As a result of a Dec. 15 vote, 886 hospital support workers at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center will be represented by a local affiliate of American Federation of Teachers (AFT). An earlier vote on Nov. 22 showed that a clear majority of the workers wanted to unionize, but neither of the two unions seeking to represent them had an outright majority. So the Dec. 15 vote was scheduled as a runoff between AFT Local 5017, and and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The result was 319 for AFT, and 110 for SEIU.
The newly unionized group is referred to as the service and maintenance unit. It consists of certified nursing assistants, food service workers, laundry workers, and several dozen other occupational classifications. They’ll now be members of PeaceHealth Southwest Caregivers United, a sub-local of AFT Local 5017, which is also known as Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.