McKenzie Willamette Hospital

Tiffany Eckert

Hundreds of health care workers with McKenzie Willamette Medical Center are still on the picket line in Springfield. The 3-day strike ends at 6:30 Friday morning. The hospital has employed temporary replacements in positions including surgical nursing assistants and paramedics.

With a steady stream of picketers on the sidewalk since Tuesday morning, the hospital has had no comment beyond press releases. Wednesday, McKenzie Willamette administration wrote a 'clarification,' saying information about contract bargaining has been inaccurate.

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.

Tiffany Eckert

Hundreds of hospital workers took to the picket line Tuesday protesting unfair labor practices by one of the largest for-profit health care companies in the country. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert reports from the sidewalk in front of McKenzie Willamette Medical Center in Springfield.

Radiologists, respiratory therapists and housekeepers are among the hospital workers here holding up signs and chanting. They are members of the Service Employees International Union Local 49 and they are striking after contract labor negotiations with the hospital broke down.

A national hospital chain says suspected Chinese hackers breached its computer system earlier this year. Community Health Systems is the parent company of McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield. Patients whose doctors work with any of five hospitals in the Northwest might have had financial data stolen.

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.

Desmond O'Boyle

About 75 health care workers and union members protested in front of McKenzie Willamette Hospital in Springfield Thursday. The employees have been trying to negotiate a new labor contract since January when the last one expired.

Workers chanted, played drums, and marched around the hospital. Ken Charpie  is a Medical Laboratory Scientist at McKenzie-Willamette. He says the raise employees are slated to receive won’t offset higher health care costs.