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EvergreenHealth employees ask for wage increase, safer staffing levels

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman

At the Aug. 19 meeting of the EvergreenHealth Board of Commissioners, members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, the healthcare service workers union, will go before the board to request higher wage increases, safer staffing conditions and better education programs.

The union has been bargaining with EvergreenHealth since last September on the terms of the next three-year contract for services, said Andrea Eisenbarth, a patient support assistant and union member. The most recent offer would include a 1 percent wage raise for the first two years and a 1.25 percent increase on the third year — less than the rate of inflation.

In contrast, EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte has a proposed raise of 18 percent, according to the union.
The contract covers frontline workers, including those who prepare food, clean rooms, help patients get to the toilet, answer phones and sterilize medical instruments. It doesn’t apply to doctors, nurses and management.
No one from EvergreenHealth was available to comment by press time. Look for a longer article in next week’s paper.

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