Victory Comes Just One Month After Supreme Court Case Attacking Workers, Shows Workers Won’t Stop Fighting for Better Lives for Our Families
Stillwater, Minn — Following an election Wednesday that saw 70% of the workers voting choosing to join the union, 105 healthcare workers with the Stillwater Medical Group became members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. The group at the main campus in Stillwater includes CMAs (Certified Medical Assistant) (CMA), LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) and RMAs (Registered Medical Assistants). This victory came just weeks after the Janus ruling by the Supreme Court tried to make it harder for workers and their unions to build power in the public sector.
“I have seen what unions can do. With our Union we now will have more rights and more protections to improve our lives and the lives of our patients,” said Leah Buehler, a CMA at the clinic.
The group was part of the union until 2010 when their union was broken by a boss-driven decertification campaign. Within the last year the group came together to win a new union to help win a voice on the job, better working conditions and better care for their patients. They joined SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, one of the largest and fastest growing unions in the state.
“We don’t want management to make all the decisions and changes with no input from us anymore, or to have meetings after they have already decided something and we don’t get a say,” said LPN Satin Washington. “Half the time we don’t even get to go to those meetings because we are so busy we never get to take a break. I’m looking forward to us having a unified voice.”
Despite promises from the boss that they wouldn’t go backwards if they left their union in 2010, many in the group went from some of the highest paid in their field to having their pay and benefits fall behind other clinics.
“Every year we have been getting less and less. When we had no union, management had all the power, and we had no voice,” said CMA Angela Peulen. “Now we have a legally binding voice as union members to win positive changes for ourselves and our patients!”
Despite getting pushback as they organized their union, the group remained united and won their decisive victory Wednesday that will set them up to make real changes in their clinic.
“Forming our union shows that we support each other,” said CMA Laura Boyle. “We were all separate before, but now we are together. We are united in our goal of winning positive change for ourselves and the patients we care for every day.”
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents over 35,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota.