Fairview workers reach tentative deal as Allina Health workers continue strike

Members of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa have reached a tentative agreement with M Health Fairview on a first contract, and union members at Allina Health are on the second day of their three-day strike.

The tentative deal, reached Oct. 3, covers 350 mental health workers at University of Minnesota Medical Center-West Bank in Minneapolis.

"With the help of a skilled federal mediator, we were able to find common ground that is equitable across the team, is sustainable for our organization and keeps the focus where it should be: on our patients," M Health Fairview said in a statement shared with Becker's.

Union members voted to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa late last year and have been in negotiations with hospital management since January. They announced a three-day strike beginning Oct. 3, as did unionized mental health workers at Allina Health's Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis and Mercy Hospital-Unity Campus in Fridley, Minn. The strike was called off at M Health Fairview, but union members proceeded with their strike at Allina Health.

Under the tentative 1.5-year deal at M Health Fairview, workers receive immediate wage increases averaging 6 percent as well as increased paid time off, according to an Oct. 4 union news release.

M Health Fairview said the agreement also includes a general grievance process.

"Because of the solidarity of our bargaining team and all of our co-workers, including [a] strike in May and our recent strike vote, Fairview offered a higher single-year raise than they have in years," Bill Bader, a psychiatric associate at M Health Fairview, said in the union news release. "The bargaining team unanimously supports this contract and asks all of the bargaining members to vote 'yes' to ratify this contract. We truly believe that this is the best deal and are proud to have a tentative agreement on our first contract."

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