Despite an overall HHS Budget that cut over $300 million in healthcare spending, Minnesota nursing home workers won a historic new rate system that invests $138 million over the next two years. The average home will see an increase of a little over 20%, finally bringing reimbursement rates up to the cost of care after decades of underfunding. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center should see rates go up around 37%.
The new nursing home reimbursement system contains several features that reflect long-standing SEIU priorities.
For years, SEIU nursing home workers like Louise Duffee, union steward at Texas Terrace nursing home have be testifying at legislative hearings, attending Lobby Day, donating to COPE and volunteering for legislative candidates. All of the hard work had paid off with a historic victory.
Check out SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member Brenda Schwartz from St. Lucas Care Center in this radio ad from the Working Families Fund . Brenda talks as a nursing home worker about why we need to re-elect State Representative Patti Fritz.
This post is an independent expenditure in support of Patti Fritz for State Representative by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota PAC. It is not approved by any candidate.
Saint Paul, Minn – SEIU members praised the Minnesota Senate’s passage of the Women’s Economic Security Act Wednesday, highlighting the positive benefits for women and all working families in Minnesota. A majority of SEIU members in the state of Minnesota are women, and workers recognized this bill as an important step, highlighting work to close the gender pay gap, protect women from discrimination in the workplace, and help improve retirement security for workers across our state.
“Through my work with students and families in our public schools, I know that giving women a fair shot in the workplace can help strengthen working families in our state. I am glad to see the Minnesota Senate taking a step to address this today by passing the Women’s Economic Security Act,” said Valerie Rolstad, a member of SEIU Local 284 who lives in Fridley. “Things like equal pay, protection from discrimination, and a chance for retirement security should not be things women have to struggle to achieve.”
“Women in the healthcare field know the work we do should be treated equally, and we’ve fought through our union for many of these same measures. I am glad to see the Women’s Economic Security Bill passed to begin the process to level the playing field for women and all workers in Minnesota,” said Crissy Hanson, a Scrub Tech from Brainerd and a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “When women in Minnesota are given a fair shot, it will help to rebuild a strong middle class where all Minnesota families can succeed.”
SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in hospitals, nursing homes, their own homes, schools, and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of approximately 30,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.
SAINT PAUL, MN – After legislators announced a deal this morning on increasing the Minnesota minimum wage to $9.50 and indexing it to inflation, SEIU members praised the move as a great step in helping working families in our state. Members thanked legislative champions of this effort and expressed hope that this would be just one step in our fight to increase the economic stability for all workers in Minnesota.
“SEIU members in the healthcare field have seen the damaging effects that poverty wages have on families in our state, which is why we are excited for the agreement reached earlier today to raise the Minnesota minimum wage and index it to inflation,” said Jamie Gulley, President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “Recent studies have shown the negative health impacts of low wages, a fact SEIU Healthcare members know all too well. Our members understand that raising the wage, and indexing it to inflation so it doesn’t lose purchasing power, will improve the lives of working families in Minnesota who have been left behind for far too long. ”
“SEIU members want to acknowledge the people-powered Raise The Wage coalition of faith, labor, and community groups who worked so hard to make this increase happen. We also thank the authors and conference committee lead negotiators, Representative Ryan Winker and Senator Chris Eaton, for their efforts to put Minnesota workers first. Their work to ensure the economic dignity of all families in our state was noticed and appreciated by the members of SEIU,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26. “The coalition, along with legislative champions, worked tirelessly so Minnesota workers at or near minimum wage finally have a chance to not only catch up, but keep up, guaranteeing they won’t have to fear that their wage will lose value each year.”
“Our members in publics schools around the state know that the 137,000 children whose parents will see a raise because of this legislation will have a better chance to flourish because of this bill,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284. “Our members know that fair wages and good benefits bring stability to families, and this victory can and should be a rallying point for a continued focus on improving the lives of working families across the state.”
The SEIU Minnesota State Council, representing the four SEIU Locals in the state, was a part of the Raise the Wage coalition, which brought together community, faith, labor, non-profit and service-based organizations in the fight to increase the state’s minimum wage.
Washington, DC – On April 26th, Congressman Walz released the below statement following his vote on legislation to exempt the FAA from sequestration:
“While I firmly stand with air traffic controllers and those FAA employees who make our travel safe and efficient and with Minnesotans who depend on them for business and travel, I also stand with teachers, soldiers, seniors and children who are also being negatively impacted by sequestration. I could not in good conscience support one fix that only addresses some of the problem and ignores the needs of so many other Minnesotans. We need a balanced, long-term plan to fix sequestration and tackle our debt and I remain committed to working with anyone, in either party, to get it done.”
Labor leaders welcome commonsense immigration reform and pathway to citizenship, detail areas of concern as bill heads to Judiciary Committee
St. Paul, MN – Today members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) of Minnesota celebrated the long-awaited immigration bill introduced at the U.S. Senate.
“We applaud the bipartisan Senate committee for their tireless work in negotiating and drafting commonsense immigration reform legislation which includes a pathway to citizenship,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26.” The majority of Americans believe immigration is good for our country but say the current system is just not working. Our country needs a commonsense process now for new American immigrants to become citizens.”
The bill – which was delayed this week due to the Boston Marathon bombings – was introduced this morning in Washington D.C. Leaders who worked on the bill are expected to hold a press conference tomorrow in D.C. to discuss the bill. Discussion in the Senate Judiciary committee could begin as early as Friday. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar both sit on that committee.
“This bill is a good starting point, and we look forward to working with Senators Franken and Klobuchar on improving it,” said Jigme Ugen, executive vice president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. “We thank Senators Franken and Klobuchar for their support and urge them to be vocal leaders on an issue that impacts all Minnesotans, regardless of immigration status.”
SEIU will work with local business, faith and immigrant communities to address some concerns with the bill, including the length of the citizenship pathway, along with restrictions and a cut-off date that would leave hundreds of thousands out of the process.
“A pathway that lasts 13 years unreasonable and unjust,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284. “It should be substantially shortened so all aspiring immigrants have a chance to become a full part of the American dream in a reasonable amount of time. We must expand the number of people eligible for the path to citizenship. The cut-off date and other restrictions including family classifications will tear apart hundreds of thousands of families.”
“Immigration reform must seek to keep families together,” said Morillo. “And that includes LGBT families. The current bill provides no recognition of LGBT families. Our nation was founded upon the very powerful idea that in this land, all people have rights. No matter what you look like, where you come from or who you love – everyone should get a fair shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
SEIU has been a leader in the immigration debate for years and Minnesota’s lavender caucus has been influential in issues surrounding LGBT families, including the effort to pass bills granting the freedom to marry in Minnesota.
“These Minnesotans – just as all new American immigrants – contribute to our communities, our society and our economy,” said Ugen. “As an immigrant myself, I came to America to pursue a better life and the opportunity America promises. We must act now to bring the 11 million aspiring citizens out of the shadows.”
SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, child care, and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of approximately 30,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.