SEIU MN State Council
Media Relations Coordinator
St. Paul, Minn — With the news today that Governor Dayton has appointed Emily Johnson Piper to replace Lucinda Jesson as his next Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota released the following statement:
“As the largest healthcare union in the state, we value strong leadership in the Department of Human Services. We want to commend Commissioner Jesson for her outstanding term and all she did to help working people in our state during her tenure. She managed the historic first contract for home care workers, which saw the people who care for our families in our homes raise their pay floor and get paid time off, many for the first time ever. This is an important step to stabilizing this growing industry in Minnesota. Her department implemented the increased funding for nursing home workers from the last legislative session, which has resulted in raising standards in nursing homes across the state, with a specific emphasis on care facilities in Greater Minnesota. In addition, the Department’s work strengthening MNSure and the successful extension of Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare coverage to many thousands more low-income working people in our state during Commissioner Jesson’s time has reduced the uninsured rates and helped to make Minnesota a stronger and more healthy state.
“We applaud Governor Dayton’s choice of Emily Johnson Piper as the new Commissioner and look forward to working with Commissioner Johnson Piper and the whole Department to continue pursuing our shared goals of making sure that all Minnesotans can live the healthy and independent lives that they choose.”
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.
St. Paul, MN – An Administrative Law Judge has ruled in favor of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota and Minnesota Nurses Association for joint Unfair Labor Practices the two unions filed against North Memorial Medical Center. The ruling, on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board, found the Robbinsdale hospital unlawfully infringed on protected concerted activity by union members and union representatives.
As part of the sweeping ruling, North Memorial was ordered to reinstate Melvin Anderson, a SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board member and worker in the Sterile Processing Unit at North Memorial, who was fired after a June 24, 2014 informational picket outside of the hospital. As part of the ruling, Anderson will be “made whole” by receiving back pay for all of his time lost over the last year.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley praised the ruling and commended Anderson for not giving up in the fight for safe patient standards in hospitals across the state.
“I am incredibly happy that the Administrative Law Judge corrected the wrong that North Memorial committed by firing Melvin for Union activity. By giving him his job back and paying back pay for the time they took from him, this ruling shows that workers can stand up for what is right for patients and workers and not have to fear for their job,” said Gulley. “Melvin, and all of the members of SEIU and MNA who continue to stand up for patient safety, should take pride that this ruling only reinforces their fight.”
As part of the extensive ruling (full list of the orders for North Memorial are at the bottom), the judge found that Union staff are entitled to have conversations in public areas and may not be intimidated or surveilled to prevent them from speaking to members. In addition, it states that union organizers cannot be banned from the property if they are not being “disruptive” nor can union members or representatives be prevented from wearing union shirts.
Per the judge’s order, North Memorial must also post the fact that they have been found to have committed these unfair labor practices and that they will halt them immediately.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 42,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota. SEIU represents more than 60,000 members across Minnesota and is a powerful voice working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans.