SEIU Local 199 merges with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

SEIU Local 199 Executive Board voted on Nov. 30 to merge its Iowa health care workers union with SEIU’s Minnesota branch. The presidents of both unions expect the merger to facilitate better organization for the assistance of their workers.

President+of+SEIU+local+199+Cathy+Glasson+answers+questions+during+a+press+conference+announcing+the+results+of+recertification+elections+for+SEIU%2C+AFSCME%2C+and+UE+local+unions+across+the+street+from+the+University+of+Iowa+hospitals+and+clinics+on+Tuesday%2C+October+27%2C+2020.+The+state+requires+that+the+unions+vote+to+confirm+the+continuation+of+each+union.+This+is+the+first+time+all+three+have+voted+simultaneously+to+recertify.+

Ryan Adams

President of SEIU local 199 Cathy Glasson answers questions during a press conference announcing the results of recertification elections for SEIU, AFSCME, and UE local unions across the street from the University of Iowa hospitals and clinics on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. The state requires that the unions vote to confirm the continuation of each union. This is the first time all three have voted simultaneously to recertify.

Anthony Neri, News Reporter

The Service Employees International Union Local 199, which represents nurses at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and other facilities in Iowa, has merged with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, or HCMN, after the SEIU International Union Executive Board’s approval.

The merger was made official on Jan. 11, according to a press release. Health care workers in Local 199 will remain SEIU members, “with our membership rights and responsibilities, transferring to SEIU HCMN at that time.”

The merged union, now containing about 50,000 health care workers across Iowa and Minnesota, will schedule a special member convention sometime this year to review proposed changes of both the SEIU HCMN constitution, bylaws, and the union’s title, which as of now does not reflect the recent merge, the website said.

Barb Stanerson, SEIU Local 199 president and UIHC senior physical therapist, said in a press release that the merger will strengthen Iowa’s union with the aid of large and experienced staff, leadership, resources and communication programs.

President of SEIU HCMN James Gulley said the merger will raise the standards for health care workers “through organizing the unorganized, collective bargaining, and political action to lift up working families.”

“With this merger we are lifting up to our core values and belief in SEIU that we are stronger together!” Gulley wrote in the release.

The SEIU Local 199 approved a contractual 1.3 percent pay increase for its contract with UIHC in March 2021.

Local 199 includes 4,500 health care workers at UIHC, Finley Hospital, Aase Haugen Senior Services, Strawberry Point Lutheran Home, Bettendorf Healthcare Center, and the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program.

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