ROCHESTER, MINN – Food service workers at Mayo Clinic who are employed by Morrison Healthcare announced a Tentative Agreement with their employer after six months of bargaining, following an informational picket in Rochester in August. The contract was bargained by Morrison Coalition of Unions, which includes 500 SEIU members along with an additional 100 members from Teamsters 120 and AFSCME Council 65.
Leslie Kaup, a cook at Albert Lea Mayo Clinic for eight years and a member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, shared her thoughts on the TA:
“This contract is a step in the right direction. The wage increases are significant, especially for smaller sites. We protected current healthcare and retirement benefits. Because of our work, our starting wages are now competitive with other big employers in the area,” said Kaup. “It’s been a long few years dealing with COVID and we still have work to do to make sure these important jobs are respected the way they should be. We continue to face short staffing and we hope some of these changes will help address these issues so we can provide world-class care for our patients.”
Amanda Whitmore, a Cook & member of Teamsters Local 120 in Fairmont, shared her excitement at the tentative agreement:
“The Coalition fought hard standing up for the workers who provided meals for patients, staff, and family, throughout the Pandemic. This contract provides fair wages, benefits and language that supports us,” said Whitmore. “After many months of bargaining we were able to get a good deal that our members have needed and deserved for years!
The TA will go to members of the unions for approval in the coming weeks, but highlights of the 5-year contract include:
- Minimum 7.5% Raise (on top of the 2.5% raise in July) with retro pay back to July 1st
- Future raises between 2.5% and 3% (an additional 10.5% over the term of the contract)
- Members will see as much as $5 increase in pay by the end of the agreement.
- Regional hospital members may receive more in pay (up to 12.5%) based on location as starting rates move closer to parity with Rochester.
- Higher PTO accrual rates for longtime year members
- PTO accruals will begin on day 1, rather than after 6 months, and new cash-out options will be made available next spring.
- No changes to Union health insurance or retirement plans, with employer paying most of costs
Laura Nelson, a cook for 22 years at Mayo Mankato and member of AFSCME 1856-1, shared her thoughts:
“This is a step in the right direction. After months and months of negotiations, we finally got some recognition for our hard work throughout the pandemic from our employer.”
Lori Withem, a caterer for 35 years and member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, shared her excitement at the TA:
“I think the bargaining team did an amazing job reaching this Tentative Agreement. I know some things were not what we wanted, but when said and done we came out with a good contract that respects our work and I know our fellow co-workers will like!”
The workers work at multiple facilities, including: Mayo Clinic Hospital St Marys and Methodist campuses, half a dozen cafeterias in Downtown Rochester, Assissi and 41st Street, as well as at regional campuses in Albert Lea, Mankato and Fairmont. The workers perform all aspects of food service work, including as cooks, bakers, dietary aides who prepare and serve the food to patients and visitors, baristas, cashiers, sanitation workers, and more.