Union Members To Vote on Proposed New Contract Next Week
Saint Paul, MN – Members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and HealthPartners management reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) at 3 a.m. this morning after 17 hours of negotiations. The 7-day ULP strike that was to begin Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. has been called off. The agreement came after a strike vote that saw 95% support for a 7-day ULP strike. The TA now will be reviewed and voted on by the 1,800 SEIU Healthcare MN members next week.
The full details will be shared with the membership before being fully released, but gains include:
- Wage increases of 7.5% over the three years
- Protecting union members’ excellent “Classic” health plan benefits
- Overtime pay provisions protected from all cuts and changes
Nancy Wickoren, a 31-year LPN at HealthPartners and member of the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota bargaining team, shared the feeling of the bargaining team following the final marathon session.
“Together, as a team, we worked long and hard to stand up for the health benefits and wages our families deserve. After months of negotiations, and an overwhelming strike vote, we were able to land on a strong tentative agreement for a new contract that maintains excellent healthcare benefits,” said Wickoren. “As in any negotiation, we didn’t get everything we wanted. But we are very proud of how our membership stood up together and fought back huge cuts and cost-shifts to healthcare and overtime pay that management had insisted on for months. The final agreement also includes improved wage increases in each year of the contract. The bargaining team is encouraging our members to vote ‘Yes’ to approve this agreement. They will have the next few days to review the terms of the tentative agreement in detail.”
Christina Bolk, a CareLine RN for 6 years, also shared her thoughts following the agreement.
“The members of our bargaining team want to express our deep appreciation for the support we have received from the public and our patients in this fight. It has been truly inspiring seeing how the whole community has come together to show support to HealthPartners caregivers. To other union members, especially fellow healthcare workers, we hope we have shown that by sticking together and organizing we can protect what we’ve won and win gains that allow us to get back to what we really want to be doing: provide world-class patient care to Minnesota families.”
The 1,800 workers in the bargaining unit represent nearly all caregivers other than doctors, including RNs, dental hygienists, LPNs, CMAs, midwives, lab techs, physicians assistants, and over 80 different jobs in total. They work at more than 30 HealthPartners clinics across the Twin Cities, providing award-winning care and helping to make our communities healthier.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota