MINNESOTA AND IOWA - Two healthcare unions in our area are merging across state lines. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa-based SEIU Local 199 are forming SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa. More than 50,000 healthcare workers across the two states will now be under this joint union.
The executive boards of both unions voted at the end of last year to approve the merger. Last week, the new union held a virtual conference to adopt a new constitution, bylaws, and name.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa believes the merger will make the union stronger and give it more power when it comes to sitting down at the bargaining table.
The union also thinks this will be beneficial as some Minnesota and Iowa healthcare companies are expanding across state lines, such as MercyOne entering Albert Lea.
"Following two years of the tragic, unprecedented COVID pandemic, now more than ever we are committed to building worker power. With the strain on healthcare workers having to endure unimaginable, demanding work; long hours; uncertainty and risk to health and safety; as well as innumerable workplace concerns around value, respect and pay," says recently retired Minnesota nurse Lynn Carlson.
"Having a larger voice, joining with Minnesota is going to help us so much. I have a lot of experience working with unions. I've been an active union member for 27 years. I have negotiated contracts. I've attended I don't know how many committees. I've been to local, state, and national conventions and I just know that this is the right thing for us to do," says Dawn Shannahan, a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics educator.