ALBERT LEA, Minn. – A majority of SEIU Albert Lea members voted to approve a contract with Mayo Clinic.
The contract, however, has not been finalized, Mayo Clinic said Tuesday morning.
“After a contentious, multi-year fight, members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota who work at the Albert Lea Mayo Hospital have reached an agreement with Mayo Clinic. The two sides reached a tentative agreement the week of May 7th for both groups of workers (general group and skilled maintenance) that have been without contracts for nearly two years,” SEIU said in a news release Tuesday.
The agreement came following members authorized a second strike in a vote in late April.
With a second strike looming, the two sides reached an agreement at the May bargaining sessions.
"Being able to win really good pay raises and making sure our contract does not include a subcontracting clause for skilled maintenance jobs were big wins," said Nate Johnson, Chief Engineer and 20-year Mayo employee. "We wish we had been able to get them to move on everything we wanted, but I'm incredibly proud that we stood up for what is right and won the positive changes that we did. We hope we showed other workers, both here in Albert Lea and across the state, that there is power in standing up for what is right for working families."
The contracts agreed upon are the same as all Mayo Clinic Health System employees, a Mayo media specialist said Tuesday.
Mayo released the following statement Tuesday morning:
"Yesterday our General and Maintenance employees represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Albert Lea voted to approve new three year labor contracts.
“We are pleased our employees ratified these contracts, which will allow us all to focus on our most important work – offering the best quality of care for our patients,” says Mark Ciota, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin. “We want to acknowledge all of our hard working employees and thank them for their dedication to our patients and the communities we serve. Mayo values their contributions and the important role they fulfill in the operations of Mayo Clinic Health System.”
As part of the new labor contracts, SEIU members agreed to move to the standard benefit plans on the same terms as other Mayo Clinic Health System employees. Mayo Clinic and SEIU also agreed to withdraw outstanding unfair labor practice charges each filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). However, these contracts aren’t official until SEIU provides its official written notice to the NLRB to withdraw their unfair labor practice charges and the NLRB agrees to dismiss the charges, which we expect to happen within the next few days."
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