More “Hands On” Supervision In Food And Nutrition

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In Food and Nutrition Patient services, nearly one hundred employees help to prepare and transport meals to patients. Generally these meals are prepared, loaded on to trays, and then placed in carts that are then transported to room service associates on the corresponding nursing unit.

Every day in the morning and the evening, there is a “stand-up” meeting in the kitchen for food service workers.

During the stand-ups, the manager on duty will gather everyone in a circle and go over important updates for the day. While a stand-up is in progress, patient meals still need to be delivered, so occasionally a room service associate will come down to the kitchen to grab their cart of patient meals, in an effort to not interrupt the stand-up meeting and ensure the patients are receiving their meals on time.

On Sunday March 12, during a daily afternoon “stand-up” meeting for food service workers in the kitchen, a supervisor grabbed a worker by the arm and yanked them.

In this instance, a room service associate came down to retrieve their cart, and one of the food service workers saw them waiting outside of the stand-up circle. The food service worker silently grabbed their cart and began to wheel it toward the waiting worker through the stand-up circle, when the supervisor grabbed him by the arm and yanked them away from the cart. The pull was enough to throw the worker off balance, in front of the entire staff assembled for the meeting. According to many witnesses of the event, there was no imminent danger to the employee that would explain this action.

This event bears a resemblance to the recent event in which an employee was pushed by a superior in the kitchen, which has put some of the workers in the kitchen on high alert, for fear they will be grabbed or shoved by a manager and have to go through the same lengthy process that it took for the previous matter of physically inappropriate behavior by a superior in the kitchen to be settled.

We are hoping that OHSU will take the correct action in this matter.

5 thoughts on “More “Hands On” Supervision In Food And Nutrition”

  1. This is never okay, OHSU needs to be a safe place for it’s employees to work. If Management does not have a strong appropriate response they can just throw there false and pretty campaign slogan of “Respect for all” out the window.

  2. As both a member of Local 328 AND an employee of OHSU’s food and nutrition department I just want to express my frustrations on how grossly exaggerated these “abuse” blog posts are. I know both the supervisor and the employee who was grabbed in this incident, which was neither threatening nor aggressive, and this has been blown way out of proportion. I agree the situation could have been handled differently but the aftermath has been completely ridiculous and it is because of things like this which has caused our department and ultimately patient care to suffer lately. If general employees cared more about their patients and less about how they can get their supervisors in trouble we would be a pretty great department that I would be proud to work for, but lately I’m just embarrassed. I’m embarrassed to be associated with this group of instigators. I’m embarrassed to be in a union that protects workers who yell at our customers, workers who are constantly goofing off and ignoring their responsibilities to our patients, or that are simply causing a hostile work environment for the other AFSCME 328 employees they work with. I know the supervisor in question, and as I said, it could have been handled differently, her everyday jokester was out of line again (because from her vantage point she could not see the other employee who the cart was being rolled towards) and she treated him more how a mother would treat their child, reprimanding him to “please just be serious for once” instead of how a supervisor should treat their employees, maybe talking to him after the fact privately. She was however, NOT aggressive and NOT threatening she just wanted to get through this daily meeting quickly so her people could get back to their jobs.

    1. We didn’t characterize the actions as threatening or aggressive, I think we characterized the incident pretty much the same way as you have in your comment.

    2. Tess, thankyou for taking a stand. As an OHSU employee that frequents all areas of the hospital, including the 3rd floor cafeteria I see unprofessional behavior by a group of the delivery crew. The group I’m referring to take up all the booths in the seating area on the 3rd floor during their supposed break times, talking and gossiping loudly, making it uncomfortable for visitors to enjoy a meal without being distracted by the rowdy behavior. There is an evident lack of respect for everyone…

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