St. Paul – SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, the union of nearly 50,000 healthcare workers, announced their opposition to a proposed merger of Sanford and M Health Fairview. The union represents 2,000 workers between the two systems and joined the Minnesota Nurses Association and other health unions in calling into question who this merger would benefit.
James Holt, Jr. who works in EVS at MHealth Fairview Southdale Hospital and is a Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, shared why healthcare workers oppose this corporate merger:
“As a frontline healthcare worker, our goal is always to do what is best for the patients we see in our facilities every day. During COVID it was us making sure people were safe and healthy, risking our own safety to make sure Minnesotans had what they needed to get home to their loved ones. The executives who benefit from these mergers weren’t in the hospitals during COVID and I worry this is another example of putting their profits and wealth before what’s best for patients and healthcare workers. I hope Minnesota leaders once again show that our state puts people before profits by making sure this deal gets the scrutiny it deserves.”
Jamie Gulley, President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, noted that executive pay for hospital executives like M Health Fairview CEO James Hereford have skyrocketed while these same organizations are closing facilities that Minnesotans need to be healthy. He shared the Union’s view that these healthcare companies need to prioritize what is best for patients, not just company profits:
“We oppose this merger because we worry it could lead to increased prices for patients and lower wages for the essential workers who care directly for our families. Our Union also believes that we should maintain the assets in Minnesota that were built up by our state and taxpayers. The overpaid executives who are pushing this deal should instead focus their time on patient care and addressing the urgent needs of their workers who spent the last two years on the front lines of a global pandemic.”
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa unites nearly 50,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout Minnesota and Iowa.