ROCHESTER, Minn. – In the wake of an outsourcing plan, food service workers at Mayo say they will hold an election to join a union.
The announcement came Friday at an informational picket held by the workers to highlight their opposition to Mayo’s plan to hand its food service operations to an outside company. A majority of 126 non-union Mayo food service workers in Rochester signed cards to trigger a vote on becoming part of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
Wes Keck is one of the signers and says he’s worked at Mayo for 17 years. “Mayo is a big part of our community and we want to ensure that the patients, the hospital employees, and the community are able to be involved in the decision making processes of this hospital.”
In response to the union vote announcement, Mayo released a statement that says “We respect SEIU’s right to voice their concerns and will do all we can to unobtrusively ensure that patient and employee traffic is not impeded” and “Mayo Clinic will continue to negotiate in good faith with the unions and we are confident that we will find a solution that is in the best interests of the food service workers and our patients.”
The complete statement can be read below this story.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota represents more than 35,000 workers in hospitals, clinics nursing homes and home care across the state.
Mayo’s statement – We respect SEIU’s right to voice their concerns and will do all we can to unobtrusively ensure that patient and employee traffic is not impeded. As before, we will accommodate the anticipated buses of out of town protesters that SEIU will bring in from the Twin Cities.
We fully understand that this change is difficult for our food service employees, which is why we are committed to protecting jobs and salaries and offering one of the most generous transition packages in the industry. Contrary to many other employers in similar situations, Mayo is supportive of our food service staff if they want to seek and secure other jobs within our organization. This allows us to retain our hard working staff and create new job opportunities in the community for those interested in working in food service. Our commitment to Rochester is unwavering. There will be no job loss and jobs will remain local.
Mayo Clinic will continue to negotiate in good faith with the unions and we are confident that we will find a solution that is in the best interests of the food service workers and our patients.
While we are proud of our hard working food service staff, our food service model is not meeting the needs of our patients and customers, and satisfaction surveys frequently cite food service as an area for improvement. The current approach is fragmented across 20 different locations and does not represent health care food service industry best practice. Mayo Clinic is not a food service business, and we need a best-in-class partner to refresh and reinvigorate our food-service offerings and help bring more clarity and accountability to our operations. After a careful and well-researched process over more than two years, we chose Morrison Healthcare to be that partner. Morrison has been named a “top place to work” by Becker’s Hospital Review and “top organization” by Training Magazine for six consecutive years, based on its employee education programs and career-development opportunities.