Mercy Nurses Negotiations Update: 4.16.21


Mercy nurses are facing dire conditions as our hospital faces a new surge of COVD-19 which resulted in over 100 patients in the emergency room last week. We feel overwhelmed by the number of patients we need to serve and are worried about our safety and the safety of our patients. If things couldn’t get any worse, Mercy management continues to undermine and disrespect us through their proposals and actions. In the time we need to be supported the most, we continue to be attacked by our employer. During these difficult times, it’s important we hold together and stand strong as a union. 

Mercy hires notorious union-buster Doug Seaton for negotiations with nurses

Mercy has spared no time building a union-busting negotiation team, adding three members from corporate including notorious union-buster Doug Seaton. When SEIU requested to add an additional member, we were denied. 

Who exactly is Doug Seaton? Seaton refers to himself as a “lawyer for employers,” and in 2017, the Trump administration considered appointing him to the National Labor Review Board, making him more than likely the first union avoidance consultant ever in the running for a spot on the board. 

Seaton was eventually passed up for the spot for his extreme anti-union views. Seaton has worked on several union-busting campaigns against nurses’ unions in the last few years, including one against 27,000 home health-aid workers in Minnesota, which is often described as the largest union decertification campaign in US history. 

Mercy shows up unprepared for negotiations 

With a new negotiation team, you would expect Mercy to be prepared for negotiations. Instead, bargaining with Mercy has been chaotic and unorganized. Mercy has not yet responded to our non-economic proposals and has struggled to formulate proposals of their own. 

Initially, the SEIU bargaining team had asked for a comprehensive narrative of proposals and changes to the language. But instead of providing us any proposals, Mercy stated that they were holding on to a proposal and that SEIU will receive it when it’s ready.  It’s been nearly four weeks and we are STILL waiting on Mercy’s non-economic proposals. Additionally, Mercy’s own bonus retention proposal has stalled due to its inability to send us a timely response. After receiving an initial proposal, SEIU sent our response. Now, it seems the proposal seems to be stuck in limbo with no timeline. 

SEIU nurses are ready to push forward

Despite all the confusion, this is not time to despair! SEIU is organized and poised with a plan at the bargaining table. As we wait for Mercy to get their act together, we will continue to hone and shape our proposals. We are confident that our strategy is sound and our union is ready to fight for everything that we deserve.  

Are you experiencing unsafe working conditions? Please contact your worker safety hotlines and report them!

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