East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 24, 2017, WEEKEND EDITION, Page Page 8A, Image 8

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    Page 8A
East Oregonian
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Wineries, food processors oppose
proposed 72-hour limit on work week
Nurse’s aide retires
46 years at Good Shepherd
East Oregonian
When she first started
classes nearly five decades
ago, Eleanor Hockensmith
had no intention of working
at a hospital or clinic.
“When I took the training,
I didn’t intend to work. I
took the classes to have the
knowledge to take care of
my family,” Hockensmith
said Friday, June 16, during
a retirement celebration at
Good Shepherd Medical
Center. Hockensmith and
her late husband, Charles,
had four children, Bill, Mary
Lou, John and Michael.
The Hermiston woman
worked longer than any other
employee in the history of
Good Shepherd Health Care
System. Her 46 years of
service, said Kelly Sanders,
vice president of human
resources, will likely never
be exceeded. Of the 63 years
Good Shepherd has been
operating, Hockensmith has
worked for the hospital for
just over 73 percent of its
Hockensmith started her
employment as a nurse’s aide
March 27, 1971. She initially
worked in the OB department
in the old hospital building
located on Orchard Avenue.
In 1983, she transferred to
the medical/surgery depart-
ment, initially working the
night shift, and later the
evening shift. Hockensmith,
Sanders said, is one of the
few remaining employees
who made the move from
the old hospital to the current
facility in 1985.
In August 1995, Hock-
ensmith transferred to a
part-time position in Good
Shepherd’s TLC Home
Health Care department,
which later combined with
the Vange John Memorial
Hospice. When those depart-
ments later separated in
March 2012, Hockensmith
remained with the hospice
department as a certified
home health and hospice
aide until retiring June 2,
Staff photo by Tammy Malgesini
Eleanor Hockensmith, left, shares a moment with for-
mer co-worker Luanne Brownfield June 16 during her
retirement celebration after 46 years with Good Shep-
herd Health Care System.
2017 — after 46 years and 68
days with Good Shepherd.
“I enjoyed taking care of
people,” Hockensmith said.
And, people appreciated
the care she provided.
retirement celebration, which
included upwards of 100
people, Ken Freeman shared
about the first time he met
her in 2013. Hockensmith
had entered the room where
Freeman’s mom was.
“I watched her — that
lady took such great care of
my mother,” Freeman said.
“She was a great first face for
hospice. She is one of a kind.”
The nurse’s aide even
inspired Freeman. The Herm-
iston man started volunteering
for hospice about a year ago.
hospice clinical liaison,
said she always appreciated
Hockensmith’s willingness
to help. She often came in on
short notice when someone
called in sick. Hockensmith,
Robinson said, exhibited
loyalty and dedication to the
people she worked with, as
well as the patients.
“Her heart is huge,” she
Luanne Brownfield of
Heppner, who worked with
Hockensmith for 26 years,
said the nurse’s aide was like
the Energizer Bunny.
“She ran us ragged,”
Brownfield said as many
nodded in agreement.
Although frustrated at
times with technology and
computers, Brownfield said
Hockensmith was willing to
learn. Brownfield said Hock-
ensmith is proof that “we can
teach an old dog new tricks.”
However, Brownfield said
they had to get additional
help on a couple of occasions
because passwords were lost.
“I didn’t lose it. The
computer just didn’t go
along with it,” Hockensmith
Hockensmith loves to
sew and cook. In addition to
many winning entries over
the years at the Umatilla
County Fair, she has been
named Homemaker of the
Year on numerous occa-
sions. She plans to continue
using her talents to help
other people, including
a current project of
making chair backpacks at
Hermiston Terrace.
Capital Bureau
SALEM — Oregon’s
wineries are alarmed by a
bill to reduce the maximum
number of hours that manu-
facturing employees can
work per week.
The proposal originated
as an attempt to clarify how
to calculate overtime paid
to Oregon’s manufacturing
workers, which had recently
been in dispute.
However, the most
recent version of the bill
being considered by Oregon
lawmakers would limit the
maximum work week to
72 hours for manufacturing
jobs, which food proces-
sors and wineries argue
will impair their ability to
handle the influx of crops
during seasonal peaks.
Work weeks are currently
limited to 91 hours.
Paying overtime is
expensive, so food proces-
sors would prefer to have
enough workers as to avoid
lengthy work weeks, said
J.L. Wilson, a representa-
tive of the Northwest Food
Processors Association.
However, such compa-
nies are often located where
crops are grown, not where
there’s an abundance of
people, so they don’t have
a sufficient labor pool from
which to pull, he said.
As a result, these proces-
sors must rely on existing
employees working longer
during periods of peak
production, Wilson said
during a June 20 hearing on
House Bill 3458.
“This is going to funda-
rural Oregon,” he said of
the proposed limit. “They
wouldn’t do it if they didn’t
have to, in many instances.”
Similarly, harvest irregu-
larities can force growers to
suddenly provide wineries
with larger amounts of
grapes than expected,
resulting in unpredictably
heavy work loads, said
Ellen Brittan of Brittan
Vineyards in McMinnville,
Wineries have little
choice but to extend work
hours to prevent the fruit
from rotting, she said. “You
just have to deal with it.”
Some workers at Brittan
Vineyards have logged as
many as 86 hours per week,
but they do so willingly to
maximize overtime pay, she
“They want to be sure
they can make a significant
amount of money during
this short window of oppor-
tunity,” Brittan said. “We
have people fighting for
those overtime hours.”
employers are upset about
the most recent version of
HB 3458 before lawmakers.
Industries, a non-profit
believes the 72-hour work
week will be challenging
but is acceptable as long as
overtime rules are clarified.
Banner Bank recognizes top
WALLA WALLA — Four local Banner
Bank employees have been selected to
receive the Banner’s Best award.
The award represents the highest level
of recognition within the company and
the recipients are truly Banner’s best,
said Kelly McPhee, vice president of
communications. The recipients are: Ashley
Erevia, personal banker in the Hermiston
branch; Gordon MacKenzie, a Hermiston
branch teller; Laura Gauthier, a Pendleton
Southgate branch teller; and Yadira Murillo,
a Boardman branch teller.
Each of the employees surpassed
individual professional goals in 2016, as
well as providing exceptional customer
service to the bank’s clients and their
fellow colleagues. Less than four percent
of all Banner employees receive the award.
Recipients are selected by members of
executive leadership.
“Banner’s Best recipients exemplify
our value proposition — connected,
knowledgeable, responsive — yet what
truly sets them apart is how they constantly
strive for a higher standard in all that they
do,” said Mark Grescovich, Banner Bank
president and CEO.
Headquartered in Walla Walla,
Banner Bank is a Washington-chartered
commercial bank that conducts business
from more than 200 locations in
Washington, Oregon, California, Utah and
Idaho. For more information, visit www.
Chamber meeting features
legislative update
HEPPNER — Alison Hart of the Oregon
State Chamber of Commerce will provide
a legislative update during the upcoming
Heppner Chamber of Commerce meeting.
The gathering also features a
presentation and discussion about the Aug.
21 total solar eclipse. The no-host luncheon
event is Thursday, July 6 at 11:45 a.m. at
Heppner City Hall, 111 N. Main St. The
cost is $10.
Those planning to attend are asked to
RSVP by Monday, July 3 by contacting
541-676-5536 or heppnerchamber@
Business briefs are compiled from staff and
wire reports, and press releases. Email press
releases to business@eastoregonian.com
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