Union members, HealthPartners management reach agreement; strike called off

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota members who work for HealthPartners have reached an agreement with HealthPartners management and have called off a previously-planned strike.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and HealthPartners management reached the agreement at about 3 a.m. Tuesday after hours of negotiations.

The now-called-off strike was set to begin at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Union members working at HealthPartners approve strike

Roughly 1,800 SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members are expected to vote on the tentative agreement next week.

The tentative agreement includes wage increase of 7.5% over the next three years, protection of current health plan benefits, and protection of overtime pay provisions from cuts.

"After months of negotiations, and an overwhelming strike vote, we were able to land on a strong tentative agreement for a new contract that maintains excellent healthcare benefits," Nancy Wickoren, a license practical nurse and member of the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota bargaining team, said in a statement. "As in any negotiation, we didn't get everything we wanted. But we are very proud of how our membership stood up together and fought back huge cuts and cost-shifts to healthcare and overtime pay that management had insisted on for months."

In a statement issued Tuesday, HealthPartners wrote: "We've reached a tentative agreement with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota on a new contract for the SEIU-represented colleagues who work mainly at HealthPartners medical and dental clinics. The union has also withdrawn the notice of a strike for Feb. 19-25.  All HealthPartners Clinics will continue operating normally."

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates on the agreement.