OFNHP decries layoffs at PeaceHealth as Vancouver clinic closes

By MALLORY GRUBEN

PeaceHealth will lay off nearly 30 union-represented workers this fall when it closes an urgent care clinic in Vancouver.

The Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP) represents health techs and service and maintenance workers in two units at PeaceHealth, including about three dozen workers at Memorial Health Center, an urgent care clinic at 3400 Main St. On July 23, the hospital told OFNHP it will shut down Memorial because the building is degrading and PeaceHealth can’t afford to fix it, said Shawna Ross, bargaining team chair for PeaceHealth health techs. The facility will close Sept. 30.

Any workers who are laid off will receive four weeks of pay, plus one week for pay for every year they’ve worked at PeaceHealth, per a pre-negotiated severance agreement, Ross said. The payout is capped at 26 total weeks of pay. Workers’ healthcare benefits will continue under a similar schedule of one week per every year of service up to 26 weeks.

A spokesperson for PeaceHealth did not return a phone call requesting comment. But according to reporting by the Vancouver Columbian, PeaceHealth plans to open a new urgent care clinic at its Fisher’s Landing building at 16811 S.E. McGillivray Blvd. A hospital spokesperson told the Columbian that workers can apply for positions at the new clinic.

The new clinic will be more than 12 miles east of the main street location. Ross expects that will make getting care more difficult for patients in West Vancouver, many of whom relied on public transportation to get to their appointments.      

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