SEIU Expresses Anger and Disbelief as Mayo Now Says They Will Only Offer Food Service Jobs at Current Wages If Union Withdraws ‘Conflict of Interest’ Ethics Complaint

Rochester, Minn — Reversing months of public comments, Mayo Clinic informed SEIU Healthcare Minnesota today that they are making employment at current wages with Morrison for union food service workers contingent on the Union dropping their grievance concerning a possible conflict of interest between a Mayo executive and a Morrison employee. Mayo has refused to even process the grievance that the Union filed in July, something they are required to do by contract. This refusal to follow the contract resulted in the Union filing an Unfair Labor Practice charge last week with the National Labor Relations Board.

Mayo has refused to publicly release any information about the role of Carol Gorman, the executive who was in charge of the department and who was one of the people at the center of the decision. The Union contends that there may have been a conflict of interest with Gorman due to a long standing personal relationship with a Morrison executive. After the decision was made, Gorman was moved out of her role. The Union fully intends to continue the push for transparency to find out the truth about this decision that is upending the lives of hundreds of Rochester families. While still refusing to release this important information publicly, Mayo is now demanding the union withdraw the ethics complaint without any further hearings in order for them to deliver on a basic promise they have been making publicly for months to the 700 food service workers they are planning to outsource.

SEIU President Jamie Gulley shared the anger and disbelief that Mayo is using hardworking food service workers, who bring over 5,000 years of experience to their jobs, as a negotiating chip to keep possible ethic violations under wraps.

“Just when we think that Mayo can’t disrespect the hundreds of workers and their families any more than they already have, they pull this incredibly offensive stunt and go back on months of public statements. We are trying to move forward to find a solution that maintains the high standards for food service at Mayo, but it is hard to do when Mayo seems more concerned with covering their tracks and keeping information from the public that may shine a negative light on how this controversial decision came to be,” said Gulley. “We are unwavering in our belief that Mayo can keep their word and be held to basic standards on both worker fairness and public transparency. Mayo can, and must, ensure food service workers and the patients are treated with the fairness and dignity they deserve. There is no reason this should come at the cost of Mayo sharing the truth about what happened in this process as they are required to do through our contract. The fact that they are pitting transparency versus promises they made to treat their dedicated workers fairly as an either/or is a shame and will not be tolerated.”

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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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