Published: April 6, 2021

Avamere workers

After an intense month of contract negotiations and workplace actions, the Avamere worker bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with some of the best wages, benefits, and working conditions nursing home workers have ever seen.

Avamere management and our union bargaining team worked together to solve long-standing problems that COVID highlighted. Together, we developed solutions that will guarantee better resident care and a better environment for workers. The improvements in our new contract will make Avamere the best place to work in the Oregon nursing home industry.

High worker turnover is a problem industry-wide, and was an issue long before COVID. Our new contract tackles this issue head-on by making dramatic improvements to wages, training, and staffing levels, and creating a career ladder for CNAs. Together, these changes will reduce staff turnover and improve resident care.

Highlights of our tentative agreement

  • Wages:
    • A single statewide wage scale, that recognizes that all Oregonians have a high cost of living.
    • An $18 per hour wage floor, with CNA wages that top out at $23.49 ($26.28 for CNA2s and CMAs) — as much as a $4 raise for some workers. This is the highest nursing home starting wage in Oregon.
    • Wage re-openers every year of the contract to ensure that Avamere wages remain the highest in the state.
    • See the whole new wage scale here.
  • Staffing: Avamere has agreed to implement an acuity-based staffing pilot along with clear reporting and stronger incentives for compliance with state staffing ratios. Acuity-based staffing takes into account the needs of residents, not just their numbers, and will typically result in more staff per resident.
  • Mandation: Agreed to a fair statewide process that limits mandation.
  • Training: New training standards will ensure that newly hired CNAs are mentored before being added to shifts.
  • Reducing turnover: The new contract creates career ladders for CNAs by increasing wages for CNA2s and CMAs, and creates a pathway for LPNs to join our union.
  • A voice at work: The new contract creates a statewide labor management group, so workers and company leadership can cooperate on issues year round, not just during bargaining. The contract also creates a pathway for non-union homes in the company to join our union.
Alessa Straight “This contract is better in every way than what we have won in the past. From the strength of the language to the industry-leading wages we will see over the next 3 years, this will make a huge difference in our lives. It has been an honor to serve on your bargaining team and be a part of such a monumental moment.” —Alessa Straight
Samuel Browne “This is, no doubt, the most we’ve ever won in a single contract. It lays the groundwork for a bright future for all Avamere workers. We won language that will enable our members to have more power when dealing with issues in their facilities such as staffing, training, and unfair treatment, not to mention the significant pay increase. Please vote yes next week!” —Sam Browne, Nursing Home Council President
Kerry Fuhrmeister “I support this agreement because it gives all Avamere workers a living wage and improves the quality of care for residents through better staffing and training.” —Kerry Fuhrmeister
Penny Mayers “I am excited about this agreement because this wage scale allows a CNA to stay a CNA, not go work fast food or go work at a hospital just to be able to keep a roof over their heads.” —Penny Myers
Jorge Flores “Muy complacido y orgulloso de haber alcanzado un acuerdo tentativo con Avamere, buen trabajo muchachos pues aún en tiempos de pandemia demostramos que trabajando en equipo somos capaces de alcanzar nuestras metas: ‘si se pudo!’” —Jorge Alberto Flores

Next Steps

Our union is a democratically-run organization and our tentative agreement will not take effect until a majority of Avamere members vote to approve it. Voting will take place in the parking lot at your facility next week on the following schedule. All vote times are 5 am – 3 pm on the days listed.

Monday April 12 Tuesday April 13 Wednesday April 14 Thursday April 15
Avamere Beaverton
Avamere STC
Avamere Clackamas
Avamere Lebanon
Avamere Rogue Valley
Avamere Laurelhurst SNF & ICF & ALF
Avamere OR City
Avamere Sunnyside
Avamere Eugene Rehab
Avamere Coos bay
Avamere King city
Avamere Junction City
Avamere Three fountains SNF
Avamere Crestview
Avamere RiverPark
Avamere Bend
Avamere Hillsboro SNF
Avamere Newport


Only members of the union can vote on our contract. If you are not a member, you can sign up online or fill out an application in person before you vote.

Download and review all parts of the tentative agreement here.