M Health Fairview gets tentative deal with SEIU-backed workers; Allina workers strike for 2nd day

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After 12 hours of bargaining Monday, M Health Fairview and its 350 union-backed mental health workers reached a tentative 1.5-year deal, officials with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa announced.

In the coming weeks, union members are expected to vote on whether to accept the contract, which one psych associate called the “best deal possible.”

“I am proud of what we accomplished,” said 20-year M Health Fairview employee Jenny Webster. “So many people have experienced mental health issues themselves or to a loved one, especially during the pandemic. Raising wages and getting a first contract will mean better care for our patients.”

If the deal makes it through the final steps, many M Health Fairview workers’ wages would immediately increase 6%, then increase again by 2.75% in March, according to the union. Along with increases, SEIU says workers would get a “transparent and predictable” wage scale.

Paid time off and initial grievance procedures were also established.

A M Health Fairview spokesperson issued the following statement regarding the tentative agreement:

“We’re pleased to share that after many months of negotiation, we reached a tentative agreement with SEIU, the union representing the Psych Associates, Senior Psych Associates, and Behavioral Assistants at UMMC-West Bank. 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

The two parties avoided a strike this week by agreeing to a bargaining session for Monday, while Allina Health mental health workers backed by the same union move to day two of their unfair labor practices Tuesday.

RELATED: 3-day Allina mental health worker strike begins, M Health Fairview bargaining continues Monday

Allina picketers were outside Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis and Unity Hospital in Fridley Monday, but they will only picket in Fridley on Tuesday, SEIU says.

Check back for updates as both groups of workers move forward in their processes.