Caregivers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center have agreed on a two-year contract. Over 300 members of  S-E-I-U Local 49 had been without a contract for the past year. Jesse Stemmler is with the Service Employees International Union. He feels the walkout in late October was key:

Stemmler: “Having the three-day strike, and just seeing the overwhelming support was really a big help for these workers. This is a process, and the contract has been settled. This is by no means an end to the important work they’re doing.”

McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield issued a press release Wednesday saying it wanted to correct inaccurate information about its most recent proposal submitted October 17 to the union bargaining committee.

Unionized hospital staff began a three-day strike Tuesday, saying they've been working without a contract for nearly a year.

The Springfield hospital says it's proposing a 14-month contract and a 2.75-percent wage increase.

The head of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield is stepping down to take a job in Washington State.

Maurine Cate is moving on to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane. She had accepted the same position last year, but reconsidered in order to concentrate on projects at McKenzie-Willamette. That includes launching an $80-million hospital expansion.

Cate has been CEO since 2007. She will stay on until late July. The search for a new CEO is underway.

Ken Charpie
Karen Richards

Community before profit. That's the message caregivers from McKenzie-Willamette hospital's union want their management to adopt.

Since the hospital went for-profit in 2003, members of SEIU Local 89 say the Mckenzie-Willamette Medical Center makes more money than almost every hospital in Oregon. It also has one of the worst records for charity care. They'd like to re-balance that trend. Tuesday, union members read a message to the hospital's leadership:

(GROUP) "This holiday season, caregivers are being let go while those left are faced with having to do more with less."