Mental health workers at M Health Fairview pull strike notice; Allina employees still set to picket

Mental health workers at M Health Fairview are postponing their planned unfair labor practices strike after a marathon bargaining session on Wednesday, a union spokesperson announced.

According to a news release from SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa, M Health Fairview psych associates and behavioral assistants “saw enough movement” following 14 hours of bargaining Wednesday to pull their strike notice for a three-day picket that was set to begin on Monday.

“After 14 hours of bargaining Wednesday, and another date scheduled on Monday, the MHealth bargaining team saw enough movement that they decided to pull their strike notice,” said Brenda Hilbrich, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa executive vice president and lead negotiator. “The bargaining team can and will refile the strike notice if needed, but are hopeful they are going to be able to reach a deal.”

In a statement, an M Health Fairview spokesperson said, “We remain committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract that honors our team members and our shared goals.”

Meanwhile, mental health workers at Allina Health are still on track to picket on Monday.

The planned strike comes after 15,000 nurses affiliated with the Minnesota Nurses Association went on strike earlier this month — reportedly the largest private-sector nurses strike in U.S. history.

SEIU claims Allina Health “walked away” from a bargaining session on Tuesday and there are no other bargaining dates scheduled until “later in October.”

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has reached out to Allina Health for a statement.

Mental health workers at M Health Fairview approved a union last September, and Allina Health employees followed suit the next month. Those workplaces went on a one-day unfair labor practices strike in May and have yet to come to terms on their first collective bargaining agreements.

Union members say they want to see better workplace safety, higher staffing levels and better pay.