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Contract negotiations leave union workers unsatisfied

After the first contract talk between Mayo Clinic and SEIU union leaders, the union says little progress was made.

Posted: Dec. 28, 2017 9:35 PM
Updated: Dec. 28, 2017 9:35 PM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. - For about six hours on Tuesday, Mayo executives and SEIU unions tried to see eye to eye on a contract for the general worker group. 

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This comes after union workers went on a one day strike, and were consequently out of work for seven days the week of Christmas. 

"Today we will see if Mayo actually wants to negotiate with us or if they just said that last week to make themselves look better when they locked us all out over Christmas," said the union prior to the meeting. 

But Mayo says this negotiation talk was on the books before the union went on its one day strike. 

The talks left Marlene Baseman, a member of the union bargaining team, unsatisified. 

"I'm confused right now...we made little progress. So there's a long way to go. I would only feel good when we all finally agree to agree," she said. 

She said there are four major areas the two sides are still disagreeing on, one of them being healthcare. Baseman also says the two disagree on the proposed clause that would allow Mayo to alter contracts at will. 

"They still want to modify at will whenever they feel like it and that's not what it's about. We want to know on writing, in paper, on the contract exactly what we have and not wonder if it's good day-to-day," she said. 

During today's meeting, Mayo released this statement:

"“Mayo Clinic and the SEIU General group returned to ongoing negotiations today. Mayo is focused on continuing to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement where patients come first, our employees are valued and respected and where Mayo can continue to innovate and grow to serve the residents of the region.”

The union gave possible dates of when it is available to meet for further negotiation talks. Mayo will now need to pick a date. The next talk will happen in January or February. 

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