Caregivers at Sacred Heart in Springfield unionize

Frontline care providers at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Centers in Eugene, Oregon —Riverbend and University District—voted 524-367 May 29 to be represented by Service Employees International Union Local 49. It is the largest healthcare election to take place in Oregon for nearly two decades.

The bargaining unit consists of 1,100 certified nursing assistants, emergency room techs, monitor techs, housekeepers, food service assistants, patient access representatives, surgical support aides and more.

Sacred Heart is part of Vancouver, Wash.-based PeaceHealth, a not-for-profit health care system with medical centers, critical access hospitals, medical group clinics and laboratories located in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

PeaceHealth is in the midst of a massive shakeup in its executive ranks, with five top executives leaving.

Nurses at the hospital are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association, and doctors are members of Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association, American Federation of Teachers Local 6552.

Sacred Heart alone made $43 million in profit last year.

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