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2021 Convention Resolutions

September 20, 2021

Full text of the 2021 SEIU HCMN Member Convention Resolutions

Convention Resolutions

Resolution #1: Healthcare Worker Health and Safety

Adopted by the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board on August 19, 2021

WHEREAS healthcare workers, in all settings, have the highest rate of work related injuries and illnesses, almost four times higher than in any other industrial sector. Nursing Assistants alone have a 53% higher rate of musculoskeletal disorders than the next highest industry. [US Department of Labor: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)], and

WHEREAS healthcare workers, whether they work in nursing homes, home care, clinics or hospitals, face multiple serious safety and health hazards at work, including bloodborne pathogens, biological hazards, chemical and drug exposures, waste anesthetic gas exposure, respiratory hazards, ergonomic hazards from lifting and repetitive tasks, laser hazards, workplace violence, harassment and abuse by their clients or residents, hazards associated with laboratories, and radioactive material and x-ray hazards, and

WHEREAS healthcare workers are essential to the health of our entire communities, as evidenced by their unwavering commitment to their patients, residents or clients and to each other during the COVID-19 pandemic as they continue to work despite the risks to their own health and the health and safety of their families, and

WHEREAS healthcare workers are being increasingly subjected to alarming rates of violence and abuse at their various workplaces - physically, mentally and emotionally from patients and the outside community,  and

WHEREAS healthcare workers and patients will be at higher risk for physical and emotional harm when there is a shortage of staff to care for the needs of their patients, residents or clients both in number and acuity levels, and

WHEREAS maintaining appropriate staffing in healthcare and long-term care facilities is essential to providing a safe work environment for healthcare workers and safe patient and resident care, and

WHEREAS healthcare workers routinely work though their break times, which leads to further exhaustion and poorer care quality, and

WHEREAS healthcare workers are facing increasing work expectations while remaining deeply under-staffed and the employers are refusing to acknowledge and address the root problems regarding recruitment and retention of workers, and

WHEREAS SEIU HCMN has seen a decline of 10% in membership as a result of the pandemic as workers leave or retire from the industry and employers lag in recruitment of new hires,  therefore be it


RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota will fight for the highest standards of health and safety protections for all healthcare workers -- in hospitals, clinics, long term care, and home care -- that are flexible enough to address the changing environment.  We will push to raise health and safety protections at the legislature and the bargaining table and hold employers and the state accountable when they fail to provide the healthy, safe environment we all deserve.

RESOLVED that SEIU Minnesota will demand to participate in staffing committees for all job classifications to ensure proper workloads and staffing.

RESOLVED that we will push to reopen our collective bargaining agreements to address these shortages by demanding higher pay, hiring bonuses, longevity bonuses, extra shift bonuses in order to  proactively address the recruitment and retention of positions.

Resolution #2: Support Certification of Surgical Technologists

Adopted by the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board on August 19, 2021

WHEREAS SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is charged with advancing patient safety and the professional interests of its members; and

WHEREAS surgical technologists are an important part of the surgical team, and that patients are best served when all members of the team are appropriately educated and work in concert for positive patient outcomes; and

WHEREAS the Minnesota Adverse Health Events Reporting Act requires public dissemination by healthcare facilities of 28 adverse medical events, analysis of this data, by facility, reveals that adverse surgical events were 40% less, and incidents of retained foreign objects were 55% less in hospitals that require certification for all employed surgical technologists; and

WHEREAS certified surgical technologists are educated and trained thoroughly in aseptic technique and best practices in preventing surgical site infections.  Surgical technologists are the professional in the operating room responsible for preventing surgical site infections; and

WHEREAS the American College of Surgeons strongly supports the adequate education and training of all surgical technologists, the accreditation of all surgical technology educational programs, and the examination for certification of all graduates of accredited surgical technology educational programs

WHEREAS in the interest of patient safety, the Association of Surgical Technology (AST) promotes a policy that would require healthcare facilities to employ only individuals who satisfy the baseline educational requirements and possess the CST credential

WHEREAS the Affordable Care Act addresses health care initiatives that will improve patient safety and reduce health care costs by reducing preventable medical errors and hospital-acquired infections and implementing positive programs to increase quality patient care; therefore, be it


RESOLVED that every surgical patient deserves a surgical technologist who is a graduate of an accredited program in surgical technology and who holds and maintains the Certified Surgical Technologist Credential administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA); and be it further

RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota will make Surgical Technologist Education and Certification legislation in the Minnesota Legislature a top priority for legislative efforts in  2022 and beyond if necessary.

Resolution #3: Long-Term Care Workers’ Bill of Rights

Adopted by the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board on August 19, 2021

WHEREAS long-term care workers have been and still are the frontline force for the most vulnerable in our society, working in nursing homes and assisted living centers amid the biggest outbreaks of COVID-19 in the United States, and;

WHEREAS long-term care workers have been and still are working through a severe worker shortage, experiencing double shifts and endless hours while wearing multiple hats to fill the vacant gaps and simultaneously trying to providing for their families, and;

WHEREAS long-term care workers have one of the most demanding and needed jobs, yet are still compensated with some of the lowest wages in the healthcare industry, and;

WHEREAS long-term care workers experience daily exposure to physical injuries as well as the extremely high risk of contracting COVID-19;

WHEREAS long-term care facilities employ a large number of women and immigrants workers who report rampant issues of discrimination by race, gender, and country of origin, sexism and disrespectful practices inside and outside the facilities, and;

WHEREAS the best way to improve wages, hours and working conditions in Minnesota’s long-term care facilities is by organizing the workers into our Union for a real voice and power on the job;


RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota will enact an organizing campaign to organize the unorganized long-term care workers in our state and together with our current members demand the following Long Term Care Workers’ Bill of Rights for our industry:

  1. Protect long-term care members from short staffing practices
  2. Promote recruitment and retention partnerships for affordable career training and development in long-term care
  3. Push for a $20/hr minimum wage by 2023 for all long-term care members and a
  4. Push for a  $30/hr minimum wage for LPNs by 2023
  5. Create a pathway for affordable healthcare for all long-term care members
  6. Allow presumption of Worker’s Comp coverage for all long-term care members
  7. Protect and respect all long-term members from anti-blackness and all other forms of discrimination based on sex, gender, race, ability, and sexual orientation.
  8. Secure a 6 month inventory of personal protective equipment for future public health emergencies
  9. Demand all facilities to grant Union Representation access, Union orientation, and paid Union leave.
  10. Create a pathway to retirement (pension) with dignity for all long-term workers.

Resolution #4: Worker Representation on the HealthPartners Board

Adopted by the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Executive Board on August 19, 2021

WHEREAS SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members at HealthPartners have one of the strongest union contracts in healthcare anywhere in the country, built through decades of member organizing and collective bargaining; and

WHEREAS Group Health Inc. (now HealthPartners) was one of the country’s first consumer-owned health insurance cooperatives, and maintains that democratic governance structure today; and

WHEREAS for many years the member-elected HealthPartners Board of Directors included at least one strong advocate for workers’ rights and collective bargaining; and

WHEREAS in the last few years, there has been no strong voice for workers on the Board: and

WHEREAS over those same years SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members have noticed a significant change in how HealthPartners leadership’s treats its employees and patients, seeking major concessions to our industry-leading healthcare benefits in the last round of collective bargaining, closing a clinic that served the company’s highest-need and most racially-diverse patient base, and moving away generally from the collaborative labor-management partnership we’d experienced for many prior years;


RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota will lead an effort to ensure that a candidate who is a strong voice for workers gets elected to the HealthPartners Board of Directors in the next election; and

RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Minnesota leaders will reach out to other unions representing HealthPartners employees, unions representing the employees of HealthPartners contractors, and unions with substantial numbers of members receiving the health benefits in their union contract through HealthPartners to enlist their support in this effort.