“Stop Rx Greed!”: Take Action at the Capitol Wednesday Morning

Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 8.58.09 AMOn Wednesday, April 24 from 10-11am, we will be joining Insulin for All (led by our own member James Holt, Jr. and his wife Nicole, who suffered the tragic death of their son Alec from trying to ration his own insulin), AARP, and several other partner organizations to take action at the Capitol. We will be demanding that lawmakers take action to rein in the out-of-control rise in prescription drug costs, and that they ensure emergency access to life-saving drugs like insulin. Come join us! You can RSVP here.

Also, if you or a loved one have struggled to afford prescription drugs, we want to hear your story so we can share it with lawmakers, along with the stories of hundreds of other Minnesotans. Please email Executive Vice President Phillip Cryan at to let him know you have a story to share.

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Stillwater Medical Group Members Hold Info Picket to Fight for a Fair Contract

On Monday, April 15th, 2019, SEIU members at Stillwater Medical Group rallied together over the lunch hour for an informational picket! The SEIU members at SMG organized their union last summer, and have been fighting for their first union contract since. Meanwhile, SMG, which is owned by HealthPartners has been dragging their feet at the bargaining table. Currently, more than 25% of the jobs at SMG are vacant, due to their low wages and unfavorable working conditions that result from chronic short staffing.

The picket line was well attended, with union supporters from across the East Metro region joining SMG members on the picket line. Stay tuned for what happens next, as SEIU members at SMG prepare full page ads in the Stillwater newspaper to highlight their campaign for a contract that treats workers right and makes sure that HealthPartners patients in the East Metro get the high-quality care the deserve.

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Minnesotans with Disabilities Fight Barriers to Inclusion Unfilled Promises

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Changes to Nursing Home Reimbursement In Gov. Walz’s Budget Raise Questions For Nursing Home Workers

SAINT PAUL—In response to the budget released today by Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan that proposes cuts for some Minnesota nursing homes, St. Charles nursing home worker and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member Jeanne Schulz released the following statement.


MN Capitol Dome“Minnesotans are caring and compassionate. We believe that our family, friends and neighbors living in nursing homes like the one where I work — no matter their race, income or zip code — should be able to have what they need to live full and happy lives. Seeing a proposed cut for nursing homes in the budget, without clarity on who that cut will effect, is worrisome to those of us who do this critical work every day.


“We understand that the proposal says cuts would be focused on reining in ballooning costs for out-of-state management and executives, and we share a strong concern about the wave of acquisitions of Minnesota nursing homes by out-of-state companies in recent months and the impact those changes have had on nursing residents and workers. But we know that the line-item being targeted for cuts, called “other operating costs,” includes many hard-working frontline staff, not just management and administration. Members like me whose main job is to cook the food, clean the building, take out the trash, or work in the laundry are considered “other operating costs” simply because we are not doing the direct resident care a nursing assistant or nurse performs. And many of us are already making $3-$5/hour less than our nursing-assistant coworkers because the reimbursement reform passed by state lawmakers in 2015 focused only on the workers involved in direct care.


“We made important progress in 2015 by increasing nursing home funding all across Minnesota, but we still have a ways to go to make sure every nursing home is a world-class facility for residents and staff. A good reimbursement system needs to invest in workers, not out-of-state administrators. As this proposal moves forward we hope to get some important questions answered, to make sure the state is cutting out real waste and unnecessary expenses, not taking from the front-line employees who keep our buildings clean and our seniors fed. The lives of thousands of Minnesotans across our state depend on it.”


The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to organize unorganized workers in critical sectors of our economy, improve wages, hours and working conditions, and build political and legislative power for all workers and their families.  The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, SEIU members and staff of the various SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota, and that board, with the active participation and input of our broader membership, determines our endorsements.

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Mayo Rochester Methodist Hospital Full Contract Ratified

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2019 Scholarship Winners – Spring Semester


We had a record number of members enter our union’s scholarship contest last month. The essays submitted were all terrific! We want to thank all of the members and children of members who participated! Congratulations to the winners of the January Scholarship Essay Contest.

Mindy Tomfohrde Scholarships Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 2.44.22 PMContest Winners:

  • Wendy Harrison, St. Francis
  • Jessica Determan, HealthPartners

Got your Back Scholarship Contest Winners:

  • Krysta Anderson, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital
  • Yasmin Banishoraka, Home Care

Cecelia Razook Scholarship Contest Winner:

  • Jacob Elfmann, child of HealthPartners member Mary Elfmann

Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Winner:

  • Makeda Tadesse, child of United Hospital member Medhin Abuhay

The next scholarship opportunity will be for Fall Semester. The deadline to submit is August 31, 2019. For more information go to:

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SEIU Home Care Workers Announce Tentative Agreement With State of Minnesota

SAINT PAUL — Late Monday night the home care workers of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the state of Minnesota for their third union contract, a two-year contract that would begin in July of 2019.

HCW_group_photo_rsThe bargaining team — made up of home care workers, clients and family caregivers — negotiated with the state over three months to reach this agreement. The bargaining team fought to address the care crisis, a workforce shortage that has grown to over 8,000 openings because of the low wages and lack of benefits for this work. This crisis continues to result in seniors and people with disabilities not being able to find workers to provide the care that they need to stay safely in their homes.

The full details of the TA won’t be shared until members have a chance to see the tentative agreement and vote on its approval, but highlights include funding so reimbursement rates and client budgets will go up 2.37% for everyone, with those making the minimum wage seeing a 10.4% wage increase from $12 to $13.25; $750,000 for trainings and orientation to help workers gain and build skills; increased Paid Time Off; and an additional increase in wages for workers serving clients who need the highest hours of care.

Dalene Annen, a home care worker on the bargaining team from rural Minnesota, shared her feelings about the tentative agreement as someone who does this critical work.

“The work done by home care workers is critical for thousands of families across Minnesota, which is why we fight so hard to improve our industry. We’re proud of the gains that we’ve made in this contract, but we know that we have a lot more work to do to get the kind of wages, benefits and recognition that can fix the care crisis,” said Annen, who lives in Winnebago, a small town near the Iowa border. “The money we secured for home care workers and our clients will help to make a more dedicated workforce and move us to our goal of making sure that every Minnesotan– no where we live, the color of our skin, or our income– can get quality care to be able to stay in their homes and not be forced into institutions. Because we’ve stuck together, caregivers are getting better wages and benefits than we had before.”

If the Tentative Agreement gets ratified by Union members, it will then go to the legislature for their approval and funding. The final step would be having it signed by Governor Walz and go into effect July 1st, 2019. The negotiations took place in the months preceding budget negotiations in order to ensure that legislators have the opportunity to review the terms of the proposed agreement and vote on whether to ratify it.

Lauren Thompson, a client who was on the bargaining team, stressed the importance of the legislature ratifying the agreement once it gains approval from home care workers.

“After years of under investment in this workforce, and undervaluing the people who rely on these services, this contract is a step towards addressing the care crisis. Elected officials statewide must look beyond party lines and understand the importance of investing in home care. It is a matter of dignity and quality of life, it is a matter of survival,” said Thompson. “Home care workers, clients and our families will be at the Capitol this session to make sure that the contract gets ratified and that these gains are upheld. We will continue to strive for better wages, benefits and professional standards that home care workers deserve. This is vital so that I, and the thousands of other Minnesotans like me, will be able to survive and thrive in our homes and in our community.”


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Stillwater Medical Group

EMPLOYER: HealthPartners
WORKSITE: Stillwater Medical Group
1500 Curve Crest Blvd
Stillwater, MN 55082
PHONE: 651-439-1234


Internal Organizer: Youssef El Hamawi

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A Look Back at 2018 and 85 Years Strong (Annual Report)


Our Union, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, is the oldest Union of healthcare workers in the country. This year, we celebrated the 85th anniversary of our founding. We have grown from a small Union of 200 hospital workers in Minneapolis into a Union of 35,000 healthcare workers, with members in Hospitals, Clinics, Nursing Homes, and Home Care throughout the state of Minnesota. We spent a significant amount of time this year remembering our history while also working to establish new standards for our members today.



In the middle of the great depression, workers throughout the country were fighting for their rights and for legal recognition of their Unions. In the wake of the Minneapolis Teamsters’ Strike, congress passed the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which created a legal way for workers to form Unions and bargain collectively. Unfortunately, the NLRA left jobs held primarily by women and people of color out of the law. The NLRA excluded health care work, domestic labor and farm labor casting it aside as “not real work”.

In Minnesota, something special happened. The SEIU members at Abbott, Swedish and St. Barnabas Hospitals were not deterred by the limitations of the NLRA. They came together and voted to strike to form their Union anyway. To their credit, the hospital employers recognized our Union and began to bargain a contract. In this manner, our Union, the first Health Care Workers’ Union in the country, was born. Our fight for recognition is special because it included a struggle against racism and gender discrimination in our laws, and in our communities. By taking on these challenges together for the past 85 years, our Union has paved the way and won national standards for our work.

  • In 1949, our Union bargained to abolish gender-based wage scales, establishing equal pay for equal work.
  • That same year our Union demanded and won a 40-hour work week.
  • Our Union was the first in the country to establish a pension plan for healthcare workers.
  • Our members were the first in healthcare to win every other weekend off.
  • Last year, home care members became the first in the country to win paid holidays!


Workers in several greater Minnesota hospitals led the way this year with spirited bargaining campaigns. Members at Mayo Clinic–Albert Lea, finally won their contract after two years of intense negotiations that included a strike, an illegal lock-out, and a week-long “Unfair Labor Practice” trial. By sticking together and authorizing a second strike, members were able to finally win a better deal. At Chippewa County Hospital in Montevideo, members stuck together through an intense anti-Union campaign by management and won an average $1.60/hour wage increase by an independent arbitrator, after members voted to submit their contract to arbitration. As the year ends, hospital workers at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Brainerd are currently fighting against proposed health care premium cost increases that amount to a $2.50/hour wage cut for those with family coverage.
This year also saw the Union trustees to the Twin City Hospital Workers Pension Plan win approval for a significant increase in benefits. Starting Jan. 1, 2019 (and covering all future years) the monthly benefit will increase from $29/month to $31/month per year of service, a 7 percent increase in benefits!
When hundreds of our members who are immigrants to the United States from Liberia faced the potential loss of their right to work in the United States under the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program, our Union held “know your rights” trainings for affected members, and we helped members in their successful effort lobby for an extension of the DED program.
This year, Minnesota’s home care workers, saw the launch of new training programs negotiated by our Union. The training program includes a $500 stipend for members completing the program and a pay differential for workers caring for clients with complex care needs. The state also launched the new matching registry that members bargained to create, which will make it easier for home care clients to find workers who need extra hours. As caregivers and Union members we built this great Union to make sure that our work will continue to be seen, as “real work” and that as caregivers- we are treated with dignity and the right to stand up for our patients. We have achieved great things together over the last 85 years and this year was another incredible year of progress for our members!

In Solidarity,
Jamie Gulley

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Twin Ports (Golden Living Center Superior)

Twin Ports (Golden Living Center Superior)

WORKSITE: Twin Ports Health Services
1612 N 37th Street Superior, WI 54880
PHONE: 715-392-5144

CONTRACTS: Twin Ports, CBA, April 1 2017 – March 31 2019

Internal Organizer: Todd Schmitz

Dorothy Boyd
Brenda Kessler

Orientation Leader:
Brenda Kessler

Grievance Leader:
Dorothy Boyd
Brenda Kessler
Joseph McGinnis

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