Shakopee’s Allina Medical Center technical healthcare workers have postponed a two-day strike they had planned from Sept. 14 through 16, claiming Allina threatened legal action regarding any picketing, according to the union representing the workers, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
Union president Jamie Gulley said in a statement that SEIU Healthcare has “never seen an employer use this tactic before,” and “these ridiculous stall tactics are only serving to motivate these amazing healthcare workers to stand stronger for what is right for both the workers and the patients they serve."
"We are pleased that our SEIU-represented employees will be reporting to work as normal on Monday to help care for our patients and communities, as the 10-day strike notice has been withdrawn," Allina said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to a renewed opportunity to settle the economic issues identified by union leadership at the negotiation table, rather than enduring a costly and counterproductive strike during a global pandemic."
Workers also postponed their plans to strike at Allina’s Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis.
The technical healthcare workers claimed in a press release they aren’t provided the same COVID-19 protections and benefits as other healthcare workers.
The strike represents more than 200 workers across the Shakopee and Minneapolis facilities.
SEIU and Allina have bargained eight times since May, according to the press release, and remain divided on whether technical workers will be ensured pay and benefits while quarantined for exposures due to COVID-19.
The union’s press release states that, unlike other first responders and healthcare workers, technical healthcare workers are protected the first time they have to quarantine from a COVID-19 exposure, but any exposure thereafter requires them to use sick time.
Phil Goodmanson, who has worked for St. Francis for 10 years as a Special Imaging Technologist, said in the press release: “We understand that because of our job we have a chance to be exposed to (COVID-19), but we need them to take care of us if we are exposed.”