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Allina workers reach 'tentative agreement' days before strike deadline

The agreement includes a 5% pay increase, along with workplace safety improvements.

Essential workers with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota have reached a contract agreement with Allina Health after threatening a strike.

The SEIU bargaining team, which represents 4,000 healthcare workers across the Allina system, announced Wednesday that it had reached "tentative agreement" with Allina.

Earlier this week, the union said the two parties still remained “deeply divided.” An Unfair Labor Practice strike was scheduled to begin Monday if an agreement was not met.

While the union previously said Allina was offering workers zero pay increase, the tentative agreement now includes a 5% increase over three years, including 3% in the first year. 

Workers at non-metro Allina facilities will see additional market pay adjustments in the first year.

“On wages, we were able to reach 5%, with 3% in the first year. I've been bargaining since 1980 and we haven't seen 3% with back pay since 2008. Our solidarity got us to this point and the majority of our bargaining team are recommending a yes vote,” said Lynn Carlson, a licensed nurse practitioner at Allina and member of the bargaining team, in a statement.

The agreement also includes a 9% pension increase, workplace safety improvements and the recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday.

“I'm excited about the 9% increase in our pension in our agreement. As I look forward to my retirement, I'm proud that our bargaining team – both those of us close to retirement and those who are newer employees – have made retirement security and our pension a priority,” said Nancy Chamberlain-Leech, a surgical tech at Phillips Eye Institute and member of the bargaining team, in a statement

The union represents healthcare workers throughout the Allina Health system at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Unity Hospital, Owatonna Hospital, Phillips Eye Institute, St. Francis Regional Medical Center and United Hospital.

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