Caregivers at a non-profit that runs group homes around the state began mediation today (Monday). The Lane County union is concerned about job cuts, while administrators say their numbers are sufficient. The employees held a rally this (Monday) morning in Eugene.
Albertina Kerr is based in Portland. It serves youth and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The Eugene office employs about 65 care givers. With the Raging Grannies singing in the background, union president Linda Peterson says staffing issues are more important than salary:
Peterson: “This is bigger than us. We’re going to keep fighting even if we get our contract settled because safe staffing in our group homes and adult foster care is not good.”
Albertina Kerr CEO Chris Krenk says they staff based on need:
Krenk: “We always provide adequate and appropriate staffing for all of our facilities with the main focus being on safety and health.”
Krenk says they’re regularly audited by the state and they always score well. Both sides hope negotiations resolve quickly and without impact to clients.