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Crosby Healthcare Workers Announce Strike Authorization

Workers at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center vote to authorize a strike if bargaining committee is unable to reach deal with management

CROSBY, MINN — Healthcare workers employed by Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby have voted to authorize a strike if the bargaining team is unable to reach a tentative agreement with management. The two sides bargained seven times over the last three months, including Monday, and remain divided on key issues. More than 90% of members voted to reject the employer’s proposals and a majority voted to authorize a one-day ULP strike if called by the bargaining committee. There is no strike date set. There must be a 10-day notice before any strike would begin. An update will be shared if a 10-day notice is filed.

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The bargaining team have pushed for higher pay, better benefits and strengthened retirement security to help make sure CRMC continues to recruit and retain the right people to provide high-quality care for patients in the Crosby area.

Roseanne Mackenthun, a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota on the bargaining team and a phlebotomist for 15 years at CRMC, shared her reason for taking this vote.

“I voted to strike because it is time that management shows that they value the people who work in the buildings as much as they value the fancy new facilities they keep building. We care for everyone who walks through our doors, but too many staff are struggling to care for our families,” said Mackenthun. “We are fighting for better wages, benefits and pensions so we can recruit and retain the best staff for our patients. All of us are part of this community and simply want to be valued for what we do every day to make CRMC the best it can be.”

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota

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SEIU Healthcare MN Night at the Timberwolves

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 10.14.51 AMJoin SEIU Healthcare MN for a night at the Timberwolves game and see Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves take on Utah Jazz on Wednesday, November 20 at 7:00PM with a special offer!!

SEIU members and their families can get discounted ticket/WolvesBucks voucher packages. Tickets are $20 and unclude a $10 WolvesBucks voucher to use towards food and concessions at the game provided by SEIU.

Purchase tickets at timberwolves.com/groupoffers, use promo code SEIU2019!

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I’m Sticking With My Union: 2019 Convention and Leadership Assembly

Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 10.19.14 AMOn Friday, September 20 leaders from across the Union came together for a day of workshops and learning at the Delta Marriott hotel in Northeast Minneapolis. Members spent time talking about the 2020 presidential election, learned about some of the most recent decisions by the Supreme Court and the National Labor Relations Board that affect union rights and worker power and considered how best to increase workplace democracy and build union strength, attended workshops on equity and inclusion in our Union and explored the power dynamics behind framing the story we are told about unions, and who’s in control of that story.

Members also celebrated our victories from the past year, and recognized member leaders for outstanding work in their Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 10.19.20 AMrespective leaders rules. Members recognized included Lynda Moua, Grievance Leader; Khalil Hussein, Joann Palmer, Ziyad Ahmed, and Sherab Khamsakhamstang, Worksite Leaders; Karen Cullen, Orientation Leader; and Isabella Wreh-Fofana, Christina Wilson, and Teanke Tarwai, Political Leaders.

At our annual SEIU Healthcare Minnesota membership convention on Saturday, members voted to adopt six bold resolutions charting the course for the future of our Union. We committed to investing more deeply in education and leadership development opportunities for our member leaders, pledged to “stick with my union” and fight back against all the corporate and ideological attacks against us , and made specific commitments to ambitious new strategies in our hospital, nursing home, and home care sectors. And, in preparation for our next major round of collective bargaining – which starts just a few weeks from now, with 1,900 members in the HealthPartners clinic system – we took an unprecedented step as a Union. For a copy of the full resolutions go to seiuhcmn.org/member-resources/convention/.

Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 12.17.56 PMHealthPartners management has told our members it will seek cuts and concessions on the health benefits those workers have won through years of collective bargaining. Our HealthPartners members have shown that they are ready to do whatever it takes to stop this cost-shifting, up to and including going out on strike. While we are proud to have over one million dollars in our Union’s strike fund, we know that if a strike involving a group this large were to last long enough, eventually those resources would be depleted. We don’t want to ever be in the position, as a Union, of not fully having the backs of any group of members choosing to strike to defend their benefits. As a result, on Saturday morning all the other members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota – working in home care, nursing homes, hospitals, and other clinic systems – took the unprecedented step of agreeing to increase their own dues if HealthPartners members have to go on an open-ended strike to defend their health benefits. As one HealthPartners member leader and nurse, Jean Pfarr, put it during this morning’s debate: “This is what true solidarity looks like.” And as another, Clinics Vice President Kate Lynch, put it in introducing the resolution: “The only way to hold the line against cuts is to hold the line against cuts.” #WhenWeFightWeWin #WhenWeStrikeWeWin

 

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Visit the SEIU Kiosk at the MN State Fair: August 22-Labor Day

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 11.36.16 AMSEIU Healthare Minnesota if back at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year! Stop by our kiosk at the MN AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion, at the corner of Cooper St. and Dan Patch Ave. SEIU members and staff will be at the kiosk from 8am-5pm, greeting fair-goers, answering questions and handing out stickers and fans to help beat the heat.

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Medicare and Medicaid: Celebrating 54 Years

LBJ MedicareMedicaidLast week on July 30th, we marked the 54th anniversary of the day President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill to create Medicare and Medicaid. The government healthcare programs are essential to so many of the people we care for and their funding is critical to our jobs. We are committed as ever to protecting these programs. For more information check out: mn.gov/dhs/medicaid-matters/.

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Scholarship Deadline is August 31!

IMG_1165SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is dedicated to helping members achieve their educational goals. Which is why we offer six scholarship opportunities, awarded twice per year (spring/fall) for use at any accredited post-secondary institution. The fall deadline is coming up quickly on August 31! Below is basic information about the scholarships, for more details and how to apply go to the SEIU website Scholarship page.

  • Two $1,000 scholarships to further the education of a SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member through the “Mindy Tomfohrde Scholarship Fund”;
  • Two $1,000 scholarships to further the education of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members 30 years old or younger through the “Got Your Back Fund”;
  • One $1,000 scholarship to further the education of a spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, or legal ward of a member through the “Cecelia Razook Memorial Scholarship”; and
  • One $1,000 scholarship to further the education of a non-member involved in organizing around social and economic justice fights in Minnesota, through the “Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund.”
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Upcoming Events: Rochester Labor Day Picnic

Enjoy free food, beverages at the Rochester Labor Day Picnic on Monday, September 2. There will be activities for kids, including a bouncy castle, clown, balloons, bike giveaway and more!

Monday, September 2nd
11:00am – 2:00pm
Bear Creek Park: 1237 Marion Rd SE, Rochester, MN 55904

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Summer Picnic Success!

Last weekend, more than 400 SEIU members attended the summer union picnic with their families at Como Park! There was plenty of food, fun, prizes and ride wristbands for kids at Como Town. St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter was on hand to help celebrate our members and all of the hard work and care that members provide to the community every day.como picnic group shot como picnic 3 Como picnic 2 como picnic

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Minneapolis Minimum Wage Increase!

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Today, the minimum wage in Minneapolis also goes up! For workers at large businesses (with more than 100 employees) the new minimum wage is $12.25 per hour. For small businesses (with fewer than 100 employees) the new minimum wage is $11.00 per hour.

The increases to the Minneapolis minimum wage are part of the planned phase-in of a $15 minimum wage that was adopted by the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Our union led the fight for a $15 minimum wage and we plan to use this upward pressure on wages to raise pay for healthcare workers statewide! One of the reasons the raise for home care workers statewide was more than 10% this contract was because of the upward pressure on wages from the Minneapolis ordinance.  And just last week, Allina finally agreed to raise pay for all workers across the system to a $15 minimum wage, regardless of whether the worker was in Minneapolis or Owatonna. As $15 becomes the new standard for minimum wage work, our members are already planning our next fights for real pay increases!

For news about the increase click here.

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Home Care Worker Contract Day!

HomeCare July 1 new contractToday, the new contract for Minnesota’s home care workers goes into effect! The new contract provides millions of dollars for raises, new benefits and training programs! Home care workers have come a long way since forming their union five years ago, when the minimum wage was $6.30 an hour with no benefits. Starting today the minimum wage goes up to $13.25 (up from $12) and new benefits include more holiday pay, PTO, paid training programs and more. Congratulations to all home care worker on this well-deserved raise and contract.

Thank you to all the members who served on the bargaining team, who came to lobby day and helped ensure the new agreement was ratified by the legislature.

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