MINNEAPOLIS – After a marathon 12-hour bargaining session that ended at 10 p.m. Monday evening, the 350 mental health workers at MHealth Fairview who are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa announced a tentative agreement on a first union contract.
The full details of the TA is currently being shared with members, but highlights of the 1.5-year agreement include:
- Immediate wage increases averaging 6% with an additional 2.75% increase in March for all workers, totalling 8.75% for some workers in the next six months
- A transparent and predictable wage scale for the first time
- Establishes increased paid time off
- Initial grievance procedures to address workplace issues
Jenny Webster, a pysch associate at MHealth Fairview for 20 years, shared her reaction to the deal:
"Because of our efforts, we reached the best deal possible for our important work and I am proud of what we accomplished," said Webster. "So many people have experienced mental health issues themselves or to a loved one, especially during the pandemic. Raising wages and getting a first contract will mean better care for our patients."
The TA will go to a vote of the membership in the coming weeks with a unanimous "yes" recommendation from the bargaining team.
Bill Bader, a pysch associate at MHealth Fairview for nearly 7 years, spoke about the solidarity that helped win the TA:
"Because of the solidarity of our bargaining team and all of our co-workers, including the strike in May and our recent strike vote, Fairview offered a higher single-year raise than they have in years," said Bader. "The bargaining team unanimously supports this contract and asks all of the bargaining members to vote "yes” to ratify this contract. We truly believe that this is the best deal and are proud to have a Tentative Agreement on our first contract."
The workers voted to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa in September of 2021 and they've been negotiating a first contract since January. They joined Allina mental health workers on a one-day ULP strike in May and had voted to go on a 3-day ULP strike that they called off at the end of last week as negotiations progressed.
The TA comes as Allina mental health workers are currently in the middle of a 3-day ULP strike as they also fight for a fair first contract.