Economy | local | Health

Union Organizers Meet With Bend Hospital Workers

OPB | Nov. 5, 2012 8:02 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Union organizers met Monday with some dispirited employees of St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. They’re deciding what to do next after last week’s vote that cut hospital workers’ ties with the Service Employees International Union.

Of the more than 500 maintenance and service workers that took part in the election, more than 60 percent voted to decertify.

Jesse Stemmler says that’s a tough pill to swallow for the more than 200 workers who voted in favor of the union.

Stemmler is Communications Director for SEIU Local 49.

He says management brought in outside consultants to effectively break the union’s back.

Stemmler explained, “We feel like the process is broken and we’re really disappointed in a law that allows a non-profit hospital to use patient care dollars to effectively get rid of a caregivers’ union.”

St. Charles-Bend CEO, Jay Henry says consultants were brought on to help St. Charles tell its side of the story. But he says the ultimate decision was made by employees.

Stemmler says SEIU hasn’t decided whether it will challenge the results.

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