Vision for a Stronger Union

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Rally on September 28th to Demand Safe Staffing and Fair Contract

The frontline healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente are fighting right now to maintain good patient care and working conditions. Safe staffing and the kind of wages and benefits that can retain staff is their top priority as they bargain their new union contract. We are Patient Defenders: we are the front line to ensuring that our community gets the healthcare it needs to stay healthy.

Building Power in A Time of Uncertainty

We all know that the state of the world feels uncertain. We are currently living through the greatest crisis most of us will see in our entire careers in healthcare. The COVID pandemic has taken up much of our collective bandwidth as we strive to help our patients, work to keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our rights as workers. And while the coronavirus response will continue to require our earnest attention, there are other challenges ahead we must be prepared for.

 

Next year will be a big year for contract negotiations. In the PeaceHealth system, Sacred Heart techs in Eugene and lab professionals at St. Johns will head back to the bargaining table. For our Kaiser bargaining units, preparations are already underway for National Bargaining, with the possibility of opening the local contracts as well. 

 

We must begin planning immediately for our upcoming contract negotiations, as we will be negotiating new agreements during a time of economic uncertainty and fast-moving changes in healthcare. 

 

BUILDING STABILITY AND ORGANIZATION

As newly elected leaders, we have been charting a new direction for our union–building stability and investing in resourcing the frontline. The way we succeed is by devoting greater support and resources to the worksites. 

 

RESOURCES AT THE WORKSITES

You will read below about the success of our new Budget Committee in overcoming financial hurdles. As new leaders, we have pledged to direct finances towards recruiting and retaining our organizing staff. We posted positions to replace recent vacancies and have budgeted for hiring additional support. Our goal is to improve planning and stability at the worksites. After weeks of studying our books and planning, we have found we can do this while also building back up towards a modest rainy day fund in our savings.

 

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION

A strong, fast, and reliable way to get out and receive information is so very important in building a powerful union. Our organizers and Steward Delegates are building communication networks across our union. The results are already showing at our Sunnyside location where the communication network is up and running with the support of our Labor Partners, stewards, and organizers. 

 

Some of the other ways we have started and continue to improve communications are by:

● Regular newsletters

● Closing gaps by connecting Stewards Assembly, Steward Councils, and our Executive Board

● Expanded member participation in committees

Planning and scheduling virtual worksite meetings (Townhalls, Zooms) to connect with worksite leaders and to build campaign action teams (CATs).

Working on a streamlined approach to messaging expediently to union staff, Contract Specialists, Labor Partners, Steward Delegates, Board, Stewards and to the general membership.

Re-energizing the Communications Committee to help support these programs and our social media platforms

 

TOGETHER WE SUCCEED

 

We have to keep our eye on the prize– a difficult task during times like these. OFNHP members are fighting every day to protect our safety and our rights during this pandemic. Know that your leadership team is committed to making sure that we are prepared and ready next year to protect what is important in our contracts and to fight for what we need. We will work to ensure the voice of the union is protected and strengthened; the voice of the union is your voice!

 

We are a strong union with the best members. We have shown our strength in the way that we have supported our patients, putting our lives on the line every day to serve our communities. As we move into negotiations, we will fight to make sure healthcare workers get the respect we deserve at the bargaining table.

 

As always, we need to use our collective strength to succeed! If you are interested in becoming a worksite leader, joining a committee, or helping out in any way as we move toward contract negotiations, please email itsmyunion@ofhp.org. Thank you for all you do every day and a special thank you to all the member leaders and staff that work hard to support us. 

 

In Solidarity,

 

Jodi & Jeff