Last month, SEIU members across Allina Hospitals and Clinics ratified a furlough agreement providing an opportunity for members to furlough in areas with reduced work-load for a week at a time. The furlough program allowed members to be removed from work for a week at a time in order to provide opportunities for members to apply for unemployment and the additional stimulus money provided by Congress. It was also a way to provide members a chance to take time away from work and possible exposures during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
That furlough agreement expires this weekend on Saturday, May 9th.
For the past two weeks, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota leaders have been discussing an extension of the agreement and I am pleased to report that a copy of that extension is attached with this email (click here).
The extension of the furlough agreement is different in several respects from the original version and required a membership ratification in order to be adopted. Members Wednesday, May 6th during a Tele-Town Hall meeting to accept the agreement.
Teletown hall recording (1st half)
Teletown hall recording (2nd half)
Summary of Changes:
- The furlough extension agreement will last from May 10th through July 31st.
- The extension provides an opportunity for longer furloughs- up to 90 days based on unit/department specific needs.
- Employees who are on furlough can be asked to return to work with 7-days notice, for surge related reasons or for increased work in the department.
- Allina will make every effort to start furloughs on Sunday and end furloughs on Saturday, although adjustments may be made to accommodate established weekend schedules.
- Furloughs will be offered to volunteers starting with the most senior, but if there are no volunteers the agreement allows Allina to mandate furloughs (of up to 90 days) in areas with reduced need.
- The agreement is intended to prevent lay-offs of SEIU members, but due to the uncertainty of the state of the industry, and because our master contracts provide for 60 day notices of lay-offs, Allina will be permitted, in a worst case scenario to provide lay-off notices during the same time period as the furlough agreement. Both parties hope the furloughs will help ensure that layoff notices will not be necessary.
- Regardless of the length of the furlough, Allina will continue to pay its portion of employee benefit premiums through the length of this agreement (July 31, 2020).