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.
Today, 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.
The 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.
Corey Van Denburgh
Member Vice President
Congratulations to the SEIU members at Twin Ports Nursing Home in Superior, Wisconsin on ratifying a new standard setting contract! The contract is a two-year agreement that reopens for wage and benefit negotiations in year 2. Details include:
- Clarified “Failure to Report to Work/No Call/No Show” language; as well as new Health and Safety language; improved bereavement leave language; and 401(k) retirement language.
- Wage increases listed below are retro to April 1st, 2019, and upon ratification current employees will receive at least a 2% wage increase and be placed on the experience scale.
- All employees will receive an additional 1% increase effective October 1, 2019.
- HK, Dietary and Laundry will have a new starting wage experience scale (up 2%) starting at $13.77 with 10 cents added to each step 1-15.
- CNAs will have a new starting wage experience scale (up 2%) starting at $15.81 with 15 cents added to each step 1-15;
- Activities will have a new starting wage experience scale (up 1%) starting at $15.66 with 10 cents added to each step 1-15; and
- Cooks will have a new starting wage experience scale (up 2%) starting at $15.81 with 10 cents added to each step 1-15.
- Current staff will be placed on the scale at the appropriate, verifiable years of experience (there will be no loss in pay rate/no placement on a step below current pay rate).
- Any employee who is currently above the 15-year scale will get a 2% increase at ratification and another 1% increase on October 1, 2019.
- The TA also includes “No Leapfrogging language.”
- The TA includes shift differentials for CNAs of twenty-five cents ($0.25) for all hours worked from 2pm-10pm, and fifty cents ($0.50) for all hours worked between 10pm and 6am.
- After one (1) year, full time employees will receive one personal holiday annually, and after five (5) years, full time employees shall receive two (2) personal holidays annually.
- Finally, employees with one (1) or more years of service may request vacation on a regularly scheduled weekend once per year; employees with five (5) or more years of service may request vacation on a regularly scheduled weekend twice per year.
As a member of the SEIU International Executive Board, I have joined with other local leaders in advocating for a more inclusive member engagement process for national endorsement decisions. Specifically, we believe the 2020 presidential endorsement decision should be inclusive and should focus less on candidates and more on driving political support for unions and policies that support working families. I am pleased to report that I have been appointed to serve on the SEIU committee that will oversee the member engagement process for presidential endorsements. I ask for your help making this year’s endorsement process more inclusive and transparent for members than in past election cycles. Please let me know your thoughts about how we can make the process fun and transparent for all SEIU members.
As part of this process, International Union President Mary Kay Henry will host a webinar on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) to highlight multiple opportunities for members to bring issues important to our families front and center in the Presidential campaign. We will also learn more about our new Unions for All Organizing Network—a hub for SEIU members union-wide to interact and share their excitement, experiences, and thoughts with each other across our whole union. The Unions for All Organizing Network will be available in multiple languages.
Members can register for the webinar here.
While much of the attention will be on the issues and candidates competing for the Democratic Party endorsement, our Union includes thousands of self-identified conservative members as well. We plan to create an engagement process with our conservative members this year to make sure that their voices are heard and respected throughout the process. To that end SEIU Healthcare MN Vice President Corey Van Denburgh will help lead the Conservative Member engagement process at a national and local level.
We know that our union of 2 million members is unlikely to achieve perfect unity behind any decision, let alone one as big and important as a presidential endorsement, but all members deserve to be heard and respected and I am committed to using my leadership role to make that happen. Please join the webinar and email me with your ideas for making this year’s endorsement process our best yet!