Albert Lea Bargaining Update – November 18, 2016

ALMC 2016 Barg Update #3

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Home Care Members and Clients Discuss the Home Care Crisis with Governor Dayton and Lt. Gov Tina Smith

161128_HC mtg with Dayton-Smith

A group of home care members and the clients they provide care for met yesterday with Governor Mark Dayton and Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to tell their personal stories about the home care crisis. Too many people with disabilities and seniors across the state are going without the care they need to stay in their homes, because of poverty wages, lack of benefits, inadequate training, and caps on hours for the workers they employ. It was a powerful, emotional, and hopeful conversation about how to fix the care crisis.




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Congratulations to the newly elected SEIU HCMN Executive Board and Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected SEIU HCMN Executive Board and Officers:

Jamie Gulley, President
Liz Asmus, Executive Vice President
Phillip Cryan, Executive Vice President
Jigme Ugen, Executive Vice President
Lisa Weed, Executive Vice President
Lynn Carlson, Vice President – Allina
Kate Lynch, Vice President – Clinics
Sonja Lemire, Vice President – Long Term Care
Mindy Tomfohrde, Vice President – Southeast
Maxine Maxon, Vice President – Twin City Hospitals
Shaquonica Johnson, Vice President – Home Care
Sumer Spika, Vice President – Home Care
Kent Wilcox, Guard
Kamala Ramnauth, Assistant Guard
Cleveland Donazal, Trustee
Louise Duffee, Trustee
Sandy Koski, Trustee
Dan Mintey, Trustee
Melody Nordby, Trustee
Patti Fritz, Board Member – Retiree
Elsie Urman, Board Member – Retiree
Jeff Sarro, Board Member – Allina
Kaytie Elrite, Board Member – Clinics
Emma Woodward, Board Member – Long Term Care
Mary Bale, Board Member – Southeast
Bennie Cromedy, Board Member – Twin City Hospitals
Darleen Gray, Board Member – Home Care
Francis Hall, Board Member – Home Care
Debra Howze, Board Member – Home Care
LaTanya Hughes, Board Member – Home Care
Cortney Phillips, Board Member – Home Care
Robin Pikala, Board Member – Home Care
Corey Van Denburgh, Board Member – Home Care
Jan Wirpel, Board Member – Home Care
Bri Bernini, Board Member – At Large
Rajib Bhattarai, Board Member – At Large
Charlie Butter, Board Member – At Large
Brian Elliott, Board Member – At Large
Yankuba Fadera, Board Member – At Large
Mark Freeman, Board Member – At Large
Crissy Hanson, Board Member – At Large
Penny Hanson, Board Member – At Large
James Holt, Board Member – At Large
Natalie Jackson, Board Member – At Large
Russ Maloney, Board Member – At Large
Rita Mathews, Board Member – At Large
Kathy Meyer, Board Member – At Large
Katrice Newsome, Board Member – At Large
Jennifer Norgren, Board Member – At Large
Harry O’Mara, Board Member – At Large
Kia Pille, Board Member – At Large
Becky Schmitz, Board Member – At Large
Johnnie Smith, Board Member – At Large
Vivian Strauman, Board Member – At Large
Marty Zahn, Board Member – At Large

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Home Care Training: CPR Payments

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Open Letter to Allina from President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

With the nurses strike reaching a third week, comments made by Allina’s CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler about the health insurance they want to take from the nurses has become a focal point of the battle. Speaking on television, radio and earlier this week in a full-page ad in the Star Tribune, Dr. Wheeler has been referring to one of the Allina core plans as an important example of high road collaboration with one of their Unions. We, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, are that Union, and we want to set the record straight about how we created the Allina First plan and why Allina’s current management, under CEO Dr. Penny Wheeler, cannot be trusted when it comes to health insurance.

In 2008, under a previous management at Allina, our Union and Allina were bargaining under a formal labor-management collaboration called the Strategic Alliance. The Alliance had emerged from years of battles over insurance, starting in 2003 when SEIU members at Allina who made as little as $11 per hour were charged close to $600 per month for family insurance. In 2008, we made a major step forward for our members by negotiating the Allina First plan, which is what Dr. Wheeler keeps referencing. We called it the Allina First plan because members were expected to use the Allina network first before seeking other providers. We also convinced Allina management that they could save millions of dollars in prescription drug prices by eliminating all co-pays from generic drugs. The result of this collaboration was better coverage for our members, with lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs for most members. Allina gained new patients from this insurance pool, saved money on drug costs as members overwhelmingly chose generic over name-brand drugs, and was so pleased it introduced the plan to all of Allina. For SEIU members and Allina this truly was a win-win.

During this period of partnership, our Union also collaborated with Allina on more than 50 other projects to improve efficiency and patient satisfaction scores. Our efforts helped Allina save money across these projects and our members felt good that our ideas were taken seriously. We were able to make a difference for our own families, for patients and even for Allina’s bottom line.

Allina has changed under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership. In 2015, Allina unilaterally cancelled our labor-management partnership. Today at Unity Hospital, there are 345 SEIU members who voted to join the Union and after a year of negotiating want nothing more than to be added to the same Allina First plan that is offered to SEIU members across the rest of Allina. Dr. Wheeler has refused. The only health plan they are willing to discuss to with these workers is one with out-of-pocket costs that are higher by thousands of dollars per year and where each employee is charged a premium based on the results of health tests.

Service workers at Unity Hospital are charged more per month in premiums than SEIU members at nearby Mercy Hospital, which Allina is merging with Unity Hospital as “one hospital two campuses.” Why, after more than a year of bargaining, is Allina still refusing to agree to give Unity Hospital workers the same plan Dr. Wheeler is now praising as a reason for nurses to end their strike? It seems that on many fronts Allina wants complete control of their health plans so they can make changes that boost Allina’s profits at the expense of employees.

For many SEIU members, the Allina First plan was a big step forward, achieved through bargaining, not unilateral change. Dr. Wheeler’s rhetoric about Union collaboration refers to an era that she herself has decided to end. Neither nurses nor the community should be fooled by her talking points. If Allina, under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership, were honestly collaborating with Unions there wouldn’t be a strike and SEIU members at Unity would have a contract with the same Allina First insurance that Dr. Wheeler has been praising. We stand in full support of the nurses in their strike and call on Dr. Penny Wheeler to offer the SEIU members at Unity Hospital the same Allina First plan she has been praising so publicly.

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Zoo Day Tickets

Zoo Day tickets are no longer available online. Tickets can be purchased at the Minnesota Zoo entrance on Sunday, August 14th.

SEIU Zoo Day is limited to full SEIU members & their immediate families only, up to 10 tickets. Member must be present with the party to be admitted. Tickets will cost $2 per person with free entry without ticket for children under 3.

Phone your union if you are scheduled to work that day, but your immediate family wishes to attend. If your party exceeds 10, the SEIU member may purchase additional tickets for $6.00 each.

Zoo event is not available to fair share fee payers.
Food and beverages can be purchased at the zoo or you may bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the picnic area.

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Union Files Formal Complaint on Mayo Outsourcing Plan, Highlight Apparent Conflict of Interest by Executive

Call for full public investigation and reversal of outsourcing decision

Rochester, Minn — SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the union that represents many of the food service workers that Mayo wants to outsource to a multi-national corporation, filed a formal complaint Monday regarding an apparent conflict of interest that was not disclosed when Mayo announced the plan on June 30th. The formal complaint, called a “grievance,” was filed with Mayo on Monday, August 1st.

The Union is prepared to file charges with the National Labor Relations Board if Mayo executives attempt to cover up or withhold any information about this apparent violation.

The grievance alleges the decision was “primarily influenced by food services administrator Carol Gorman. The Union believes Carol Gorman has a conflict of interest due to a long standing personal relationship with a Morrison executive.” The grievance is based on Mayo’s conflict of interest policy from its employee handbook.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley shared the indignation felt by many when this news came to light.

“We are angered that Mayo would make a decision like this, one that affects the lives of 700 families in our community, especially now that it appears the decision was made under a cloud of dubious ethics,” said Gulley. “We believe Mayo executives are already aware of the apparent conflict of interest and we are demanding that Mayo make public any initial findings from their investigation immediately. We are calling for Ms. Gorman to be relieved of her duties pending a full investigation and for the decision to outsource workers be revisited in light of this debacle for Mayo.”

The tentative agreement between Mayo and Morrison, which has not been finalized, has been met with anger and frustration from workers across Mayo and community members across Southern Minnesota. Their plan to push hundreds of loyal Mayo employees – and Rochester taxpayers — out of the company comes shortly after Mayo lobbied the state for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to build the Destination Medical Center (DMC), in no small part by claiming it will bring good jobs to the area.

Hundreds of workers throughout the Mayo system have been wearing “No Subcontracting” buttons at work, and a recent full-page ad in the Rochester Post-Bulletin highlighted that the food service workers who Mayo is trying to kick off their payroll have over 5,000 years of experience in food service at Mayo, with many bringing decades of food safety expertise to their jobs. This longevity, which most doubt would be possible if the lower pay and worse health benefits of a subcontractor were brought into the hospital, helps to ensure the health and safety of patients across the Mayo system.

Food service workers, their union, and community members concerned with this plan continue to push Mayo to reconsider their decision and do what is best for patients, workers and the whole community.


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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Golden Living Center St. Louis Park

EMPLOYER: Golden Living Center
WORKSITE: Golden Living Center St. Louis Park
3201 Virginia Ave S
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
PHONE: 952-935-0333

Healthcare Services Group Master 2013-2016

Internal Organizer:


Helena Stezewski, Housekeeping Aide

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Regina Senior Living Center

WORKSITE: Regina Medical Center
1174 Nininger Road
Hastings, MN 55033

PHONE: 651-480-4333


Senior Living 2014-2016

Internal Organizer: Lisa McClellan

Deonne McDonnell, Residence Aide

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Purchase Zoo Tickets

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