200 Healthcare Workers, Mainly Radiologic Technologists, Are All Set to Call a Strike Over Concerns of Covid-19 Contract

Over 200 healthcare workers of Allina Health decided to strike for 48 hours, or 2 days, after the planned strike was planned in September. The management of Allina threatened to take legal action concerning picketing during this strike.

The Unfair Labor Practice of the group lasted for two days. It began on October 5 at 6 AM and ended on October 7 at 6 AM at the St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee and Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis. More than 90 percent of these members voted in favor of this strike in September 2020.

Radiologic technologist, Kia Pille, employed at St. Francis for almost two decades, said, “We are prepared to call a strike and we are determined more than ever fight for the right thing. Both for the sake of our patients and families, we are united to lastly experience the changes we have been working for over the years. Despite the maneuvers of the management and scarcity of tactics, we are ready to proceed in the coming week and strike if the management of Allina does not have a fair and equal proposal across the table.”

The union of the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota also filed a 10-day prior notice in the last week. At St. Francis, the striking union members included polysomnographer technicians, technicians of the medical lab, respiratory therapists, surgical technicians, and diagnostic technicians. At the Abbott Northwestern Hospital, striking union members included radiology technologists in various specialty areas.

Before the final strike dates, there would be a negotiation session with the St. Francis team and the management.

Allina Management and union members also negotiated eight times since May 2020. They are divided on some key issues including contract language and adequate protection for safety and ensured benefits and pay for potential coronavirus exposure.

The workers presently have an agreement, which is temporary, for quarantine for the first time. However, in the last few months, several workers used time earned in the contract before the pandemic when they were exposed to coronavirus for the second time, as per SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.

Pille said, “We want better pay as well as safety for our likes and patients before. However, after the Alliana management’s move, our group has unified and we demand these changes. We are battling so long to receive equal treatment with others in our hospital and Allina, even before Covid, and now this stunt by Allina helps us see more solidarity even from others in this hospital.

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