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Mental health workers reach tentative agreement with M Health Fairview

The 350 members of SEIU now have a tentative agreement on a contract, but other mental health workers in the metro are still on strike.

MINNEAPOLIS — Union leaders and employer M Health Fairview have agreed on a tentative contract for workers after a 12-hour bargaining session. 

The deal was announced Monday night. The full details have not been released to non-SEIU members as of Tuesday morning, but some of the highlights of the one-and-a-half-year contract include: 

  • Immediate wage increases averaging 6% with an additional 2.75% increase in March for all workers, totaling 8.75% for some workers in the next six months
  • A transparent and predictable wage scale for the first time
  • Establishes increased paid time off

"Because of the solidarity of our bargaining team and all of our co-workers, including the strike in May and our recent strike vote, Fairview offered a higher single-year raise than they have in years," Bill Bader, a psychology associate at M Health Fairview said in a statement from SEIU. "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."

This tentative agreement will now head to a vote of union members, with their bargaining team recommending a "yes" vote, according to SEIU. 

M Health Fairview has not released a statement about the contract as of Tuesday morning. 

According to SEIU, these 350 workers voted to join the union in September 2021, and have been in contract negotiations since January. 

Mental health workers at Allina Health are currently on day three of their strike, asking for higher wages, better benefits and more safety on the job. 

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Allina Health released a statement saying they have bargaining sessions scheduled with the union through October.

The full statement reads:

Our preference is always to reach agreement through negotiations. We have bargained in good faith over 19 sessions with SEIU this year reaching agreement on several non-economic issues. Our goal remains to reach a contract agreement that recognizes the valued work of our senior mental health coordinators, while also honoring our commitment to our other employees, patients, and communities at a time of significant financial pressures. 

Allina Health last met with SEIU on Sept. 27. At that time, the union showed little interest in engaging in meaningful bargaining that would create momentum towards an agreement nor did they ask Allina Health for additional negotiating sessions leading up to the current strike. The union did not change its previous proposal that would immediately increase wages on average by over 20% for employees, while also seeking additional annual increases totaling 15% over the three years of the contract. These increases in addition to other proposed economic benefits are unrealistic and unsustainable. 

We have bargaining sessions scheduled with the union throughout October. We look forward to continuing to work toward an agreement that is fair and recognizes the priorities of both parties.

RELATED: Allina mental health workers return to the picket line for 3-day strike

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