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OR Coast Hospital Workers’ Union Secures Higher Wages

Workers at a hospital on the Oregon coast are citing a victory in contract negotiations with their employer.

More than 100 members of SEIU Local 49 at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City will receive raises averaging 10% over the first year of their new contract. Brittany King, a CT special imaging technologist at the hospital, said many workers have been struggling to afford living in the community, and this raise makes the hospital’s wages competitive with the local job market.

“There are a lot of members,” she said, “that told me specifically that, ‘I think this is a wage that I can live with, that means I don’t have to leave Samaritan.'”

King said workers have dealt with a number of tragedies in recent years, including the pandemic and 2020 wildfires. Their new contract also expands education funding.

Rachel Eggleton, a certified nursing assistant at the hospital, said workers rallied over Memorial Day weekend when contract negotiations stalled and the community members showed their support.

“Once they saw us out in the rain rallying,” she said, “they realized, ‘OK, maybe there’s something wrong. Maybe we need to help out our health-care workers, because they’ve been there through thick and thin for the entire pandemic, regardless of whatever’s happening.’ We still provided the care that they needed.”

Eggleton said this support has been key.

“Getting everybody involved and getting the community involved,” she said, “it will always bring us better things.”

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