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Twin Cities Hospital Workers Preparing For Strike

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some union members at area hospitals are talking about possibly going on strike.

They’re voting Monday and Tuesday on a strike that would last two to five days.

At Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, union members and leaders are addressing the media on Monday about the issues.

Union reps say these workers are facing severe cuts from area hospitals. As many as 3,500 workers are being asked to vote on whether to strike. They’re members of SEIU, the Service Employees International Union.

These are people who have jobs as nursing assistants, emergency room technicians and those working in maintenance. It also includes food service, clerks, warehouse staff and others. They work at five hospital systems in the Twin Cities, including Fairview, Children’s, Health East, North Memorial and Park Nicollet.

The workers’ contracts expired at the end of February. The union claims the changes would push the lowest paid employees and their families into poverty.

A spokesperson for the union says there are concerns over what the hospitals are proposing for overtime, vacation, sick time, and health care.

There is a bargaining session scheduled with the workers and hospitals on Wednesday. We have not heard the hospitals’ side of the issue.

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