Allina Technical Healthcare Workers at Two Hospitals File 10-Day Notice For ULP Strike on September 14th

Members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee and Abbott Northwestern voted to authorize a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike after months of bargaining and employer refusing workers’ health and safety demands during COVID-19 pandemic 

MINNEAPOLIS & SHAKOPEE — Over 200 healthcare workers employed by Allina Health have voted over the last two weeks to authorize a two-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike after months of contract negotiations. Over 90% of the members voting supported the ULP strike. Their union, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, filed a 10-day notice Thursday for a two-day strike that would start at 6 a.m. on September 14th and last until 6 a.m. on September 16th at two facilities, St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee and Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

80785Judy Grack, who has worked at Abbott Northwestern for over seven years as a CT tech, shared why she voted to authorize the strike. 

“We work closely with patients during hard times in their lives. We are there when their family can’t be, and we work hard every day to help people get healthy. I had to quarantine for possible COVID exposure, and now management has said I would need to use my sick time if I’m exposed again at work. Our work has become even more challenging during COVID, yet here we are fighting for safe working conditions and fair pay and benefits. We deserve better,” said Grack. “All frontline healthcare workers should get the pay and protections we need to keep ourselves and our patients safe. We haven’t gotten COVID pay despite the many challenges we’ve faced, and even before COVID we weren’t getting what we deserved. We’re willing to strike because the work we do is important and Allina needs to show they value their workers and patients.” 

The two groups represent over 200 workers at the two facilities. Jobs done by the striking SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members at St. Francis include Medical Lab Technicians, Polysomnographer Technicians (sleep lab), Surgical Techs, Respiratory Therapists, Diagnostics Techs including: special imaging techs, diagnostic imaging techs, cardiac sonographers (ultrasound), nuclear med technologists. Striking SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members at Abbott Northwestern Hospital work as Radiology Technologists in numerous specialty areas.

The two sides have bargained 8 times since May and remain divided on key issues around whether these workers will have language in their contract that will ensure pay and benefits for potential exposures to COVID-19. Unlike their co-workers, who have protections to keep their pay and benefits if they have to quarantine from COVID-19 exposure, these workers currently have a temporary agreement for the first time they have to quarantine, but in the last month multiple workers have been forced to use their sick time if they faced a second exposure to COVID.The main sticking points center beyond these essential healthcare workers pushing to get the same health and safety benefits as other Allina workers include proposed increased Paid Time Off and improvements to their health insurance and retirement plans.
Phil Goodmanson, who has worked for St. Francis for 10 years as a Special Imaging Technologist, shared why he voted to go on strike.
“We want to be safe so we can serve our community. I’m willing to strike because we are fighting for basic health and safety for ourselves and our patients. We understand that because of our job we have a chance to be exposed to it, but we need them to take care of us if we are exposed,” said Goodmanson. “I love working with the community and my co-workers. Our facility feels like a close-knit family. We are simply asking for the things that other workers in our hospital already have so we can continue to provide high-quality care for our community. We hope our willingness to take this step shows Allina we are serious about fighting for what is right.”

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents over 40,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota

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