National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Finds Merit To Charges Against Mayo

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota filed the charges to address Mayo’s “bargaining” tactics

Albert Lea, MN – On December 5, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel determined that unfair labor practice charges filed against Mayo Clinic have merit. In particular, the NLRB General Counsel found that Mayo has “failed to bargain in good faith” with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota concerning the skilled maintenance employees working at the hospital in Albert Lea, Minnesota.

NLRB Building Sign v2This nationally significant determination by the NLRB General Counsel comes after two Mayo maintenance workers from the Albert Lea hospital went to Washington D.C. to attend oral argument before the General Counsel regarding the charges against Mayo. The maintenance workers and community supporters also have held two informational pickets outside of the hospital in Albert Lea to inform the public about Mayo’s conduct. Notably, the affected workers have been working without a contract for over 18 months as Mayo continues to engage in the “bargaining” tactics that triggered the charges.

Albert Lea Hospital maintenance workers Bill Johnson & Nate Johnson, who flew to D.C. for the hearing, were thankful that Mayo’s obstinance was finally being addressed.

“While I’m glad the NLRB General Counsel found in our favor, I really just wish Mayo would sit down and bargain fairly with us. Like many of my co-workers, I’ve worked for Mayo for over three decades, and I’m proud of our work making sure the Albert Lea Hospital stays up and running. We aren’t asking for executive salaries, just respect for our work and our dedication to the hospital after all these years,” said Bill Johnson, who has worked at Mayo Albert Lea for 33 years. “I hope Mayo finally sits down in good faith. It is time to bargain a fair contract so we can continue our work to make the hospital the best it can be for the Albert Lea community.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley observed that this was the first oral argument before the NLRB General Counsel that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota has had and that the clear determination by the General Counsel highlights how far Mayo has strayed from its stated mission.

“This determination by the NLRB General Counsel confirms how unreasonable Mayo is being by refusing to conduct even basic negotiations with a group of workers that have decades of experience keeping the hospital in Albert Lea running,” said  Gulley. “Mayo needs to be a hospital system that works for everyone, not just those at the top. For maintenance workers in Albert Lea and food service workers across Southern Minnesota, this determination by the NLRB General Counsel is no surprise and highlights how far Mayo seems to have strayed from caring about their employees. It is time for Mayo to treat the workers who make their hospitals great with the respect they deserve and get back to the bargaining table.”

Future dates for bargaining between the Albert Lea maintenance workers and Mayo have not yet been scheduled.

The determination by the NLRB General Counsel concerning the charges about Mayo’s “bargaining” tactics comes as another charge filed by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota against Mayo is still pending in relation to Mayo’s unilateral outsourcing of hundreds of food service worker jobs in Albert Lea, in Rochester and across Southern 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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