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Strike Ends At The Rawlin; Workers Take Their Case To Oregon Statehouse

Brian Bull

After two weeks, workers at The Rawlin memory care facility in Springfield have ended their strike. And half say they’re resigning from their jobs.

In a statement from workers union SEIU 503, employees are resigning because they cannot continue to work at the facility in good conscience, until owner Onelife addresses their concerns.  They say insufficient training and staffing have led to unnecessary suffering and hazards, including 23 residents’ deaths.

Sean Staub is Field Coordinator for SEIU 503:

“The vast majority of striking workers felt that they could not return to the facility, given that no real changes - in any lasting way for sure - have been made and the conditions are fundamentally the same," Sean Staub, Field Coordinator for SEIU 503, told KLCC.  "I believe about 20 or 21 are resigning.”

Two bills in the legislature -Senate Bills 714 and 703-  address staffing ratios and information sharing at memory care and nursing facilities like The Rawlin.

Note:  In a response shared with KLCC, Onelife CEO Zack Falk says "The Rawlin remains at full staff and continues to operate at a level that its families rate in the top 15% in the U.S. for memory-care community customer experience. We remain focused on providing our residents with the high-quality care to which they are accustomed."

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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