SEIU Healthcare workers at Mayo Clinic negotiate with non-profit for higher wages

SEIU Rochester Workers Ask for 16% Increase in Wages

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(ABC 6 News) – 2023 came with a large push for labor rights and increased wages for workers across many sectors.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa look to continue that momentum in 2024, as they negotiate for frontline employees working day in and day out at Mayo Clinic.

SEIU members working at Mayo Clinic gathered outside Methodist hospital on Thursday to discuss their ongoing negotiations with Mayo leadership.

The negotiations primarily fixated on increasing wages for all union members. The union has ask to earn a $20 an hour minimum, saying Mayo continued to lose staff due to burnout.

“When we negotiated this group’s contract back in 2022 we purposefully left the third year open for wages so we could come back to the table,” said Hallie Wallace, an internal organizer for SEIU Healthcare.

Taylor Bublitz is a sterile processing technician who’s been working with Mayo for three years.

While he says his work load continues to increase, his love of caring for patients has kept him going, despite the feeling of burnout.

“What they’ve proposed won’t address the staffing crisis we’re facing and we’re out here because we need them to do better,” said Bublitz. “With our current workloads we’re burning the candle at both ends. We’re being pushed so hard and we’re doing the absolute best we can but people can only take so much before they break.”

The return to negotiations hasn’t gone as smoothly as SEIU members had hoped. Other members of the union have seen wage increases in other hospitals, but Mayo is not meeting them where they’d like.

SEIU asked for a $20 an hour minimum wage for all union members, which would increase many people’s wages by 16 percent. But Mayo has only offered a 3% increase.

“We are frustrated to say the least with Mayo’s proposal, because of that, we have decied to file a ten day notice to have a picket in front of the hospital to show the public what’s happening and to show Mayo that this group is going to stand strong and they’re not just going to roll over for these kind of insulting proposals,” said Wallace.

Mayo Clinic did respond with a statement on their negotiations with SEIU.

“Mayo Clinic has an unwavering commitment to staff. We are currently in contract discussions with employee groups represented by the SEIU on our Methodist campus and have been negotiating in good faith. We are optimistic we will reach a contract agreement acceptable to all parties and will continue working hard toward that end.”

SEIU filed their 10 day notice to hold an informational picket to Mayo negotiators yesterday.

A previous version of this story stated SEIU filed a 10 day notice to strike. That is not true, SEIU filed a 10 day notice to hold an informational picket