More than 250 health care technical workers at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center (ARRMC) in Medford, Oregon filed for union recognition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
The group, comprised of radiologic technologists, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), respiratory therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, surgical technicians, and others, will be represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA). ONA already represents frontline registered nurses working at Rogue Regional.
The technical workers identified a wide range of issues as their primary reasons for organizing, including safe staffing, affordable health insurance, respect, and wages that are competitive and that include cost of living increases.
“The last couple years of working in healthcare has brought to light why we need to stand in solidarity. Stepping away from top-down management and into collaborative efforts with our fellow coworkers will improve working conditions, staff morale, and most importantly patient care,” said Angela Henry, a vascular ultrasound technologist. “It has become very apparent our organization has drifted into caring more about profits than patient or worker satisfaction and fair working conditions. I look forward to a united front with my fellow colleagues and for the changes to come!”
Asante Rogue Regional Hospital is one of the states few Level 2 trauma center. Health care providers and workers there have been nationally recognized for their heart and stroke care, orthopedic services, cancer care and diabetes care. It’s also home to Southern Oregon’s only neonatal intensive care unit.
“I take a lot of pride in what our hospital workers do for this community. We have one of the top cardiovascular programs in the country and it’s awesome to be a part of that team,” said Dustin Boehm, a cardiovascular technologist. “However, I see firsthand the disparities between union and non-union staff. Both techs and nurses feel that the techs unionizing with ONA creates a united front that will allow for more equality and stronger unity for our patients.”
“We, the nurses of RRMC, stand united with our peers unionizing across the hospital,” said Fred Katz, a hospice RN and chair of the nurse bargaining unit at Rogue Regional.“RNs experience daily the value of collective bargaining and the benefits of having a voice through our union; it is this voice that moves us toward the goals of true shared governance in the workplace and quality care for our community. It is time for the rest of the hospital to join us in advocating for our patients and community.”
The NLRB will determine a union election date in the coming weeks.