Employees of Minnesota Epilepsy Group vote to authorize 5-day strike

Workers at Minnesota Epilepsy Group (MEG) voted unanimously to authorize a five-day unfair labor practice strike, according to a Thursday press release.

MEG and its employees have been to the bargaining table six times since October but the union’s contract was allowed to expire on Feb. 14, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota said. The union represents more than 60 EEG technologists at the company.

Leah Olsen, an EEG technologist who’s been employed at MEG for 11 years, said the employees are stretched thin.

“When we’re so short-staffed it’s hard to give the level of care we want to give with work and patients piling up,” Olsen said. “Most days we have to rush to get everything done. The fact that management is offering basically no raises is disrespectful and insulting for the work we do helping our patients.”

The union and MEG haven’t been able to agree on two priorities: Wages and retirement benefits, the release says. SEIU said that in the midst of a health care staffing shortage and inflation over 7%, many workers elsewhere are enjoying large pay bumps, but that MEG is offering 0.6% yearly “for each of the three years of a new agreement.”

KSTP has reached out to MEG for a response but has not yet heard back.

The union has requested that a federal mediator be brought in to settle the dispute.

No date has been set for the strike; 10 days notice is required to be given before that can occur.