2,000 PeaceHealth workers call for improved hospital standards

Members of Service Employees International Union 49 are holding a day of action Oct. 4, including an informational picket at facilities operated by Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth, according to a news release shared with Becker's.

The union — which represents more than 15,000 healthcare and building service workers, including healthcare workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington — said about 2,000 PeaceHealth hospital workers will hold the informational picket "to protect patients and improve hospital standards." Informational picketing is scheduled at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Ore., St. John Medical Center in Longview, Wash., and Sacred Heart Medical Center University District in Eugene, Ore. The action is not a strike but an avenue for union members to raise awareness about their core issues during contract negotiations.

Union members said they want PeaceHealth to address "quality care, safe staffing and jobs with wages that can recruit and retain qualified local staff."

In a statement shared with Becker's, PeaceHealth said the informational picketing will not affect the accessibility to care provided at the health system's facilities. 

"PeaceHealth respects the rights of our caregivers to participate in these kinds of activities as part of ongoing union contract negotiations," the statement reads. "We remain deeply committed to our caregivers, and we are proud of the high-quality, compassionate care and service they provide to patients and the community. Our patients and their families can continue to count on us to deliver that care without interruption."

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