Allina Health to pay $400K for union restitution

Minneapolis-based Allina Health has been ordered by an arbitrator to pay its unionized maintenance and service employees a $400,000 settlement after it stopped collecting union dues after the labor contract ended, the Minnesota Reformer reported July 12. 

The union said Allina has always collected dues from workers' paychecks even when labor contracts have ended in the past. Allina is said to have stopped funding the union altogether during the union's negotiating period and to have "[sowed] division among members, some of whom became delinquent on their dues," according to the Minnesota Reformer.

The settlement encompasses all the dues not collected. The union's request for interest on the past dues was denied. 

Allina has roughly 4,500 employees that are unionized with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa. This ultimately helped the union's case, as the arbitrator ruled the employees should have still had dues collected since they were still members of SEIU. 

Allina's main argument opposing the union's case boils down to a National Labor Relations Board ruling from 2019, which said employers were not responsible for collecting union dues if a labor contract ended. 

In 2021, 30 complaints through various unions among Allina's employees, including SEIU, were filed with the NLRB, making the case one of many against the health system recently. 

An Allina spokesperson told the Reformer in a statement that the company "acknowledges the union's right to file an unfair labor practice charge," but that there is no criteria for filing a complaint and the NLRB may not find that all of the complaints have merit.

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