MEDFORD, Ore. – A vote to unionize over a thousand Asante Rogue Regional employees wrapped up Friday night.
The two organizations looking to unionize workers are SEIU Local 49, representing over 1,100 front-line employees.
They work in departments like intensive care and medical oncology and say they are asking for better working conditions and wages.
“We have workers who are working two jobs just to make ends meet and nobody should have to do that,” said Alan Dubinsky, Communications Director with SEIU Local 49.
The Oregon Nurses Association is representing an additional 270 technical workers like radiologic technologists and licensed practical nurses.
The ONA said that the technical workers overwhelmingly voted to unionize, and will begin negotiating a contract with the hospital.
“A lot of it comes down to staffing and scheduling, for them, it is really important that Asante hires more staff,” said Myrna Jensen, Communications Specialist for The Oregon Nurses Association.
The ONA claims that these workers had a hard time with their unionizing efforts due to pressures from the hospital.
“They had a really tough time of it with Rogue Regional, we know that the employer was pushing hard against folks telling them not to vote to have a union they received texts, and emails they were subject to meetings,” said Jensen.
The SEIU union election is too close to call.
The organization said the over 800 votes were split pretty evenly with 436 in favor of the union and 440 votes against it.
There are 67 ballots being challenged. The challenged ballots were sent to the National Labor Relations Board to be reviewed. A hearing date has not been announced.
“Moving forward we want the National Labor Relation Board to expedite this process and make sure that every vote for every worker we represent is counted so they have a voice in this process,” said Dubinsky.
We have reached out to Asante for comment, we haven’t heard back.
The health system previously told us it is cooperating throughout the process and is following NLRB procedures.
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