Clerical and technical bargaining unit employees signed petitions seeking vote to end SEIU Healthcare Minnesota union’s monopoly ‘representation’

Minneapolis, MN – Two groups of healthcare employees spread across four Cuyuna Regional Medical Center facilities in the Brainerd Lakes region of Minnesota have filed petitions seeking the removal of the Healthcare Minnesota affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) from their workplaces. The workers’ decertification petitions were filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Laurie Murphy and Terri Larson filed the decertification petitions with the signatures of numerous coworkers who oppose the Healthcare Minnesota SEIU union at the four Cuyuna Regional Medical Center facilities located in Crosby, Breezy Point, Longville, and Baxter.

Murphy filed her decertification petition on behalf of technical employees, which includes employees in the laboratory, respiratory therapy, physical therapy and radiology departments, along with licensed practical nurses, engineers, certified occupational therapy assistants, pharmacy technicians, and accredited records technicians. Larson filed a petition on behalf of clerical employees working in the business office or medical records department.

Under federal law, when at least 30% of workers in a bargaining unit sign a petition seeking the removal of union officials’ monopoly bargaining powers, an NLRB-conducted secret ballot vote whether to remove the union is triggered. If a majority of workers casting valid ballots do not vote for the union, the union is stripped of its government-granted monopoly “representation” powers. Those powers let union officials impose contracts on all workers in the workplace, even workers who are not union members and oppose the union.

Minnesota is not a Right to Work state, meaning all workers in a unionized workplace can legally be required to pay dues or fees to a union as a condition of getting or keeping their jobs. If the bargaining unit workers vote to decertify, SEIU union officials will be stripped of their monopoly “representation” powers used to impose forced union dues or fees.

Foundation-advocated reforms to decertification elections that the NLRB adopted in 2020 have curtailed union officials’ abuse of so-called “blocking charges” to delay or block workers from exercising their right to decertify a union by asserting unproven allegations against their employer, often completely unrelated to workers’ desire to free themselves of the union. However, the Biden-appointed NLRB majority recently announced it will start rulemaking to overturn those reforms and make it easier for union officials to block decertification votes no matter how many rank-and-file workers want a vote.

“SEIU union officials claim to ‘represent’ these healthcare workers, but if they really believe they have the support of the rank-and-file, they won’t resort to blocking charges or other legal trickery to attempt to stall or block these decertification votes from promptly going forward,” commented National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “Of course ultimately cases like these show why Minnesota workers need the protection of a Right to Work law to make all union financial support strictly voluntary. That way each individual worker could decide for themselves whether union bosses deserve part of their hard-earned paycheck.”

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