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Latest News - May 2012

May 17, 2012
Twin Cities hospital strike averted with contract deal
By: Christopher Snowbeck

Unionized health care workers and hospitals operated by five health systems in the Twin Cities have reached a tentative agreement on contract terms, thereby averting a possible strike.

The deal comes one day after members of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota voted authorized a strike against the hospitals.

"By standing together, we fought back the most outrageous cuts that would have driven the lowest paid workers in our hospitals into poverty," said Tee McClenty, SEIU's chief negotiator, in a statement issued Wednesday, May 16. The statement carried the headline: "Hospital strike averted."

Workers represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota include nursing assistants, ER techs, maintenance workers and food service personnel.

Hospitals said they were seeking contract changes that would allow for more flexibility while letting medical centers be "good stewards of our limited resources." Union officials said the changes proposed by hospitals would mean less for workers who three years ago agreed to a wage freeze.

Details of the agreement will not be released until after unionized workers vote on the tentative agreement, the union said. Voting is scheduled for next week.

Workers represented by the union work at the following hospitals: Children's Hospital in Minneapolis and St. Paul; Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul; St. John's Hospital of Maplewood; Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina; University of Minnesota Medical Center,



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