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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.

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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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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
WEBSITE

CONTRACTS
Healthcare Services Group Master 2013-2016

Internal Organizer:

Stewards:

HCS:
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
WEBSITE: http://www.regina-seniorliving.com/

CONTRACTS

Senior Living 2014-2016

Internal Organizer: Lisa McClellan

Stewards:
Deonne McDonnell, Residence Aide

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Purchase Zoo Tickets

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Home Care Workers and Clients Express Outrage That Governor and Legislature Ignore Care Crisis

St. Paul — Despite clear evidence of a crisis facing home care workers and the seniors and people with disabilities they serve, the governor and legislature chose not to fund desperately needed overtime pay for home care workers this legislative session. This failure to support families across the state came despite months of advocacy from home care workers and clients. The funding would have helped provide the care needed for thousands of families across the state to stay in their homes, since thousands of workers’ hours were capped at 40 late last year. It also was a step needed to bring the state into compliance with federal law, under new Fair Labor Standards Act rules that went into effect in October 2015.

Caregiver crisis_1463269145509_2280856_ver1.0-2Sumer Spika, a mother and home care worker from St. Paul, highlighted why ignoring this crisis is such an outrage.

“With hours currently capped at 40, many home care workers have had to cut back hours of clients we care for, creating a situation that is harmful to their care and puts them at risk of having to leave their homes,” said Spika, a member and Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota . “We do this work because we love helping people be able to stay in their homes. We also need, as workers, to be able to provide for our families. We often say that home care workers have come together to be ‘Invisible No More,’ but the governor and legislators are treating both home care workers and the seniors and people with disabilities we serve as invisible, ignoring their duty to fix this crisis.”

“This situation was created in the 1930s, when racism and sexism led elected officials to exclude care jobs, done predominantly by women of color, from the basic rights of workers established as part of the New Deal. Now, with continued inaction, thousands of families across the state will have to face the effects of this crisis. We  are profoundly disappointed by this failure of duty, and this will only serve to motivate us to fight harder against discrimination – against people with disabilities and seniors, against women, and against people of color — and for the basic rights we as workers deserve.”

Home care consumers shared the frustration of home care workers that elected officials ignored this crisis.

“I’m so disappointed that the governor and legislature refused to listen to our voices and allocate the funding needed to support families like mine. Home care workers provide the support I need so I can live an independent life, and the hour cap is making that very difficult if not impossible for me and my family,” said Nikki Villavicencio, a home care client from Maplewood. “Thousands of additional families are discovering each year the need for quality home care. By neglecting to address this crisis, elected officials have only made things worse. We will continue to advocate for making home care jobs as strong as they can be, so that everyone who wants to stay in their home gets the care they deserve.”

Home care workers will begin working this summer on priorities for their next contract, which will be negotiated beginning this fall with the State of Minnesota.

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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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Golden Living Center Superior

EMPLOYER: Golden Living Center
WORKSITE: Golden Living Center Superior
1612 N 37th St, Superior, WI 54880
PHONE: 715-392-5144
WEBSITE

CONTRACTS
GLC Superior Contract 2013-2016

Internal Organizer: Ed Wigg

Stewards:
Roxanne Nephew
Antionette Wichlidal

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Cloquet Community Memorial Hospital

WORKSITE:
Community Memorial Hospital
512 Skyline Blvd
Cloquet, MN 55720

PHONE: (218) 879-4641
WEBSITE: www.cloquethospital.com

CONTRACTS
Cloquet Community Memorial Hospital 2015-2018

Internal Organizer: Julie Boots

Stewards:
Susan Grover
Eric Simon

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Minnesota Home Care Workers Praise Dismissal of Latest Anti-Union Lawsuit

St. Paul — This morning the United States Supreme Court refused to grant cert in Greene vs. Dayton, the latest defeat for Home Care_lawsuit winanti-union organizations trying to undermine the right of home care workers in Minnesota to continue their democratically elected Union.

Robin Pikala, a mother from Fridley who is a home care worker, released the following statement:

“I am happy that yet another lawsuit trying to stop home care workers coming together was dismissed today. No matter how many times they try, we will not let any ideological attacks stop us from our goal of making sure ever person who wants to stay in their home receives the care they deserve,” said Pikala, a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “While extremist groups continue their attempts to move us backwards, we will keep fighting for things like an end to the cap on hours that seniors and people with disabilities are facing right now that is causing issues for thousands of families across the state. We know that we have a lot of work to do to create the state we want to live in. We will continue that fight until we win our goals, no matter what roadblocks anti-worker groups try to throw in our way.”

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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 Statement on Recommendations from Health Care Financing Task Force

Healthcare workers and leaders praise final recommendations as important framework towards a more healthy state

 

St. Paul, Minn — With the announcement today of final recommendations from the Health Care Financing Task Force passing with 80% support, SEIU leaders praised the framework and released the following statements:

Phillip Cryan, Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and a member of the Task Force, praised the recommendations as charting a course towards a more healthy state.  “These recommendations offer a powerful vision for a better Minnesota. If enacted by the legislature, these policies will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of families all across our state. Expanding our high-quality, affordable MinnesotaCare program to cover more working families who are now struggling to pay high deductibles and premiums for commercial insurance, ensuring health care coverage for the undocumented, and repealing the sunset on the provider tax that funds MinnesotaCare would all help make our state a more just and healthy place to live,” said Cryan. “I am proud of the role SEIU played, working together with health care providers, patient advocates, other unions, doctors, academics, legislators and state officials to shape these recommendations to improve health care for all Minnesotans.”

Rita Matthews, a Phlebotomy Assistant at Allina’s Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids and members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota’s Executive Board, spoke about what these changes would mean for the people she cares for every day, working on the front lines of the healthcare field. “Too often, we see people put off healthcare, either because they lack health insurance or because the costs of their deductibles and copays are so high they can’t afford to go the doctor. This causes unnecessary harm and pain to them and their families. Every Minnesotan should have access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage, and these recommendations from the Health Care Financing Task Force would, if adopted by the legislature, make that closer to a reality for all Minnesotans,” said Matthews. “I hope our elected officials take these recommendations seriously and work to make our state a more healthy and safe place for every patient – which, at some point in our lives, means every one of us – in Minnesota.”

Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26, highlighted the recommendation that called for extending healthcare coverage to undocumented families in Minnesota. “With national elected officials continuing to put political posturing over fixing our broken immigration system with a real path to citizenship, it is exciting to see Minnesota putting families first by recommending that undocumented residents receive health insurance. The recommendations from the Task Force, if implemented, would make our state more healthy, safe and inclusive,” said Morillo. “We all gain by raising public health standards when all families have health insurance that allows them to receive the care they need. This would be a huge step forward for our state.”

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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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Home Care Members are Winning Early Grievance Victories

Since the new Home Care contract went into effect members have been filing grievances and are winning! So far, home care workers have been awarded $7,432.74. The grievances have been for a number of different issues, including: workers making less than $10.75/hr; workers not being paid overtime; agencies trying to weaken the workers’ union by not deducting dues as members requested/authorized; and agencies distributing inaccurate and misleading information about the Union.

“I worked as a PCA for over 2 1/2 years putting in over 70 hours a week– 10 hours a day 7 days a week and I was never paid overtime,” said Myrtle Koehnen, an SEIU member and Home Care worker from Menahga, MN.

“When our home care union was formed the agency I work through found out that they had to pay me back pay for the overtime I had worked from July 1st to September because of our union contract.  I got a check for $400.  It felt great to know someone was working for me—and $400 is $400 in my pocket.  At the time, I didn’t know who had my back—but I found it was my union.  I want to thank the union for stepping in and fighting for me, I am just a little guy and it means a lot.”

Make sure your agency is following the contract. If you have any questions about our collective bargaining agreement, or want to file a grievance, contact the member Action Center at 651-294-8100/800-828-0206 or mac@seiuhcmn.org.

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