Editorial: Move forward in good faith from Mayo, union disputes

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

For nearly two years, members of Service Employees International Union Health Care Minnesota and Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea have been at odds over contracts for about 80 people who work as certified nursing assistants, housekeepers and sterile processing, utilities and management workers.

For many months, negotiations appeared to be at a standstill, and union workers this past December launched a one-day strike. They were unable to return until the following week because of replacement contracts the hospital system signed with replacement workers.

Conflict in negotiations even led to charges being filed by both the hospital system and the union with the National Labor Relations Board.

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After seeing the ongoing clash between the two groups for so long, we — and we’re sure many others in the community — were relieved to hear an agreement had been reached between the two entities.

The contracts include pay increases ranging from 7.25 percent to 10 percent over the course of the contract. Under the contract, four core employee benefits will be able to be changed.

The contract reportedly also preserves holiday pay and includes protections and support for workers who might have to transition to Austin.

We appreciate both sides in this situation for making compromise to reach this outcome, and we hope both the hospital system and the union will move forward in true good faith into the future.