Methodist Medical Center

ChapterLogo_MethodistMethodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge offers patients the high level of quality care, technology and service that you’d expect to find in a nationally leading hospital. That’s because Methodist is a leading hospital but offers patients the convenience of a hometown medical center that is close to the support of family and friends.

Methodist’s high level of patient care has been recognized at the state and national levels: 

  • Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 5 hospital in Tennessee for 2012-2013.
  • One of only 28 out of 1,350 hospitals across the country to receive VHA, Inc.’s Leadership Award for Clinical Excellence.
  • Recognized twice by as one of America’s safest hospitals.
  • Ranked in the top 11% across the nation for core measures.
  • 2012 Platinum Performance Award from American College of Cardiology ACTION Registry for urgent heart care that is 25 minutes faster than the national benchmark.
  • Joint Replacement Center and Thompson Cancer Survival Center at Methodist rank in the top 10% nationwide for overall quality of care by Professional Research Consulting (PRC).
  • One of only 78 hospitals nationwide to earn the Gold Performance Award from the American College of Cardiology’s ACTION Registry.
  • Recipient of The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2015 Patient Safety award.  Methodist has received “Straight A’s” since the score’s inception in 2012.
  • In 2015, Methodist’s Oak Ridge Breast Center received a perfect score on the FDA’s Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) inspection. This was the 19th consecutive year the center got a perfect score.

These awards recognize our hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for our patients.

SEIU has represented and bargained contracts for registered nurses as well as service & technical employees at Methodist Medical Center since 1966.

Workers @ Methodist Medical Center Conclude Bargaining w/ Major Improvements!

File: Union members at MMC count ratification votes.

File: Union members at MMC count ratification votes.

After many obstacles and challenges, workers organized with SEIU Local 205 ratified a new three-year agreement with their employer, Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, TN.

A major sticking point this year was health insurance, when the company attempted to impose a 23.68% increase in employee health insurance contributions. This was considered unacceptable by the bargaining committee and even invited a legal challenge by the union. But by standing together, workers were able to negotiate improvements – not just in health insurance, but in wages and their other benefits, including:

  • A 2.5% raise every year in October.
  • An immediate 10% decrease in insurance premiums beginning with the first pay period after ratification. Those rates will be frozen for 18 months.
  • An increase in the voluntary flex spending account cap, raising it from $1000 to $2500.
  • A redesigned insurance plan that will add some yearly deductibles and a minimal increase in physician copays, but adds pharmacy expenses to the out-of-pocket maximum.
  • No other changes to benefits or the current contract with the exception of some language that addresses Affordable Care Act definitions of “full time”.

“This was only the second time we’ve done ‘limited bargaining’ and yes, it was frustrating at times, but in the end, cooler heads prevailed and the company did the right thing by workers,” said Jeff Massey, a respiratory therapist who served on the union’s bargaining team.

“I salute the bargaining team, the union representatives, and my co-workers for sticking together through this one,” said Gary Hughes, a unit secretary. “I have a feeling the next contract will be tough as well, but as long as we have strength, solidarity, and smarts, we will continue to make improvements so that we can continue to deliver top-notch health care to East Tennesseans.”

The new agreement, which passed by a vote of 92% by union members, expires in October, 2017.

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VICTORY! Arbitrator Rules In Favor of Workers at Methodist Medical Center!

Last year, members of Local 205 working at Methodist Medical Center filed a grievance over radical changes to the company’s attendance policy. After initial attempts to find a solution failed, both parties agreed to arbitration to resolve lingering issues.

After hearing all sides, the arbitrator issued a decision on the Local’s grievance at MMC. Here are the major findings:

  1. He agreed with SEIU that Methodist’s drastic cut in the number of occurrences needed to get a first-step verbal warning was unreasonable.
  2. He agreed that MMC’s cut in the number of occurrences needed for progressive discipline was also unreasonable.
  3. He rejected MMC’s claim that it could make these changes as a “management right” and ordered them to rescind these changes and go back to the previous standards.
  4. He also ruled that MMC should not have based any discipline under the new policy on occurrences happening before January 1, 2013 and ordered that those disciplinary actions be removed.

The arbitrator did find that counting a failure to clock in as a tardy was not unreasonable, but he recognized there are exceptions to this that should be handled on a case-by-case basis. He also said that it was not unreasonable to count an absence from a voluntary extra shift as an occurrence.

The arbitrator did find that counting a failure to clock in as a tardy was not unreasonable, but he recognized there are exceptions to this that should be handled on a case-by-case basis. He also said that it was not unreasonable to count an absence from a voluntary extra shift as an occurrence.

“This is a big victory for all workers at Methodist Medical and it shows that when we stand together, workers can win,” says RN Chief Steward Kay Golden, who was a key witness in the arbitration.

“With contract negotiations coming up this year, we know there are challenges ahead, and we need to be strong and united,” says S&T Chief Steward Jeff Massey. “If you are a member… we need you to get more involved and talk to your co-workers who are not members yet. Remind them that this is a major victory that would not have happened without our union.”

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VICTORY! CNA Reinstated with Backpay at Methodist Medical Center!

As is the case in many workplaces, clocking a co-worker in or out is a serious offense. It was at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge when a supervisor accused a CNA of clocking out her co-worker. Both CNA’s were terminated and the Union filed a grievance. An independent arbitrator heard all the testimony and evidence and in the end ruled that the Hospital did “not satisfy its burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence.” Methodist Medical Center was ordered “to reinstate the Grievant to her former job without loss of seniority and to make her whole all time and benefits lost as a result of her termination.”

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New Contract @ MMC Brings Raises & Protects Health Benefits!

SEIU Local 205 members at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge demonstrated their solidarity by voting to ratify the extension of their contract. The vote involved approval of the tentative agreement reached with Management on salary and health insurance articles, and left all other discussions off the table.

“This is a win-win for all parties,” says Shanella Hawkins, LPN, and first time negotiator. “We protected the health insurance benefits, and won an increase in wages for everyone.” The contract is a three-year agreement and bumps all wages an immediate 1.5% of base salary each year, plus a .5% bonus of gross earnings which will be paid around Christmas. “That includes shift diff, weekend diff, and any other taxable income for each employee,” adds Candy Cox, RN.

The agreement and wage increase became effective October 10th of this year, and is a three-year contract.


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VICTORY: Multiple Wins for Workers at Methodist Medical Center!

Jeff Massey, the Chief Steward of the S&T unit at MMC, reports: “We got backpay for an employee who had been suspended, and we got vacation time put back into another employee’s bank that had been called off. We also got MMC to honor a no-call agreement for older employees in the Sterile Processing department.”

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VICTORY! Grievance Win at MMC Improves Safety for Nurses & Patients

The Union won a crucial victory that protects R.N.’s, patient safety, and the union contract at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge.

The core issue had to do with an interpretation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Local 205 and Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. The grievance addressed procedures for registered nurses who were required to work mandatory shifts of four, eight, or twelve hours beyond their regular schedules. Management attempted to say that the contract language, which was proposed by them in 2002, was “ambiguous” while the Union contended that the language was clear and unambiguous. An impartial arbitrator ultimately ruled in favor of the Union and the Hospital was directed to “credit employees called off a mandatory shift with a number of hours equivalent to the length of that called-off shift, toward their 12-hour mandatory shift limit” moving forward.


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