lower turnover rates and affordable health insurance for their own families. Also at the event, Oregon AFL-CIO President Tim Nesbitt led a delegation in to the hospital to deliver over 1000 postcards of support for the workers.
"We picketed and rallied at the hospital today to draw attention to the fact that, as health care workers, we can't even afford health care for our own families," said Joe Pusey, a Mental Health Aide at GSRMC. "The hospital wants to raise our health care costs by 28% while only increasing wages by 1%. It will make it impossible for many workers to afford their own health care while at the same time providing it to their patients."
Approximately 330 health care workers, including Certified Nursing Assistants, Phlebotomists, Surgery Assistants and Physical Therapy Aides, joined with SEIU Local 49 in September 2002 to earn a stronger voice in patient care at the hospital. The employees have been struggling to bargain their first contract with the hospital since last fall. The Oregon AFL-CIO convention took place in Albany, and leaders and union members from the convention joined the GSRMC workers to support their efforts.
"Here at Good Samaritan, we have a highly profitable corporation where the cost of [health care] coverage is so high, and the terms of qualifying for coverage so stringent, that a lot of workers go without care," said Tim Nesbitt, President of the 170,000 member Oregon AFL-CIO. "We are here to send a message that all workers, including health care workers, deserve affordable health care coverage for themselves and their families." Nesbitt led a delegation to the hospital to deliver over 1000 postcards from community members who support the workers to Samaritan CEO Larry Mullins.
Call GSRMC CEO Larry Mullins at 541-768-5002 and tell him that Good Sam workers deserve a raise and a fair contract NOW!