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Professionals at PeaceHealth Begin Union Election

On May 6th, professionals working for PeaceHealth Southwest begin their National Labor Relations Board election to determine whether or not they will officially form a union. These healthcare professionals have opted to join the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals (OFNHP), a local affiliate of the national AFT, which includes 1.75 million workers across the country. These workers signed a supermajority of union authorization cards to form their union in order to gain a legally protected voice to bargain for improvements in their work environment and patient care. \

"As a leader in the professional unit at Kaiser Permanente, I see firsthand how having a union changes lives and can maintain and improve the quality of patient care,” says Sarina Roher, the president of OFNHP. “We are excited for these healthcare professionals to cast their ballots and show that their union has overwhelming support amongst the healthcare professionals that make Southwest run every day.”

The healthcare workers who are part of this group fill highly skilled positions requiring advanced degrees and licensure, and include physical therapists, pharmacists, chaplains, mental health professionals, and many other essential roles. The election will conclude on May 23rd, at which point the results will be sent out to the press and members, and newly organized professionals will be available for interviews.

These workers are part of a recent wave of unionization with OFNHP, which most recently includes over 400 lab professionals working for LabCorp in Legacy facilities, who voted by an 86% margin to unionize just last week.. Last year, nearly 1,400 OFNHP members in the PeaceHealth system led a five-day strike to secure an historic contract on behalf of workers and the communities they serve. Next year, OFNHP will negotiate one of the biggest union contracts of the decade with Kaiser Permanente, as part of the 57,000 worker Alliance of Healthcare Unions.

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