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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

170501_HC_CDCS-CSG flyer

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Home Care Training – Free CPR and First Aid Training

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NMMC Surgical Technologist Bargaining Update #17 – February 9, 2017

NMMC Surg Tech Update #17

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NMMC Surgical Technologist Bargaining Update #16 – January 26, 2017

NMMC Surg Tech #16

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Members at Albert Lea Deliver Valentine’s Card to Management

On Tuesday, February 14th, SEIU members Patty Hintz, Jamie Fielding and Marlene Baseman at Albert Lea Medical Center delivered a ALMC_Vday marchValentine’s card to HR. The card was signed by 85% of the memberships and read,”Happy Valentine’s Day! We want to move forward and bargain our contract, but do not want our benefits to change from time to time after we bargain for them.”

Members at Albert Lea have been negotiating since October 2016 and are fighting for a fair contract that Management will follow.

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HealthPartners Ratification Vote

The Ratification Vote for the tentative agreement will be held on:

February 16, 2017: 6am-9pm

IOUE 49: 2829 Anthony Lane South, MPLS, MN 55418
SEIU HCMN: 345 Randolph Ave., Suite 100, St. Paul, MN 55102

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Bureau of Mediation Services Rules with Minnesota Home Care Workers; Dismisses Efforts to Decertify Union

Saint Paul — With news today that the Bureau of Mediation Services dismissed the decertification attempt by the anti-union group “MNPCA.org” for lacking sufficient support, Minneapolis home care worker and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board member LaTanya Hughes shared her feelings about the latest attack on the union again falling short.

20151021_HCW_Federal_Court“The campaign to undermine the union we’ve worked so hard to build came up well short of the support they needed to trigger an election. This effort was never supported by a significant number of home care workers or the people with disabilities and seniors we serve. As the people actually affected, we all know that we need a powerful voice at the Capitol to address the home care crisis Minnesota is currently facing, and the only way we have that is by coming together,” said Hughes. “That voice, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, worked tirelessly to reach a tentative agreement with the Department of Human Services to raise wages and other benefits for home care workers. It is unfortunate that there are people who disagree with increasing wages and benefits for growing workforce by trying to decertify the union and hamper efforts for our second contract.”

Hughes continued, “I was proud to be part of the bargaining team that reached a tentative agreement that will, if it’s now ratified by union members and the legislature, make major strides forward in addressing the care crisis — a severe shortage of quality care workers because of low pay and few benefits — by raising the pay floor from $11 to $13, providing new funding for training and stipends to reward home care workers to improve their skill sets, more paid time off, two paid holidays for the first time ever, additional wage increases for workers providing care to the clients with the highest level of complex care needs, and more. We still have a lot of work to do to fix the care crisis facing Minnesota families, but I’m incredibly proud we didn’t let any distractions stop us from getting to this point where we are so close to improving the lives of tens of thousands of families all across our state.”

In dismissing MNPCA’s petition, the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) announced that the group had not turned in enough signatures seeking a new vote to decertify the union. Even in the unlikely event that all the cards submitted by the anti-union campaign proved valid, they at best came up over 5,000 workers short of the “Showing of Interest.”

Shaquonica Johnson, a home care worker from West St. Paul and Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, remembered the lengths home care workers had to go to get a chance to vote on their union, the same exact process that the anti-union forces just failed to achieve.

“I remember like it was yesterday the excitement I felt on the morning, back in July 2014, when we filed our petition with BMS to request a union election. We brought them boxes and boxes of cards – from over 10,000 home care workers, from every corner of the state, wanting to form our union. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done since then to make progress for home care workers and the people we serve. And after many months and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on anti-union mailings, slick videos, opinion pieces in the newspaper, and lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit, these anti-union groups still haven’t gotten through to even a third of the number of workers they would need to convince in order to get a new election. That should tell them everything they need to know about whether it makes sense to keep up their relentless attacks on a struggling workforce that is made up almost entirely of women. We want a union, we know we need a union, and we’re never going to let a bunch of lawyers and special interest groups take our union away from us.”

The next step with the tentative agreement will be a vote on it by union members. If approved, it would then go to the Minnesota Legislature for ratification and then signed by the Governor to go into effect on July 1st.

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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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SEIU/HealthPartners Tentative Agreement

HP highlighted version of 2017 TA’s

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HealthPartners Bargaining Update #9 – February 1, 2017

HealthPartners bargaining continued this week, and a tentative agreement was reached after 25+ hours of negotiations on our final day. Watch the latest update from bargaining team member, Jean Pfarr for more info.

Contract negotiation updates will be available online on our Facebook page, YouTube channel and right here on the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Website.

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