Deer River Healthcare Workers Set Strike for January

DEER RIVER, Minn. – A union representing healthcare workers at Essentia Deer River has filed notice for a two-day Unfair Labor Practice strike.

The strike is scheduled for January 2 and 3rd according to a recent press release.

A member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and Essentia Health-Deer River employee Chuck Davis said of the support for the strike action:

“This strike isn’t just about us as staff being shortchanged, it is about our whole community being shortchanged. We are a small, close-knit community. When something happens here half the town shows up to support each other. SEIU members overwhelmingly voted going on strike because we want to fix the long-term problems facing our facility so our hospital is here in our community long-term. But management has refused to acknowledge that the majority of our members are underpaid, which is leading to understaffing that hurts both staff and patients.”

The union says they are pushing for higher pay and better benefits noting higher wages for other Essentia staff in the area.

According to the union, both sides have met nine times since August with the most recent talks breaking down on December 18 prompting the 10-day notice to hold the ULP strike.

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents 96 healthcare workers at Essentia Deer River who are employed as Nutrition Services Assistant, Activity Aide, Laundry Worker, EVS technician, Home Health Aide, Sterile Processing Technician, Cook, Nursing Assistant, LPN, Health Unit Coordinator, Phlebotomist, maintenance, floor care tech, Medical Lab Tech, Pharmacy Tech, Surge Tech, Medical Technologist and Radiology Technicians.

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