Press Releases

SEIU Statement on Dr. Noseworthy Retirement Announcement

Rochester — Following the announcement that Mayo CEO Dr. Noseworthy will retire by the end of 2018, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley released the following statement:

“Under Dr. Noseworthy, Mayo has taken major steps backwards in relations with their hardworking employees and patients in communities like Albert Lea where they are undermining rural healthcare. Mayo’s actions over the last seven years under Dr. Noseworthy’s leadership have put profits over the health of our communities. From locking out workers with decades of experience to closing parts of hospitals to outsourcing workers, it has been disappointing seeing what Mayo has become under Dr. Noseworthy. SEIU members who help make Mayo hospitals and clinics across southern Minnesota run smoothly and efficiently are ready for new leadership and hope that the new CEO will return back to when Mayo executives valued workers, patients and the community.”



SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents over 35,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care across Minnesota.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Statement From Home Care Worker After Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Home Care Workers’ Union

The ruling is the latest in a series of losses for anti-union groups. Workers remain committed to addressing care crisis and improving lives of workers and families across Minnesota

Saint Paul — On Tuesday a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) dismissal of a union-decertification effort by a group calling itself “MNPCA” in December 2016, working in collaboration with the right-wing think tank the Center of the American Experiment. It is the latest in a string of losses for the anti-union organizations fighting to roll back the gains won by unionized home care workers over the last four years. In response to this latest court victory for workers and for the seniors and people with disabilities who receive care and families across Minnesota fighting to address the care crisis in our state, Anoka home care worker and elected union Vice President Corey Van Denburgh released the following statement:

Somali-HomeCareWorkers“Over the last few years we have made some crucial gains for home care workers and the people we serve. It’s a far cry from all the change that’s needed – wages are still far too low and there’s no health insurance for our jobs, for example – but still, we’ve made important progress in the short period of time since we voted to unionize. We’ve won sick pay for the first time, raised the wage floor by $3/hour, won free access to trainings, won over $150,000 in back-pay awards for workers who were underpaid, built an online matching registry to help home clients find the workers they need, and established time-and-a-half pay for holidays, among other gains.  Through these accomplishments, we are finally beginning to address the severe care crisis in our state, which has only been getting worse for years because of the low pay and lack of benefits provided for this important work.

“I am relieved and happy that this latest court case was ruled in our favor, as so many others have been over the last few years. The first two lawsuits trying to take away our union were filed a month before our union election, way back in the summer of 2014, and we have been under nonstop legal and public assault by anti-union groups ever since. As home care workers and people who receive home care services, we resolved to never let these extremist attacks stop us from making progress for the people of Minnesota, nearly every one of which will need home care services at some point in our lives.

“We have a lot of work left to do to address the state’s care crisis. Big-money groups fighting for years to tear down what we have won so far is a tragic misuse of time and energy. As someone who’s done home care work for over ten years and also as someone who has family members who receive care, I believe we should all be united as Minnesotans in working towards solutions to fix the care crisis. Whether Democrat or Republican, we all have been or will be impacted by the shortage of caregivers because of low pay and lack of benefits, so I hope we can put these divisive court cases and anti-union attack campaigns behind us. Let’s come together to make sure every Minnesotan can get safe, quality care and stay in their home with their loved ones.”

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Mayo Clinic Locks Out Workers Over Christmas, Many of the Workers Have Decades of Service to Mayo and the Community

Albert Lea, Minn — On Tuesday, December 19th, hospital workers at Mayo Clinic Albert Lea went out on the first ever one-day ULP strike at Mayo Clinic. When the workers returned to go back to work on Wednesday morning at 6am, Mayo management and security blocked them from entering, thereby locking out the 79 people who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management for seven days, including Christmas. Mayo backed down on their lockout threats for the the 2nd bargaining unit of six skilled maintenance workers.
DRfQFOOVoAUtn83.jpg-largeCharlotte Nelson-Schocker, who has worked at Mayo Clinic for 28 years doing materials management, expressed the shock and frustration felt by workers who were being locked out over Christmas. 
“This makes me mad, sad and frustrated. We have given so much to Mayo, and now that we stood up for what is right for workers and our community, management have chosen to lock us out over Christmas,” said Neslon-Schoker. “I can’t believe it has come to this. We won’t stop fighting for what is right. I am so happy to have such amazing support from our union and community. The support means that even though Mayo has locked us out, we know we aren’t alone in our fight for good jobs and quality healthcare.”
More plans for the week will be announced today, with locked out workers speaking out at 11am.

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

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Albert Lea Hospital Workers Strike Mayo Clinic for First Time Ever

Hundreds picket as part of one-day strike, with workers supported by community members, multiple Gubernatorial candidates and other elected officials

Strikes comes as workers and community are fighting for good jobs and quality rural healthcare in face of #MayoGreed 


Albert Lea, Minn Hospital workers at Mayo Clinic Albert Lea walked off the job on a one-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike this morning at 6am. It is the first strike in the history of Mayo Clinic, and comes after countless bargaining sessions where the workers strived to find a compromise with Mayo despite Mayo’s insistence on undermining the security of the working families. The workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize their one-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike late last month. The historic action comes as Mayo continues to demand changes that would undermine good jobs in the community and further the erosion of rural healthcare in southern Minnesota. Workers were joined by elected officials, including multiple candidates for Governor, other elected officials, and unions who shared their support for the workers. (Statements of support from elected officials and supportive unions to be sent out after 11am rally)

rs_Albert_Lea_Mayo_HCMN_strikeSheri Wichmann, who has worked in Sterile processing for 18 years
, shared why hospital workers are out on strike today. 


“We are out on strike today because it is insulting that Mayo has treated us and our community this way. We are committed to our job and our community, and all we’re asking for is that Mayo recognizes our value. We care deeply about what happens as we are not just employees, but patients at this hospital,” said Wichmann. “We are not asking for the world, just a contract that is fair so we can feel some security for our families. We hope this will make Mayo realize they need to come to the table and negotiate in good faith.”


Since the vote, Mayo has threatened their employees with a seven-day lockout if they follow through with their legally-protected right to strike, a lockout that would mean workers with hundreds of years of service to Mayo patients would be locked out over Christmas. It comes during a time when Mayo’s revenues last year reached over $5 billion and Mayo’s CEO Dr. Noseworthy saw a 11% pay increase to $2.8 million per year. 


Perry Jensen has worked at the hospital for 20 years in the utilities department and shared why he joined his co-workers in going on strike, even in the face of threats from Mayo. 


“I’m going on strike because I am disappointed in Mayo’s ‘my way or the highway’ bargaining. It’s hard to feel valued or appreciated with what they are offering us and what they are proposing to take away,” said Jensen. “It feels like there isn’t the concern for us as employees and community members like there used to be. They won’t budge at all and want to force us to take what they want without sitting down and bargaining. It is a slap in the face. This was always a good place to work, but it is turning more into a corporate feel. I hope this strike makes them realize all we want is for them to sit down and bargain with us for what is fair for everyone.”


Joining striking workers were community members like Jeanine Anderson who shared support for the workers fighting for good jobs and quality rural healthcare. 


“As a major employer here, Mayo sets the standard for jobs and the decisions they make about employment have a direct and immediate impact on this community,” said Jeanine Anderson, who worked as a manager at Mayo for 37 years before recently retiring. “The workers out here exemplify everyone in our community who depends on Mayo for good, secure jobs and quality healthcare. People come from around the world to be treated at the Mayo clinic, but our community’s needs are being thrown by the wayside. We are standing with the workers because our community needs to have a voice or we will lose out even more.”


The striking workers included the general group bargaining unit, consisting of 79 members who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management, who have been bargaining for over a year. Joining the larger group are six skilled maintenance workers who have been without a contract for over two years. 



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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Sartell School Workers Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike

Group Includes Cooks, Bus Drivers and Custodians Who Are Members of SEIU Local 284


The workers are fighting for better schools and better jobs for Sartell families  

Sartell, Minn — ISD 748 (Sartell) school employees who are members of SEIU Local 284 overwhelmingly voted Saturday to authorize a strike if there are no improvements in their fight for better schools and better jobs in Sartell. The 83-person bargaining unit includes custodial, grounds, food service, and bus & van drivers at ISD 748 Sartell-St. Stephen School District, Sartell High School, Sartell Middle School, Pine Meadow Elementary and Oak Ridge Elementary. The group has been working under an expired contract since July 1st, 2016, and have had 6 negotiation sessions and an additional 3 mediation sessions. After a 1.5 years, employees are still facing proposals from the district that would undercut these important jobs. No date has been set for a strike and the group would have to give a 10-day notice.  

Sartell_union_signs_rsKaren Klein has been a cook in the Sartell schools for 13 years and shared how school workers have been pushed to the point of a strike vote.

“Our students deserve the best experience possible, and that means the people who work in the school need to know we are valued and that our work matters. I am proud of the work I do making healthy meals for students, but right now the district only seems to care about taking care of those higher up. Without a bus driver or custodian or cook, the school simply wouldn’t run,” said Klein. “We don’t feel like they value us at all. They will save money any way they can, even if it means hurting people who work in the school and live in the community. When they treat us like this, it shows they aren’t valuing the school, families, students and the community.”

Klein shared that the group continues to be ready to reach a deal if the district would be willing to bring a realistic offer to the table.


“We don’t expect to get everything we ask for, but we feel like the district isn’t hearing the issues that are important to families in our community that need to be resolved. All jobs in the school should be valued and treated fairly. If we are sick, we should have the same healthcare as other people who work in the school. Right now we feel like we don’t matter.”

Jesse Paggen, who has worked in the Sartell schools for 22 years as lead custodian, also shared why the school employees voted to authorize the strike.

“We aren’t doing this to be rich, we just want what is best for families in our community. Some people who do important work in our schools barely make enough to pay for gas to get to and from work. When the district undervalues the people who work in the school — cutting pay and making healthcare virtually unaffordable — it impacts students,” said Paggen. “We have been fighting for a fair contract for a year and a half when other contracts with the school are settled within months. I wish our work was treated as fairly as other people who work in the schools,” Paggen continued. “People from our community love working here and rely on these jobs to survive, yet the district is looking to take more from people who work hard for very little. I hope this helps get the district to take us serious.”

The two sides are currently in mediation because of a lack of progress. 


Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Mayo Albert Lea Hospital Workers to File 10-day Notice for 1-day ULP Strike, Set Dec. 19th as Strike Date

Skilled maintenance workers vote to join general group who already voted to strike, escalating the fight against #MayoGreed

Union Expresses Concern Over Mayo Threats Around Christmas Lockout


ALBERT LEA, MINN — SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is filing a 10-day notice of intent to hold an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike at Mayo Albert Lea Hospital on Tuesday, December 19th.

The notice comes as the skilled maintenance workers who have been without a contract for over two years voted to join the general group also represented by SEIU who voted overwhelmingly to authorize a 1-day strike in late November. The votes come as Mayo in effect continues to demand steps backwards for working families as part of their evidently ongoing devaluation of rural healthcare. The general group bargaining unit includes 79 members who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management, providing essential services to community members who utilize the hospital. There are six skilled maintenance workers. 11037559_10153068860841928_2591725194101681896_n

Marlene Baseman has been a housekeeper at the hospital for over 27 years. As the strike date was announced, she shared her vote to strike was because after nearly three decades she has never felt so insecure or invisible at the hospital.

“I wish Mayo would appreciate our community and the people who keep the wheels turning in the hospital. Mayo’s actions affect everyone in our community, so that is why I’m willing to take this stand,” said Baseman. “What frustrates me is that at the bargaining table we have been willing to give and give and give, and when it is Mayo’s turn to compromise, they haven’t given an inch. They seem to want to throw away all of what we have now. They offer us pennies and cut back at our hospital while we see them spending big bucks in other places.”

Baseman also highlighted the changes at the hospital in recent years.

“It seems like they have no regards for people who aren’t executives. We feel like we are disposable to them,” Baseman continued. “We have to stand up for ourselves and our community. We won’t cave because we are fighting for what is right.”

Nate Johnson is an 18-year plant operation engineer at the hospital with the skilled maintenance bargaining unit that voted Wednesday to join the 1-day ULP strike as Mayo continues to demand the ability to subcontract these jobs.

“I voted to strike because we want real job security to be able to provide for our families. Job security means loyalty both ways, and right now we aren’t seeing loyalty back from Mayo. We reached across the bargaining table and agreed to much of what they asked from us, but now the bar has moved and they are demanding the ability to subcontract away our jobs,” said Johnson. “We have seen that Mayo will subcontract an entire department by what they did to the food service workers last year. The rules changed when we saw that happen. We think we aren’t that far away from a deal if Mayo would be willing to meet us halfway and stop demanding the ability to outsource our jobs.”

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley shared how this fight is about basic respect for the people who work at the hospital and live in the community.

“Families in Albert Lea are simply fighting for good jobs and a commitment from Mayo to show that they value the Albert Lea community. For skilled maintenance workers, they have been without a contract for two years, and the general group for over a year. Mayo continues to insist on rolling back protections for workers and won’t budge on their demands to strip basic security and respect from people who have dedicated decades of experience to their community hospital. It is a slap in the face to the whole community,” said Gulley. “Mayo has shown no intention of meeting halfway on anything. Mayo’s ‘our way or the highway’ attitude have made it clear that working families have little choice but to stand up and fight back.”

After the general group strike vote was held the week before Thanksgiving, Mayo sent an email to staff threatening to lock out workers for seven days if they held their one-day strike. This aggressive move was seen by the union as clearly meant to be a threat to stop workers at the hospital from making their voices heard through their legally-protected right to strike.

“It is very troubling that Mayo decided to causally threaten employees with a Christmas lockout. I know working people, and the whole Albert Lea community, won’t be intimidated by threats from Mayo executives. The workers and the community are united for what is right. Over the last few years it has become crystal clear that Albert Lea workers, patients and community members are ready and willing to fight for good jobs and good healthcare in our community. It is time Mayo actually listens to families in Albert Lea instead of apparently only focusing on their bottom line while sitting in their executive suites.” 


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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Mayo Albert Lea Service Workers Vote to Authorize 1-Day Strike

As Mayo continues to refuse to negotiate in good faith, workers vote overwhelmingly to send message that Mayo needs to treat workers fairly

Albert Lea, Minn — Mayo Albert Lea service workers who are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a 1-day strike if Mayo continues to refuse to bargain in good faith. The group, which includes 79 members who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management, provide essential services to community members who utilize the hospital. Over 92% of those voting approved the strike authorization, meaning a strike could be called at any point going forward with a 10-day notice. No strike date was set at the vote.

Mayo_clinic_stock_3_rsThe workers, many of whom have decades of experience, are simply asking for Mayo to bargain in good faith, something they have refused to do in the past few months. Currently Mayo is demanding a race-to-the-bottom clause that would allow them to take benefits away from employees at any time, regardless of the contract, something that is a non-starter for union workers. Despite recent news that 13 Mayo employees make over $1 million per year, executives are asking Mayo workers to take a step backwards so they can increase the hospital’s bottom line.

In response to Mayo’s refusal to bargain in good faith, Heather Olson, who has worked for 12 years as a housekeeper at Mayo, shared why people are willing to take this step.

“It used to feel like the focus was about our patients and community, and not just about money, but over the last few years that has changed. I used to be proud to tell people where I work, and would never have imagined voting for a strike, but for me, I voted yes to strike because it feels as if there is no other options. They want to take away everything and aren’t willing to show us we have value or meet us halfway,” said Olson. “It is hard to feel valued when they aren’t budging on issues that matter so much to families in Albert Lea. I’ve gone to negotiations and it is ridiculous seeing how they refuse to move an inch or meet us halfway. It is hard to understand and really feels like we have little to no value at all. It is definitely taking a a toll on morale. I hope this will help get them to understand that patients, employees and the community matter.”

Justin Yost, who has worked at Mayor for 14 years in the utilities department, echoed the sentiment of feeling like Mayo’s refusal to bargain in good faith has led to this vote.

“It seems like Mayo is cutting everything they can to save themselves a nickel. Doing nothing as this happens to the workers in our unit with hundreds of years experience at our community hospital just isn’t an option,” said Yost. “I voted yes to authorize the strike because when you work for a big healthcare corporation, you shouldn’t have to worry about not having or being able to afford healthcare. That could be a reality if Mayo refuses to budge on their proposal to be able to take away healthcare from employees at any time. I hope they will come back to the table and bargain in good faith.”

Service workers continue to push for Mayo to come to the bargaining table, negotiate in good faith, and do what is best for the entire Albert Lea community.


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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

SEIU Minnesota State Council Calls on Senator Schoen & Representative Cornish to Resign

Saint Paul — The SEIU Minnesota State Council voted Monday at the November Executive Board meeting to call for the immediate resignations of Senator Dan Schoen and Representative Tony Cornish following news of sexual harassment at the State Capitol. The State Council released the following statement:

23BCornish_54Schoen_bw_rs“The Labor Movement is built on the premise of dignity and equality for all working people, something that our society is still painfully far from achieving. Our union is made up of hospital workers, school staff, janitors, home care workers, security officers and more, with a membership that is predominantly female. Our members know that a toxic, unsafe work environment is still the reality for too many working people. The daily injustices are especially pronounced for women and people of color, and are perpetrated and protected by systems of power that we are happy to see being increasingly challenged and dismantled. Harassment is a pervasive problem throughout our country, including both political parties and even the labor movement itself.

“The news of sexual harassment at the Capitol, and specific instances of inappropriate behavior from Sen. Schoen and Rep. Cornish, highlight the toxic and dangerous environment facing women in workplaces all over the state of Minnesota. We can and should hold elected officials to the highest possible standards, and by all accounts Sen. Schoen and Rep. Cornish have failed that test. We call on Senator Schoen and Representative Cornish to resign from their positions. We also join in calls for a systematic plan to address harassment at the Capitol — and all workplaces — that has allowed for this kind of behavior to become so engrained.”


SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in public schools, hospitals, higher education, nursing homes, schools, in your homes and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of the approximately 60,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the five SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Cashiers at Two Mayo Hospitals Vote Unanimously to Join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

Rochester, Minn — A group of Mayo cashiers at Saint Mary’s and Methodist employed by Morrison voted unanimously to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. The vote was counted Tuesday evening, with nearly 90% of the eligible workers casting ballots. All of the votes were to join the union. The unanimous victory was the third election of Morrison employees to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota within the last year.

The cashiers joined a wave of workers at Mayo hospitals who have joined SEIU Healthcare Minnesota following the controversial decision last year to outsource hundreds of longtime employees to Morrison, a move that was met with a pushback by workers, patients and the entire Rochester community. Since that time non-union workers have seen the power that comes with joining together to have a unified voice in the workplace.

Mayo_Clinic2_rsIda Bush, a Morrison employee who has worked at Mayo as a cashier for 23 years, shared why her group became the latest to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota following Mayo’s outsourcing move last year.

“I felt that we needed a voice at work, and I want the same opportunities that people in the union have had,” said Bush. “We all deserve to be treated fairly!”

Workers in the other new SEIU bargaining units have seen big gains and stronger workplace protections since joining the union. The new bargaining unit of 26 cashiers will send requests for bargaining dates once the election is officially certified.


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.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

U of M Faculty Announce New Direction for Organizing Campaign

Faculty choose to avoid legal battle that would see U of MN spending even more taxpayer money

Minneapolis– Minnesota Academics United (MNAU) will not pursue an appeal of the Minnesota Court of Appeals September 5, 2017 ruling, which overturned the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) determination that non-tenure-track (NTT) and term/tenure-track (T/TT) faculty share a community of interest as employees. MNAU rejects the division of faculty resulting from this ruling and is pulling the union election for those faculty in Unit 8, the so-called instructional unit. Instead, MNAU is moving forward as one united faculty by forming a workers’ association.

umn_building_rs“Faculty are organizing for better teaching conditions for all faculty and better learning conditions for all students,” said Mary Pogatshnik, Senior Teaching Specialist in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  “The university administration has opposed its own employees by spending hundreds of thousands of public dollars to miscatagorize instructional faculty at the state labor bureau and Court of Appeals.”

T/TT and NTT faculty filed for an election in January 2016 to vote as a unified community of interest and form one union on the Twin Cities campus. The U of M’s central administration objected, delaying the vote for several months by attempting to keep faculty divided. BMS held in-depth hearings to determine the proper bargaining unit for NTT positions, which make up approximately 40% of instructional faculty, and determined that NTT positions should be placed in the same bargaining unit as T/TT faculty.

“Contingent and tenure-line faculty are resolved to continue to organize as a unified group according to how education actually takes place in the University, rather than according to the priorities and norms set by economic advantages,” said Yuichiro Onishi, Associate Professor, Department of African American & Studies/Program in Asian American Studies. “This struggle of academic labor to defend and ultimately expand a truly public domain of public education is a key political challenge of our time.”

The workers’ association will bring together non-tenure-track and term/tenure-track faculty, something that term/tenure-track faculty highlighted as an exciting development in the new model.

“T/TT faculty in MNAU refuse to pursue unionization without the inclusion of their NTT colleagues. Instead, MNAU faculty remain committed to pursuing improved working and learning conditions for all students, faculty, and campus workers.” said Eric Van Wyk, Associate Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

“In order to continue working as a united faculty, MNAU chooses to form a workers’ association. A workers’ association is a voluntary, dues-paying organization open to faculty members at the University of Minnesota.” said Anna Kurhajec, a Lecturer in the Department of American Studies. “Partly a response to the overwhelming attacks on organized labor in the US, workers’ associations are revitalizing the labor movement and achieving impressive victories, including at other universities. CTUL, a worker center right here in Minneapolis, for example, has won incredible gains by pushing for and winning a $15 minimum wage in Minneapolis, guaranteed sick leave in Minneapolis and St. Paul that will help over 150,000 families, and millions in back wages that had been stolen from workers through wage theft. We are excited to now be on the leading edge of labor instead of at the mercy of legal vagaries.”


Faculty at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus are coming together to form a union for a stronger voice in shaping our University’s direction and priorities, our working conditions, and the future of higher education in Minnesota.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment