News

SEIU Condemns Terror Attacks

SEIU members and leaders have categorically condemned the violence that took place at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota last week and again in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. Our Union pledges to continue to fight to eliminate racism wherever it is found!

Several members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota worship at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, MN. They want and deserve a place to worship without fear and we stand with them and all members of the Muslim faith at this time.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, a violent, hate filled rally by right wing extremists like the KKK and Neo Nazis resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter protester, and dozens of additional injuries. The rally was billed as an opportunity for white Americans to fight the influence of Jews in our culture. We stand with our Jewish sisters and brothers, with all immigrants and people of color and everyone else who was targeted by the speeches filled with hate.

As Trade Unionists it is of vital importance that we fight racism wherever we see it. We will make no progress improving our society, our workplaces, or the position of working families in our country unless we reckon with the history of racism and its continuing impact on our lives. Race is a social construct invented to divide us and it is only by coming together, not by ignoring our differences but by embracing and working across our differences, that we are able to make progress.

In the words of Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I also want to echo the words of our own Executive Vice President Jigme Ugen, who emailed a message out to the SEIU staff yesterday- “We must condemn white nationalism, reject hatred, and organize our communities to eliminate racism at all levels. Meanwhile, please take time to care for yourself and those around you with understanding and solidarity founded on the basis of love and humanity.”

I call on all on of us as Union leaders to pause and reflect; to share your thoughts and feelings this week with friends, family and co-workers.

In Love and Solidarity,

Jamie Gulley

SEIU HCMN President

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Tentative Agreement Reached with Twin City Hospitals; Ratification Votes Scheduled

After two days of bargaining, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota has reached a Tentative Agreement with Twin City Hospitals. Ratification votes will take place at each hospital next week, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. The vote count will be held at 5pm at the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota office (345 Randolph Ave., Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55102) and all members are invited to attend.

Click here to review the Tentative Agreement.

Ratification Vote Times

Children’s St. Paul: Thursday, August 17; 8:00am – 5:00pm, Café

Children’s Minneapolis: Wednesday, August 16, 8:00am – 6:00pm, Education Center

Fairview Southdale: Wednesday, August 16, Education Room #1; 6:30am-9:00am • 11:00am-1:00pm • 3:00pm-5:30pm

Fairview UMMC: Wednesday, August 16; 6:30am-11:00am, Dining Room E; 11:00am – 6:00pm, Dining Room D

HealthEast Bethesda: Wednesday, August 16; Conference Room 2; 6:30am – 8:30am • 11:00am – 1:00pm • 2:30pm – 5:30pm

HealthEast St. John’s: Friday, August 18; Watson Room 3, 6:30am – 8:30am • 11:00am – 1:00pm • 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Methodist Park Nicollet: Thursday, August 17; 6:30am – 12:00pm, Cafeteria Conference Room #3; 12:00pm – 1:00pm, HVC-E; 1:45pm – 6:00pm, Cafeteria Conference Room #3

North Memorial Medical Center: Thursday, August 17, 6:30am-9am; Sunset Board Room; 11:00am-1:00pm • 3:00pm-5:30pm, Café Conference room (off the main café)

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Mayo Food Service Workers with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Vote Overwhelmingly to Approve Contract with Morrison

Food service workers see gains in pay, benefits and security for families in first contract with new employer following Mayo’s outsourcing
Rochester, Minn— After multiple days of voting, Mayo food service workers who were outsourced last year in a controversial decision by Mayo voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract with Morrison. The bargaining team of food service workers from Mayo sites across Southern Minnesota started negotiating with their new employer Morrison in March and wrapped up last Tuesday evening. The contract achieved the goals food service workers had going in to bargaining around protecting worker standards, namely winning union insurance, a union retirement plan and preserving and advancing wage rates. A summary of the agreement is at the bottom of this release. 
Winning the five-year contract follows a year of activity that saw multiple pickets outside of Mayo and immense community support for the workers and their families. Food service workers stood strong through all of the tumult to make certain food service jobs remained good jobs that would support families in our community. Workers, many with decades of experience, knew that winning this fight and maintaining standards would mean patients and visitors to Mayo facilities would be able to get the service that they deserved.
Some of the largest gains were made by food service workers who were previously employed by Sodexo, a group that voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota following the uproar around Mayo’s plan for food service workers. John Predmore is a 16 years food service worker from Rochester who was one of the Sodexo workers who voted to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota last fall. After the vote, he commented on his excitement about the overwhelming “yes” vote by SEIU members approving the contract. 
“I am so happy we voted to approve our contract. We hope this win shows all Mayo employees that by standing together positive changes can happen. We demanded respect and it feels good to know that we have a strong contract going forward. We went from lots of concerns when we heard the news, when things were very bleak and stressful, to joining the union and winning this great first contract. This gives our families the stability we need,” said Predmore. “We finally have some piece of mind around insurance, time off, retirement and wages. It’s a weight off our shoulders. It is good to know we are part of a union that will help watch our back. Like everyone who works to make sure Mayo provides a great experience for our patients, we know we have value no matter who signs our paycheck. This feels so good and we are so proud to have this contract passed.”
The contract will last five years.  Some of the highlights of the contract include:
  • Initial wage increases between 2.5% and 42%
  • 5 year contract duration with 2.5 % wage increases each year for existing employees and 2% increases to the start rates each year
  • Increased PTO and Holiday Pay
  • Full Union Health Insurance for both part-time and full-time members and improved dental coverage
  • Defined contribution 401K, $.50 per hour worked paid by the Employer
  • Overtime pay after 8 hours, requirements for defined shift times, and weekend shift differentials
  • Increased life insurance, Short Term Disability options and improved Bereavement Leave
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New 2017-2019 Home Care Contract

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After Tumultuous End to Legislative Session, Home Care Workers Celebrate Ratification of New Agreement – And Resolve to Fight for Full Funding to be Restored

New union contract raises pay floor, increases paid time off, grants holiday pay for the first time, funds training, and more, to help address care crisis facing seniors and people with disabilities across Minnesota

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Care workers and clients express frustration at anti-union group who attacked care workers, leading to a cut of half of the desperately needed funding, vow to continue fight to solve the state’s care crisis

Saint Paul — Home care workers and the state of Minnesota reached a new agreement for a union contract that covers approximately 27,000 Minnesota home care workers, with union members ratifying the contract Monday evening after a week of voting. The new contract will go into effect on July 1st.  The two sides had to negotiate a new contract after elected officials cut funding in half for the previous tentative agreement in the final Health and Human Services (HHS) Omnibus budget bill that was passed by the State House and Senate and signed into law by Governor Dayton late last month.

2015 Scott_VivianThe decrease in funding, which will slow the work being done to address the care crisis facing seniors and people with disabilities across Minnesota, came after repeated attacks on care workers and their clients from anti-union attorney Doug Seaton and the Center of the American Experiment. In legislative testimony, these groups – which have run a large-scale campaign since last summer to stop the union from negotiating a new agreement – advocated that legislators vote down raises and new benefits for home care workers. In expressing their anger at the reduction in funding that came as a result of these anti-union groups’ attacks, home care workers vowed to continue their fight next session, to restore funding to address the care crisis in Minnesota.

“So many good people all across the state worked hard pushing our elected officials to address the care crisis that is harming thousands of families like mine. Home care workers and clients like me negotiated in good faith earlier this year, but at the very end of the legislative session politicians decided to only fund half of what we had agreed to with the state, which is incredibly frustrating,” said Jim Carlisle, a home care client who counts on care for himself and his wife to be able to stay in their home. “We made some important steps forward in this new agreement, but the crisis in our state is well beyond the point where any half-measures will suffice.”

“This is, without exaggeration, a life or death situation for someone like me who relies on quality caregivers to get out of bed and do basic tasks like eating and leaving my house,” Carlisle continued.  “I’m proud we won the gains we did, but we are still a long way from where we need to be. What we’ve proven over the last few months is that we won’t let any attacks or setbacks stop us. We will fight to ensure every person who needs care has access to quality caregivers.”

Despite the challenges of fighting frivolous lawsuits and attacks from deep-pocketed special interest groups, union members expressed pride in the tireless effort put forward by people across the state to bring attention to the care crisis.

“Progress simply would not have happened without our union. We are so happy that we have a collective voice in this critical fight,” said Yasmine Soud Reynolds, a home care worker from White Bear Lake. “By coming together as home care workers, family members and clients from across the state, we have made it clear to everyone that we will be invisible no more. Because we worked together and told our stories, we had a group of legislators from both political parties author the bills to ratify and fund the original agreement we reached with the state in January. When some union-busting lawyers tried to block that bipartisan support for the wage and benefit improvements we so desperately need, the only reason we were able to resist their efforts and still make progress through this new agreement is that we stayed united. They were able to get elected officials to reduce the funding, but they weren’t able to stop us from moving forward.  We’ll be back next session to keep pushing for our state to address the care crisis, starting with restoring the funding lawmakers just cut.”

With the funding cut in half, the union’s bargaining team of workers, parents and clients had to go back to the bargaining table and reach a new agreement with the state, after engaging thousands of members in a difficult discussion of how to balance priorities. The new agreement was ratified after a week of voting that ended Monday evening.

Provisions of the new contract include:

  • A $1 an hour increase to the minimum wage for home care workers (the new floor is $12)
  • Time-and-a-half pay for workers who take care of their clients on five holidays, a benefit no home care workers in the state have had before
  • An increase in the amount of Paid Time Off home care workers earn
  • Training stipends for 5,000 workers who take voluntary trainings to build their skills in order to provide higher quality care
  • An online matching registry to help address the struggle clients face when trying to find quality care workers to bring into their homes
  • A 5% additional increase for those who work for the highest-need clients (defined as those who qualify for 12 or more hours per day of in-home care)

While proud of the gains, Delores Flynn, whose 46-year-old son Scott needs full time care after suffering a major brain hemorrhage, vowed that families will be back next session to demand that the funding lawmakers cut be restored

We will continue to fight until every Minnesotan who needs care has access to the quality care they need to stay in their home. We expect politicians to do right by restoring the funding they cut,” said Flynn, who lives in Roseville. “There is a crisis happening across our state. If this crisis hasn’t touched you or someone you love yet, it will. When it does, you will realize that this isn’t an issue we can ignore. With the coming wave of baby boomers who will want quality care to stay in their homes, this crisis is only going to grow if it is not truly addressed. Care work should not be a political issue, but it is frustrating that money desperately needed by our families was caught up in political games. We cannot risk having people with disabilities and seniors go without the care they need due to the chronic shortage of workers. It is far more expensive to care for people in a facility than it is providing care for them in their homes. Elected officials from all parties should make restoring the home care funding they cut the very first bill they pass when they come back to St. Paul.”

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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.

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2017 Allina Master Table Bargaining Team and Dates

Limited scope bargaining dates for SEIU members at Allina Hospitals are set for June 21st and 23rd, 2017.

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Joint Op-Ed from SEIU HCMN President Jamie Gulley and Allina CEO Penny Wheeler: U.S. House health care bill misses mark on essential counts

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Home Care Members Share Stories about Care Crisis at Contract Hearing

On May 8th, home care workers with our Union, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, were at the Capitol for a hearing about care work in Minnesota. The group attacking us, MNPCA, was also there.
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From our side home care workers, parents of children with disabilities and clients told about the work we are doing, working to raise pay, boost budgets for families, increase training and benefits, and more. We talked about the care crisis that is facing seniors, people with disabilities and our family members who are struggling to find enough caregivers because of the low pay and lack of funding for essential services.

The few people in attendance from MNPCA attacked our union with their usual accusations (all of which have been discredited) but offered no ideas, let alone solutions, to the care crisis. One of the speakers for MNPCA was Kim Crockett, a lawyer from the Center For the American Experiment. They are a group who propose cutting the very Medicaid funding that funds the care work we do. Another anti-worker lawyer, Doug Seaton, said he thinks the legislature should reject our contract that would increase funding for the PCA program and budgets for families on CDCS and CSG to pay for the new wages and benefits we won in our negotiations.

I sat there thinking “how do these attacks, these failed lawsuits, help my family?”

I was proud our side talked about issues. I was proud we brought forward proposed solutions to the issues facing our family.

It was clear who cares about Minnesota families and who cares more about scoring political points at the expense of seniors, people with disabilities and our family members.

Thank you,
Cortney Phillips
Home Care Worker and mother from Annandale

PS — Want to find out more about our work and get involved? Click here.

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Home Care CDCS-CSG

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Home Care Training – Free CPR and First Aid Training

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