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OFNHP Request for Support

Sue Milne
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Dear friends and fellow labor leaders,

 On Monday, October 23rd, 1,400 of our members at PeaceHealth Southwest and St. John in Washington state will take a difficult and bold step in the fight for worker rights and healthcare justice. They are walking out beginning an open-ended strike at 6:30am, and will stay on strike as long as necessary to ensure change and respect is secured. These Techs, Lab Professionals, and Service and Maintenance members include some of the lowest paid workers in these hospitals, and we need to see significant pay increases to get them anywhere close to living wages for our region. We also need these increases to finally make PeaceHealth an employer that can attract and retain qualified staff. Right now they’re experiencing critically low staffing levels, which could put the future of the entire region’s health system in crisis.

 In response to our strike notice, management canceled bargaining dates, began offering strike-breaking contract workers upwards of $8,000 a week to cross the picket line, and are threatening to cut off our member’s health insurance. This kind of cruel punishment towards frontline healthcare workers is so shocking that we have no frame of reference for it: we simply did not know they could sink this low. PeaceHealth says that its goal is to continue “the healing mission of Jesus Christ,” but severing the health insurance of the healthcare workers who saved lives during COVID-19, some of whom have chronic health conditions and disabilities, is disgusting.

 The future of the entire region’s healthcare and the ability for healthcare workers to have a voice and help put an end to unsafe staffing depends on our success with this strike. That means that we need the entire community, including other unions, community organizations, and patients, to come out and support us in every way they can.

 There are several things that would be a huge help for us. The first is to come out to the picket lines starting this Monday. The larger our presence at our two picket lines, the more powerful we will remain. Below is a link that you can share where anyone can RSVP to attend the picket, but anyone is welcome to show up even without RSVPing. 

 Click Here for Picket RSVP


The second thing that would help is to share and donate to our strike fund. This hardship fund will go to help those facing financial crisis due to lost wages and the attacks on their health insurance. The more money we raise, the more capacity our members have to stick to the strike line and to pressure management to do what’s right.



We know that our strength comes not just from the unity workers have in their worksite(s), but the solidarity we build across our entire labor movement. That’s why I’m reaching out, because we are stronger together. OFNHP is thankful for any support you can offer.


In Solidarity,


Jonathon Baker

OFNHP President

Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals

AFT Local 5017, AFL-CIO