News

Visit the SEIU Kiosk at the MN State Fair: August 22-Labor Day

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 11.36.16 AMSEIU Healthare Minnesota if back at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year! Stop by our kiosk at the MN AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion, at the corner of Cooper St. and Dan Patch Ave. SEIU members and staff will be at the kiosk from 8am-5pm, greeting fair-goers, answering questions and handing out stickers and fans to help beat the heat.

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Medicare and Medicaid: Celebrating 54 Years

LBJ MedicareMedicaidLast week on July 30th, we marked the 54th anniversary of the day President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill to create Medicare and Medicaid. The government healthcare programs are essential to so many of the people we care for and their funding is critical to our jobs. We are committed as ever to protecting these programs. For more information check out: mn.gov/dhs/medicaid-matters/.

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Scholarship Deadline is August 31!

IMG_1165SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is dedicated to helping members achieve their educational goals. Which is why we offer six scholarship opportunities, awarded twice per year (spring/fall) for use at any accredited post-secondary institution. The fall deadline is coming up quickly on August 31! Below is basic information about the scholarships, for more details and how to apply go to the SEIU website Scholarship page.

  • Two $1,000 scholarships to further the education of a SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member through the “Mindy Tomfohrde Scholarship Fund”;
  • Two $1,000 scholarships to further the education of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members 30 years old or younger through the “Got Your Back Fund”;
  • One $1,000 scholarship to further the education of a spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, or legal ward of a member through the “Cecelia Razook Memorial Scholarship”; and
  • One $1,000 scholarship to further the education of a non-member involved in organizing around social and economic justice fights in Minnesota, through the “Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund.”
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Upcoming Events: Rochester Labor Day Picnic

Enjoy free food, beverages at the Rochester Labor Day Picnic on Monday, September 2. There will be activities for kids, including a bouncy castle, clown, balloons, bike giveaway and more!

Monday, September 2nd
11:00am – 2:00pm
Bear Creek Park: 1237 Marion Rd SE, Rochester, MN 55904

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Summer Picnic Success!

Last weekend, more than 400 SEIU members attended the summer union picnic with their families at Como Park! There was plenty of food, fun, prizes and ride wristbands for kids at Como Town. St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter was on hand to help celebrate our members and all of the hard work and care that members provide to the community every day.como picnic group shot como picnic 3 Como picnic 2 como picnic

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Minneapolis Minimum Wage Increase!

piggy bank increase-01

Today, the minimum wage in Minneapolis also goes up! For workers at large businesses (with more than 100 employees) the new minimum wage is $12.25 per hour. For small businesses (with fewer than 100 employees) the new minimum wage is $11.00 per hour.

The increases to the Minneapolis minimum wage are part of the planned phase-in of a $15 minimum wage that was adopted by the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Our union led the fight for a $15 minimum wage and we plan to use this upward pressure on wages to raise pay for healthcare workers statewide! One of the reasons the raise for home care workers statewide was more than 10% this contract was because of the upward pressure on wages from the Minneapolis ordinance.  And just last week, Allina finally agreed to raise pay for all workers across the system to a $15 minimum wage, regardless of whether the worker was in Minneapolis or Owatonna. As $15 becomes the new standard for minimum wage work, our members are already planning our next fights for real pay increases!

For news about the increase click here.

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Home Care Worker Contract Day!

HomeCare July 1 new contractToday, the new contract for Minnesota’s home care workers goes into effect! The new contract provides millions of dollars for raises, new benefits and training programs! Home care workers have come a long way since forming their union five years ago, when the minimum wage was $6.30 an hour with no benefits. Starting today the minimum wage goes up to $13.25 (up from $12) and new benefits include more holiday pay, PTO, paid training programs and more. Congratulations to all home care worker on this well-deserved raise and contract.

Thank you to all the members who served on the bargaining team, who came to lobby day and helped ensure the new agreement was ratified by the legislature.

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Conservative Member Committee Update

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 12.10.19 PMThe Conservative Member Engagement Committee (CMEC) met the first week of May in DC. We spent two days discussing and working through how SEIU International, and subsequently our locals needs, to discuss and work on Immigration and the upcoming presidential endorsing process. There were over 20 locals represented from all corners of the United States that SEIU represents with rank and file members all the way up to SEIU International president, Mary Kay Henry, participating.

Immigration continues to be a polarizing difficult subject to discuss. Which is exactly why we need to continue to do so. It became very apparent not enough of the immigration conversation discusses why this effects you as a member here in Minnesota compared to members in Texas, California or other more southern locals.  The simplest most succinct way of saying this is because it effects hundreds of thousands of SEIU dues paying members across the country. There are first, second and third generation immigrants as well as current individuals that have come to the US as refugees affected.

While it is hard to always see how that effects your next contract here in MN, it drastically effects these individuals’ next contracts in their work places. The International Union works towards best representing all members across the US. While we cannot fix immigration today, we have to work towards it, so the members effected by this can have the best contracts possible.  When we run into major issues here in MN with Mayo, Allina, Health Partners our Nursing homes and Homecare, the International and these same members will be here to support us win those fights as well. This would naturally require an even longer conversation than I can have in a weekly newsletter. But please know conservative voices are being involved in this conversation.

As always please feel free to reach out to me personally if this is a in depth conversation you are interested in having. I am happy to meet you or your co-workers as able to talk more in length.

I will update you on our discussion of the presidential endorsing process as we continue at a later time.

 

Sincerely,

Corey Van Denburgh

Homecare worker

Member Vice President

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STRIKE: Elk River Guardian Angels Nursing Homes Workers Begin Two-Day ULP Strike

Workers make clear: “We are doing this for our residents”

ELK RIVER — Nursing home workers at Guardian Angels in Elk River began their two-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike at 6 a.m. this morning. The group of over 100 workers, who do housekeeping, laundry, dietary, health unit coordinating, nursing assistance, recreation and maintenance, are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. The workers will be joined by community supporters on a picket line from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday on the public sidewalk outside of the facility (400 Evans Ave NW, Elk River). The workers plan to return to work starting on Saturday morning.

Elk_River_Guardian_Angel_Strike_rs_2Avis Lage, who works as a dietary aide at Guardian Angels, shared why she is out on strike to win a better facility for residents and staff.

“We are on strike for our residents, our jobs and our whole community. We are proud that our work has made Guardian Angels a 5-star facility, but we are disappointed that management doesn’t seem willing to listen to us and show their longtime staff the respect we have earned. We are fighting for safe staffing levels and pay that rewards the amazing work done every day in our facility so that 5-star work can continue into the future,” said Lage, who has worked at the facility for seven years.

Leading up to the strike, the group heard strong support from community and residents who understand that it is the staff’s hard work that has made the facility so well respected.

“We’re so thankful for the support we’ve already received and we want everyone to know we won’t stop fighting until management finally understands that it is the people who work here 24 hours a day that make this facility so great. It’s time they show that they value us more than padding the bottom line,” continued Lage. “We didn’t want to get to this point, but we hope those at the top finally get the message that the staff aren’t disposable and that if you don’t respect and invest in the people who’ve given decades of service to Guardian Angels, we could lose what we’ve worked so hard to achieve. We hope they’ll hear our voices.”

A recent news article noted that according to 2017 tax documents Guardian Angels made $1,806,640 in profit, with President and CEO Daniel C. Dixon being paid $226,658.

The group voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike earlier this month after their employer spent months refusing to make an offer that respects their dedicated workforce. The two sides have held over 10 bargaining sessions, with their employer unwilling to meet the group’s demands for safe staffing levels, respect for workers who want a collective voice in their workplace, and investment in dedicated staff so they can continue to make Guardian Angels a 5-star facility.

Jody Winter is CNA 30-year employee in the laundry department who spoke out about why she was out on strike.

“As someone who has worked at Guardian Angels for 30 years, I care deeply about our residents and my co-workers. It’s because I want what is best for Guardian Angels that I am taking part in this strike. We are a 5-Star facility because of the work that happens in our building, but when we have sat down over 10 times with management to try and reach an agreement on a contract, they don’t seem to want to recognize or respect the work so many of us put in,” said Winter. “The things we want — safe staffing levels, pay that honors the staff who have dedicated decades to this facility, and respect for our collective voice — are common sense requests and would be good for everyone. We had hoped that Guardian Angels management would do what is right and work with us, but they won’t budge and seem more concerned with their bottom line than listening to their staff. We wish we weren’t in this situation, but when you are fighting for what is right sometimes you have to make a stand. This strike is our stand for our residents, our families and our whole community.”

With the employer refusing to bargain in good faith, there are no new bargaining dates set.

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota.

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Elk River Nursing Home Workers Announce Strike Authorization

Workers at Guardian Angels vote to authorize strike after months of contract negotiations

Elk River — Nursing home workers employed by Guardian Angels in Elk River voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike after their employer has refused to make an offer that respects their dedicated workforce. The group, who do housekeeping, laundry, dietary, health unit coordinating, nursing assistance, recreation, and maintenance, are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. The two sides have held over 10 bargaining sessions, with their employer refusing to meet the group’s demands for safe staffing levels, respect for workers who want a collective voice in their workplace, and calls for investment in dedicated staff so they can invest in their community.

Elk_River_Nursing_rsThere is no strike date set. There must be a 10-day notice before any strike would begin. An update will be shared if a 10-day notice is filed. 

Jane Gardner, a nursing assistant and TMA at Guardian Angels for nearly 14 years, shared her feelings why the group voted to authorize a strike if the two sides don’t reach an agreement.

“As dedicated employees of Guardian Angels, all we are asking is for them to invest in their dedicated employees so residents can continue to get quality care. We want to feel respected and valued and we want to have a voice through our union. We become an extension of the lives of our residents through our work, and we simply want our dedication to be acknowledged. We want Guardian Angels to continue being a Five Star facility for our community. That means management actually negotiating with us in good faith to reach a contract. We voted today to authorize a strike because right now they aren’t showing us that respect.”

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota.

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