HealthPartners workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, the union said.
A walkout could involve more than 1,500 registered nurses, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, lab techs, physicians assistants, nurse midwives, and other healthcare workers at 29 metro area HealthPartners clinics.
The collective bargaining agreement between SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and HealthPartners expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. The vote authorizes the members of the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota negotiating team to call a short-term strike after 10 days notice has been given to HealthPartners and the National Labor Relations Board.
HealthPartners workers said they needed to take a stand to ensure safe staffing, quality patient care, and affordable health care exist for the entire community.
“It saddens us that we have gotten to the point where healthcare workers need to consider a strike just to bring attention to the issues of safe staffing and affordable healthcare,” said Nancy Wickoren, a Licensed Practical Nurse at HealthPartners Woodbury Clinic.
“HealthPartners should be a role model for our whole community when it comes to collaborative efforts to provide quality, affordable healthcare — not slashing coverage and ignoring the voice of frontline caregivers,” continued Wickoren.
“It surprises me that a healthcare provider interested in improving patient satisfaction would disregard the voice of those of us who interact with patients everyday,” said Jean Pfarr, a Registered Nurse at HealthPartners Specialty Center in St. Paul & HealthPartners Como Clinic also in St. Paul.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents 14,000 people working in Minnesota’s hospital, nursing home, and homecare industries.
For more information
See the union’s website, www.seiu113.com