Coos Bay, OR — March 2, 2023. In a continued attempt to forge an equitable contract with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, a Portland area-based union representing approximately 50% of our staff members, Bay Area Hospital presented its final offer to the State mediator on Friday, February 24. The last and final offers were presented and the gap between the two parties has grown.

Our first year package encompassing retroactive raises across the board, which on average, amounted to a 14% boost to UFCW represented employees’ base wages. The Union’s final proposal represented in the first year of the contract a significant increase over their previous demand for an average 20% increase in base wages and asked for an average 27.5% increase to base. Over the 3-year life of the contract the Union’s last proposal adds an additional $5.7 Million, with an overall cost of $36 Million.

The Union’s final offer is not grounded in job market data and anticipates increases well above those recently provided to employees represented by the Oregon Nurses Association and Teamsters, and those not represented by a union. While the Hospital is committed to paying wages and benefits that are market competitive and, in many cases, above market, agreeing to the Union proposal would be irresponsible and could seriously threaten the health of our community and the viability of the Hospital, which is already facing a difficult financial turnaround.

The Hospital considers the Union’s expanded proposal as bad faith bargaining that pulls the parties farther apart, and does not foster an environment where compromise and settlement can be found.

Hospital officials have accepted the State mediator’s invitation to meet again on March 9, hoping that the Union will also be willing to meet in good faith in order to reach a fair settlement. A state-mandated 30-day cooling-off period will end on March 26. Should there be no settlement by then, the Hospital will implement its proposal so affected employees can receive their well-deserved market-competitive wages.