Healthcare Workers, Janitors, Security Officers & Other Members of SEIU Could Hold ULP Strikes if Contract Talks Continue to Stall
Two Huge Votes in Coming Days
(Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn) – Union contracts covering nearly 10,000 workers across the Twin Cities have recently expired or are expiring in the coming weeks and if agreements are not reached the area could see the largest strike wave to hit Minnesota in decades. Union members from two unions, SEIU Local 26 and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, have spent the winter in negotiations, but each group has faced resistance in winning agreements that would help make sure Minnesota families – no matter our job, race, zip code, gender or where we were born – can live safe, happy and healthy lives.
At a time when many in power are trying to divide us to distract from their greed, thousands of SEIU members in Minnesota are ready to come together across our differences to show that we can win positive change for working families like we have done in the past. Both unions’ members will be voting later this week on whether to authorize Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) strikes. (Details on each strike vote below)
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota / 1,800 Healthcare Workers at HealthPartners
Over 1,800 members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota – representing nearly all caregivers other than doctors, including RNs, dental hygienists, LPNs, physicians assistants, and over 80 different jobs in total – work at 30 HealthPartners clinics across the Twin Cities, providing award-winning care and helping to make our communities healthier. But HealthPartners executives proposed huge cuts and cost-shifting to the health benefits caregivers have won over the years. Their contract expired on January 31st. The cost-shifting measures come after the Star Tribune reported that HealthPartners CEO Andrea Walsh received over $2 million in pay last year, while the company earned a record-breaking $7 billion in revenue. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members are voting February 6th (with results announced the morning of Feb 7th) to authorize a one-week strike if these damaging healthcare cuts aren’t taken off the table and to address supervisors who have retaliated against workers advocating for a better contract.
Shannon Grenier, a LPN at HealthPartners and member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, shared why she is voting to strike:
“We want what is best for all Minnesotans, and it doesn’t make sense that at a time when we should be working to improve healthcare for Minnesotans, HealthPartners is proposing these rollbacks for frontline staff,” said Grenier. “The fact that it had to come to the day the contract expired and the union proposed a vote to strike for HealthPartners to even budge on the initial concessions shows what we are facing. I’m voting to strike because these contract proposals from management could greatly diminish the morale and atmosphere of our clinics when we all want to be focusing on providing great patient care. When I came to HealthPartners I felt a sense of “home” that I hadn’t found elsewhere, and a big part of that was that employees felt appreciated and valued, which allowed us to focus on our work of providing world-class care. I hope we can come to negotiate a contract that both parties can accept but until then we will not give up.”
HealthPartners ULP Strike Vote Announcement
WHAT: Announcement of the results of strike vote for 1,800 members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota who work at HealthPartners
WHEN: Results announced Friday, February 7th at 10 a.m. (voting takes place all day Thursday at various locations across metro)
WHERE: Outside HealthPartners Neuroscience Center (295 Phalen Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55130)
NOTE: A strike vote would authorize the bargaining team to call a strike in the future. They would need to give a 10-day notice for any strike at HealthPartners
SEIU Local 26 / 8,000 Janitors, Security Officers and More at Buildings Across Metro
The strike vote for HealthPartners employees comes at the same time as over 8,000 members of SEIU Local 26 who are subcontracted to clean and protect buildings in the Twin Cities (including some housing the richest corporations in the world and the MSP airport) have been negotiating seven contracts for close to three months. Similar to the HealthPartners battle, the employers for these workers are refusing to reach a fair contract. Despite a “booming” economy, employers refuse to budge on union demands for jobs that support joyful families, homes we’re proud to live in, work that keeps us healthy and a clean planet for our kids. Hundreds of SEIU Local 26 members are expected on Feb. 8th as the Union holds a vote to authorize a ULP strike to stop the companies Unfair Labor Practices of stalling and refusing to give information, and to settle a fair contract.
George Mullins, a 30-year SEIU Local 26 member who works for Marsden Janitorial cleaning in downtown Minneapolis, shared why he is voting to strike:
“We know a strong contract will mean a better future for our families. We are sick of the excuses. Some parents are working two jobs and don’t have the pay and benefits to take care of our families, all while the news goes on about how strong the economy is. We’re fighting today for a better tomorrow, and I’m voting Saturday to authorize a strike because I want our companies to know we are serious,” said Mullins. “The cost of everything – food, gas, rent – keeps going up, but our employers are offering us an even smaller raise than our last contract. SEIU Local 26 members are united across our differences to show we are ready to win the contracts our families deserve.”
SEIU Local 26 Janitor/Security Officers Strike Vote Announcement
WHAT: Live strike authorization vote for contracts covering 8,000 members of SEIU Local 26 who clean & protect buildings across the Twin Cities
WHEN: Saturday, February 8th, 12:30 PM
WHERE: SEIU Local 26 Union Hall, 826 NE 18th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413
The potential ULP strikes come at a time when corporate profits continue to skyrocket while many working families are still struggling to make ends meet, deal with underfunding in our schools and face increasing healthcare costs when some non-profit healthcare CEOs have seen their pay double. There are plans for worker-community actions near the end of the month where the groups will come together under the banner of Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.