Results coming Friday on strike vote for service workers against HealthPartners

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Union workers at Bloomington-based HealthPartners voted on Thursday whether to go on strike. 

Results of the vote are released on Friday at 10:00 a.m. outside of the HealthPartners Neuroscience Center in St. Paul.

If the 1,800 workers vote for a strike, the announcement will outline a ten-day period before a walkout could start.

The workers include nurses, dental assistants, and nurse practitioners, and are employed at more than thirty locations around the Twin Cities. 

The SEUI contract with HealthPartners expired on Saturday, and negotiations over the weekend failed to reach a new agreement.  

The two sides had a 14-hour bargaining session that began Friday and ended early Saturday morning.

No new talks are scheduled.

"There is no reason a $7 billion organization that gives its CEO an $800,000 pay-raise should be taking one dime out of the pockets of its frontline caregivers to pad the corporate bottom line," said SEUI Healthcare executive vice president. "HealthPartners members in Minnesota are fighting for everyone's right to great healthcare. When health workers have to potentially go on strike to guarantee access to quality health care, you know our healthcare system is broken."

HealthPartners, which operates various clinics as well as Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Methodist Hospital in Saint Louis Park, provided this statement to WCCO Radio:

"We remain committed to returning to the bargaining table in the days ahead as we continue to work to reach agreement on a new contract that’s fair to our SEIU-represented colleagues. Health plan benefits are the core issue. Our SEIU-represented colleagues have market-leading benefits, and that will continue even with our proposal. We’re proposing a set of modifications that would support better health and encourage our colleagues to get care in high-quality, more affordable settings. We feel that these are fair and reasonable modifications, especially given the financial headwinds facing the health care industry, including our organization."

At issue are pay raises and health care benefits.