MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Health care workers at a St. Paul nursing home will strike on Monday after months of failed bargaining with their employer.
A majority of the members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota at Cerenity Humboldt Care Center authorized the strike on Thursday.READ MORE: Red Flag Warning In Effect For Northern Minnesota Counties
The health care workers have bargained with their employer seven times over the last six months, and still remain divided on issues.
Employees are asking for a 5.25% wage increase, as their pay currently starts under $15 an hour. They are also asking for the protection of sick pay during the pandemic and the end to their employer’s plan to restrict leave of absences. Long-term employees are also asking that those who have worked over 30 years not be scheduled on weekends.READ MORE: Minneapolis Police Investigating Saturday Afternoon Shooting In South Minneapolis
“During this pandemic we’ve kept COVID away from our patients and it is time our facility steps up to respect our work,” said Rhonda Little, who has been a cook at Cerenity for over five years. “My department lost 17 people in the last year, many because our pay is some of the lowest around for our work.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted Minnesota nursing homes, as most of the people who die of the virus are long-term care residents. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Cerenity Humboldt has not seen any COVID-19 exposure.
“Enough is enough. We want them to realize that we are tired of not being taken seriously. By going on strike, we are standing together and standing up for ourselves,” Little added.MORE NEWS: Woman Injured In South Minneapolis Shooting, Police Say
The strike will begin at 7 a.m. on national “Strike for Black Lives” day and last for 24 hours. Essential workers from 25 other cities across the United States will also strike.