Monday, September 6, 2021

After Wage Complaints in 1921, Hospital Agrees to Prevailing Wage on New Building

Back in 1920, after McKinley School was no longer in use as a hospital, the existing capacity at Deaconess Hospital was not enough, and Salemites planned for a second hospital. In 1921 the contracts were finalized for the building just north of the State Hospital.

October 21, 1920

June 28th, 1921

With the economy slowing and general distaste for unions, the developers sought to reduce wages on construction. The move was resisted.

July 27th, 1921

August 28th, 1921

Labor appears to have prevailed. (The role of Salem's Labor Council probably deserves more attention in Salem history!*)

October 13th, 1921

Interestingly, in his book for the Hospital, A Century of Service: 1896 - 1996, John McMillan does not mention any disagreement over wages.

Even though the board had too little money, it decided to being construction June 30, 1921, of a 21-bed hospital at 2561 Center St. N.E. (In 1988, that building was extensively remodeled and became Salem Hospital's rehabilitation center.)....

Salem Hospital's construction stalled in 1922 with $71,246 spent, the bank balance down to $171.91, and about $10,000 in unpaid pledges. The hospital then negotiated for more than a year with the Children's Aid Society for permission to obtain a mortgage.

The society finally agreed and the $120,000 hospital was completed and opened in the winter of 1923-24. Physicians almost immediately objected that it was too small.

* You might recall this note a year ago about our Labor Temple on the north side of Center Street between High and Liberty, where the second downtown mall building was later built. There is more to recover and retell!

September 2020

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