Call for full public investigation and reversal of outsourcing decision
Rochester, Minn — SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the union that represents many of the food service workers that Mayo wants to outsource to a multi-national corporation, filed a formal complaint Monday regarding an apparent conflict of interest that was not disclosed when Mayo announced the plan on June 30th. The formal complaint, called a “grievance,” was filed with Mayo on Monday, August 1st.
The Union is prepared to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board if Mayo executives attempt to cover up or withhold any information about this apparent violation.
The grievance alleges the decision was “primarily influenced by food services administrator Carol Gorman. The Union believes Carol Gorman has a conflict of interest due to a long standing personal relationship with a Morrison executive.” The grievance is based on Mayo’s conflict of interest policy from its employee handbook.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley shared the indignation felt by many when this news came to light.
“We are angered that Mayo would make a decision like this, one that affects the lives of 700 families in our community, especially now that it appears the decision was made under a cloud of dubious ethics,” said Gulley. “We believe Mayo executives are already aware of the apparent conflict of interest and we are demanding that Mayo make public any initial findings from their investigation immediately. We are calling for Ms. Gorman to be relieved of her duties pending a full investigation and for the decision to outsource workers be revisited in light of this debacle for Mayo.”
The tentative agreement between Mayo and Morrison, which has not been finalized, has been met with anger and frustration from workers across Mayo and community members across Southern Minnesota. Their plan to push hundreds of loyal Mayo employees – and Rochester taxpayers — out of the company comes shortly after Mayo lobbied the state for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build the Destination Medical Center (DMC), in no small part by claiming it will bring good jobs to the area.
Hundreds of workers throughout the Mayo system have been wearing “No Subcontracting” buttons at work, and a recent full-page ad in the Rochester Post-Bulletin highlighted that the food service workers who Mayo is trying to kick off their payroll have over 5,000 years of experience in food service at Mayo, with many bringing decades of food safety expertise to their jobs. This longevity, which most doubt would be possible if the lower pay and worse health benefits of a subcontractor were brought into the hospital, helps to ensure the health and safety of patients across the Mayo system.
Food service workers, their union, and community members concerned with this plan continue to push Mayo to reconsider their decision and do what is best for patients, workers and the whole community.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 35,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota.