Mental health workers plan 3-day strike starting Monday

(ABC 6 News) – Mental health workers from MHealth Fairview and Allina Health, both Twin Cities health care providers, are planning a 3-day strike starting on Monday.

The two healthcare organizations are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Iowa.

The group includes over 400 workers between the two organizations.

SEIU says both MHealth Fairview and Allina Health have refused to reach a fair agreement for a first contract that would ensure employees work stability, and to improve safety issues workers face inside the building and outside at both locations.

The workers held a one-day strike in May. Since then, the group voted with 98% support to authorize another strike after not seeing any progress to address the issues they are facing, according to SEIU.

The strike follows 15,000 nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association who recently held a 3-day strike which affected 7 healthcare systems statewide, including Allina and MHealth Fairview.

RELATED: MNA announces 15K nurses plan to strike for fair contracts

Dana Disbrow, a psychiatric associate at MHealth Fairview for six years says, “we are fighting for safe staffing levels and a contract that helps us work to improve our industry, but we keep running into dead ends from the employer.” said Disbrow. “We are ready to strike because no one should worry about getting hurt at work, and no one should have to worry if there will be enough workers if they need mental health support. We’ve already lost too many good workers because of the challenges we are facing, and we are ready to strike for the health, safety and dignity of ourselves and our patients.”

The Union and management have one date at MHealth and one at Allina scheduled before the strike date to try and reach an agreement.

The workers voted to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa in late 2021.