Event News

Did you miss the Summit for a Fair Economy? Here are the highlights!

The Summit for a Fair Economy was a powerful day!   Over 500 activists gathered in Minneapolis from all walks of life to organize for economic justice in our communities.

Here’s a video of the highlights from that day:

And here’s a link to more coverage from the day!

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Two great upcoming events to check out on Sept. 25th!

The first event is being put on by Spirit of Truth on Sunday, September 25th.  Spirit of Truth is a faith community from the Christian tradition that strives to put love and justice at the center of human interactions.  On the 25th, they will be kicking off their Love Your Neighbor: Faith Values for a Just Economy Campaign.

WHAT:   Love Your Neighbor Campaign Kickoff

WHEN:  Sunday, September 25th 1pm – 3pm

WHERE: Kagin Commons Ballroom, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

The second event is being put on by the Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition and is co-sponsored by our union.

The event is headlined by Dr. Hsiao, a Harvard economist  who designed the successful single-payer system that has been operating in Taiwan since 1995 and 7 other countries.  Dr. Hsiao will be talking about the opportunity to build a single-payer system in Minnesota.
WHEN:  Sunday, September 25th 2:30pm

WHERE: Neighborhood House at Wellstone Center Room 272, 179 Robie St E, St. Paul

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SEIU Healthcare MN Member Leaders Taking on Fight Against Corporate Greed

Maxine Maxon is ready to stand for a fair economy

On August 9th and 10th, 100s of Minnesotans from some of the most powerful community and faith-based organizations in the state came together to plan our next steps in the fight to put Main Street before Wall Street.

Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE) is a coalition of faith, labor and community organizations standing together to create an economy that works for ALL Minnesotans.

“The banks and corporate CEOs have been destroying our community for too long,” said Maxine Maxon, a certified nursing assistant at Fairview Riverside and a member SEIU HCMN’s MFE Steering Committee. “I’m excited to be planning together with our community how we reverse the trend.”

For more information about Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, call Phillip Cryan at 612-294-8123 or go to www.mnfaireconomy.org.

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Supporting our Brothers and Sisters in North Minneapolis

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board member Jacqueline Omurwa and SEIU HCMN member Mark Freeman presented the American Red Cross and North Meals on Wheels with checks to support their efforts in the North Tornado relief for $4,000 and $1,000 respectively.

“On May 22, a devastating tornado hit North Minneapolis.  As a resident of the north side, I have seen first-hand the coming together of neighbors and other people willing to help total strangers when this disaster took place,” said Freeman. “As a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, I can honestly say that it is much the same in the labor movement with union brothers and sisters working together in a common bond to get the job done for the benefit of their communities.”

“Our union is more like a family than an organization, always reaching out to help families in need. I’d like to thank our President Julie Schnell, Executive Vice President Tee McClenty and the Eboard members for understanding the need to support the north side cleanup and re-building the community affected by the tornado,” said Omurwa. “I thank family and friends who joined me on the front line in the cleanup in North Minneapolis.”

Both Jacqui and Mark thanked the American Red Cross and Meals on Wheels for their continued efforts to help families in need as well as all the organizations, family and friends that have volunteered to cleanup the north side.

For photos of cleanup efforts click here.

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Encouraging Education Through Our Scholarship Winners

At our May membership meeting names were drawn for the 2011 scholarship winners. Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners!

  • Candice Mae Hall, St. Mary’s Hospital: Continuing Education Member Scholarship ($500)
  • Melissa Lerohlunder, United Hospital: Got Your Back (Under 30) Member Scholarship ($1,500)
  • Olusola Ormobunge, Axis: Got Your Back (Under 30) Member Scholarship ($1,500)
  • Angela Hedlund, daughter of Shannon Sweeney, GLC Excelsior: Son/Daughter of Member Scholarship ($500)
  • Casey Liebhard daughter of Lori Liebhard, St Francis: Cecelia Razook Memorial Scholarship for son/daughter of Member ($1,000)

Our yearly scholarship programs enable SEIU members and their children to pursue their educational goals at accredited colleges, universities, and technical schools.

“I will use this scholarship towards tuitions and books for the 2-year nursing program at RCTC in Rochester, MN,” says Candice May Hall. “I plan to graduate in May 2012 and continue on to a 4-year degree in nursing.”

Casey Liebhard, daughter of Lori Peterson, St. Francis Regional Medical Center will be attending the University of Minnesota Morris in the fall and will pursue an English major and women’s studies minor. Liebhard says she wants to use her degree to teach secondary education or eventual become an English professor, “I want to make a difference and give children who normally wouldn’t receive a quality education a positive role model.”

Find out more information about our scholarships under Member Resources.

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Building solidarity at the 2011 Women’s Retreat

Union women joined together at the end of April in Brainerd, MN to meet and discuss the challenges that women face in the workplace. Break-out discussions ranged from building women’s power in a global economy to stopping workplace bullying and organizing for work/life balance.

At the opening session, members learned about pay disparities that still exist today among women and men. Kris Jacobs, executive director of the JOBS NOW Coalition presented the information, “on average, women working full-time earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn working full-time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That totals $8 billion in lost revenue every year for women workers in Minnesota.”

For more information about the retreat read the article from Workday Minnesota, or check out the video to hear to members.

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Braving the Cold, SEIU HCMN Members Celebrate May Day

Despite the wind and cold, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members turned out in force to celebrate International Workers’ Day at the 37th Annual May Day parade in south Minneapolis.

Members from across the state marched in the parade and kicked off our campaign to win good contracts in 2011-12!

Members were joined by U.S. Senator Al Franken, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, and State Senator John Marty during the festivities.

Click here to see the photos of the fun on Facebook!

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“Citizen’s arrest warrant” issued to UnitedHealth Group over business relationship with Medica in Minnesota

Health care advocates disrupted a morning meeting today to present UnitedHealth Group Vice President of Social Responsibility Kate Rubin with a “warrant for citizen’s arrest,” raising questions about UnitedHealth Group’s cash reserves and their business relationship with Medica in Minnesota.

Jim Bush, a member of TakeAction Minnesota, explained to Ms. Rubin that the group is “deeply troubled by UnitedHealth Group’s dealings in Minnesota, a state where for-profit health maintenance organizations are prohibited from operating by law.” Ms. Rubin refused to answer the charges directly before the group was forcefully escorted out of the room, but later told the meeting’s attendees that there is “not a stone wall between Medica and UnitedHealth Group” when it comes to their business relationship.

“Medica is one of a few big HMOs that get 3 billion of our dollars annually to run our state’s public health insurance programs,” said Kent Wilcox, who works at Bethesda Hospital in Saint Paul and is Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “They’re sending a lot of that money to UnitedHealth Group, and I think we need to find out why. They shouldn’t be profiting off of our public health care dollars.”

The “warrant” charges Ms. Rubin, as well as UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley and Medica CEO David Tilford, with the illegal operation of a for-profit Health Maintenance Organization in Minnesota, citing UnitedHealth Group’s $73 Million contract with Medica for administrative services in Minnesota and the two companies’ shared provider network as reflected on Medica health insurance cards. In a story last fall detailing their partnership for Medica’s consumer-directed health plans, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Business Journal noted that “Medica is already linked in a number of business relationships with UnitedHealth.”

Today’s action follows months of increased scrutiny of Minnesota’s large health maintenance organizations and their administration of the state’s public health insurance programs.

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On May 1st, Celebrate International Workers’ Day With Us

This year, we’ll be gathering together to celebrate International Workers’ Day at the 37th annual May Day Parade & Festival in South Minneapolis.
RSVP on Facebook here.

Meet at the baseball field in Powderhorn Park at 12:30pm. Shuttles will take members to the start of the parade at 25th and Cedar between 12:30 and 1:00pm.

The parade begins at 1:00pm.

Members who walk in the parade or sit at the information table will recieve an SEIU MayDay t-shirt.

For more information contact your steward, internal organizer or call the member action center at 651-294-8100.

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Thousands March to Honor Dr. King at We Are One Rally

Braving the wind and cold, over 2,500 workers and community allies stood together Tuesday, April 4th to honor Dr. King on the anniversary of his assassination.

Dr. King was killed while standing shoulder to shoulder with sanitation workers in Memphis as they fought for dignity.

On Tuesday night, clergy, civil rights leaders, and rank and file workers reminded the crowd of Dr. King’s stand and linked his stand to our own fight against the corporate-backed attacks on workers’ rights.

Here’s what Kate Lynch, an LPN from HealthPartners, had to say at the rally:

Today, we honor the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King and the Memphis sanitation workers.  Like they did a generation before, we are standing together to speak a bold truth to those who would use their power to attack workers.  That bold truth is that We Are One.

We are one when we stand up to those in power who want to scapegoat us for the economic disaster we all know was created by Wall Street recklessness and CEO greed.

We are one when we stand up to the attacks by Republican governors around the country on our friends and neighbors.

We are one when we stand up and say the battles we are fighting aren’t just about union workers or public employees.

We are one when we declare confidently that we won’t fall for the false distinctions that Governors Walker, Kasich and their corporate backers like the Koch brothers use to divide workers against each other in our fight for a better future.

When Governor Walker picked the first of many fights across the country with working families, he had no idea what he was sparking.

The direct assaults on our communities has shaken us out of our slumber and reminded us that when we come together as one, we are a powerful force for justice.  Looking across this crowd tonight, I can see that the attacks have ignited what Dr. King called “a dangerous unselfishness”…a willingness to say we are each other’s keeper and that we know that we either go up together, or we go down together.

Coverage of the march and rally on Fox 9:

St. Paul Sees March for Middle Class: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

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