Hillsboro hospital outsources housekeeping and food service


¡JUSTICIA! Hillsboro Medical Center’s decision to outsource food service and housekeeping with just 30 days notice — and not pay hundreds of hours of accrued sick and paid leave as severance — is “una burla para todos mis compañeros,” a mockery of a coworkers, said dishwasher Delcy Velaszquez. At a rally outside the facility on June 22, Velasquez demanded “justicia,” justice. | PHOTO BY MALLORY GRUBEN

Two years after more than 500 workers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Hillsboro Medical Center joined AFSCME Local 328, the hospital is outsourcing more than 50 jobs in housekeeping and food service to a private contractor, Pennsylvania-headquartered Compass One Healthcare.

Oregon AFSCME representative Dennis Ziemer said Compass agreed to voluntarily recognize the union, honor the contract negotiated by Local 328, and hire any existing worker who wanted to keep their job. At least 46 workers had decided to work for Compass One when it took over July 1.

“My suspicion is they might actually be a better employer than Hillsboro Medical Center,” Ziemer said.

But the decision to outsource means nine senior workers will lose “extended illness hours” they banked through a now-discontinued paid leave program. They were promised a payout of those hours when they retired, so long as they were at least 55 years old.

Housekeeper Hortencia Cardenas, 50, banked 658 extended illness hours working at the Hillsboro hospital more than 17 years, and she was counting on the payout.

“I worked with them all these years, and they just told me one day, ‘You’re going to another company,’” Cardenas said. “My plan was to retire here,” said Cardenas, who now hopes to start her own cleaning business instead. “We worked through COVID. All these years here, and they gave nothing.”

The union contract workers approved last year mandated payout of up to 280 hours of accrued vacation and sick leave when they leave, but didn’t detail what would happen with the extended illness hours.

Local 328 met with OHSU Hillsboro Medical Center June 28 hoping to bargain a severance package for outsourced workers, including a payout of the extended illness hours. But management declined to offer any benefit other than the 280-hour payout spelled out in the contract.     


  1. Why does it seem that the most unenviable jobs are outsourced? In this case, to another out of state company? Why are the lowest paid (but also most vital) persons, the target of cost savings? Happens way too often in way too many industries to way too many people.

  2. This happened to me after working at st. Vincent’s for over 40 years as a nursing assistant.
    I was almost 59 when this happened . I accrued over 1000 hours of EIT time. Then they went ahead and hired 2 people in my place because of cheep labor.


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