More than 500 food service workers who were outsourced last year in a controversial decision by Mayo Clinic have reached a tentative agreement with their new employer, Morrison Healthcare, their union announced.

Food service workers from across multiple Mayo facilities in Rochester, Albert Lea, Faribault, Fairmont and Mankato were represented on the bargaining team that has worked for months leading up to July 1, when the final food service workers officially transition to Morrison.

In a unique arrangement, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota food service workers joined with food service workers represented by the AFSCME Council 65 and Teamsters Local 120 unions to bargain the first contract with Morrison.

The full tentative agreement will be shared with members of the unions in the coming days and voted on starting next week. Final results of the ratification vote are expected July 10.

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Initial wage increases between 2.5% and 42%
  • Five-year contract duration with 2.5% wage increases each year for existing employees and 2% increases to the start rates each year
  • Increased PTO and holiday Pay
  • Full union health insurance for both part-time and full-time members and improved dental coverage
  • Defined contribution 401K, $.50 per hour worked paid by the Employer
  • Overtime pay after 8 hours, requirements for defined shift times, and weekend shift differentials
  • Increased life insurance, short term disability options and improved bereavement leave

“Goals going into the bargaining focused on protecting worker standards, namely winning union insurance, a union retirement plan and preserving and advancing wage rates,” the workers said in a statement. “By working together and uniting the unions together under common demands, food service workers won all three … Food service workers fought every step of the way to ensure these jobs remained good jobs that would support families in our community while ensuring that patients and visitors to Mayo facilities were able to get the service that they deserved.”

Some of the largest gains were made by food service workers previously employed by Sodexo, a group that voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota last year following the uproar over Mayo’s plan for food service workers.
shared the excitement of the former Sodexo workers who joined SEIU Healthcare last year in a vote following the news of outsourcing.

“I was already so happy when we voted late last year to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, but I am even more excited following the huge gains in this contract for those of us who were formerly Sodexo workers.
“Joining the union was the best decision we made,” said Barb Andrew, a former Sodexo worker employed in catering for Mayo in Rochester for 16 years.

“The security of this contract for our families means our gains can’t be taken away, which is a weight off our shoulders … When all the changes at Mayo came last year we were scared, confused and nervous. What we have achieved since voting to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is night and day.”

Other members of the bargaining team talked about how this tentative agreement, coming on the heels of such a tumultuous year for food service workers, was such an amazing victory for working families across southern Minnesota. Julie

Julie Larson, a member of Teamsters Local 120 who has worked at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont for over two decades, was one of many worker expressing excitement about the agreement.

“We live in a rural area, so this job is so important to us and our community. This contract is the best we’ve had in my 25 years and I am so proud of what we won,” said Larson.

Following negotiations, employer representatives also praised the process that led to the agreement.

“We are glad to have reached a tentative agreement with our represented food service workers in various Mayo Health locations who will now have the opportunity to approve our agreement,” said Henry Dresser, a representative with Compass Group. “We value the work done by our food service workers across southern Minnesota and are proud to have reached this five-year agreement. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with all three unions and building on the relationships we have started with these negotiations.”

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