Healthcare tech workers rally for Essentia contract negotiations

Healthcare tech workers rally for Essentia contract negotiations later this week.

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The local 9460 United Steelworkers Union helped sponsor healthcare tech workers rally of Essentia Health employees. They are helping the contract fight with the 750 “Red Book” technical workers at Essentia Health in the Twin Ports. 

Zac Tuominen, the “Red Book” Unit Chair, said one of their demands is Essentia hiring an adequate number of staff. Along with offering a respectable compensation package, for the tech workers that make quality patient care there possible.

“We’re drawing a bit of attention to our contract negotiations that have been ongoing for over six months now,” Tuominen said. “We are currently representing over 700 members throughout the community who are in multiple different disciplines within the hospital system. We are anybody that you might encounter in the hospital system that isn’t a doctor or nurse, they are Steelworkers.”

Tuominen said when people think about healthcare workers struggling usually doctors and nurses come to mind. However, he said many positions in hospitals that go unnoticed or unseen do an incredible amount of work for patients.

“They don’t know the people that do all the lab tests that that you have done, the people that do all of the imaging, like MRI, X-Ray, CAT scans. There are so many different disciplines that we work in. And I think sometimes that’s a little bit forgotten. We want to see that, that we are valued just as much as all of the other disciplines within the hospital.”

WDIO reached out to Essentia Health for comment and they sent a statement.

“Essentia Health and the United Steelworkers continue to work toward a mutually beneficial agreement that recognizes and rewards the contributions of our valued colleagues in many of our technical positions. Essentia’s proposals have focused on supporting these good local jobs with improved pay and benefits, while also preserving high-quality patient care that is both accessible and sustainable. We remain committed to bargaining in good faith, and we look forward to resuming negotiations next week.”

Essentia health will be negotiating with the local 9460 Steelworkers Union later this week. The hope is there will be an agreement before the end of the year and for the holiday season.

For more information about the healthcare tech workers rally you can read more here. Also for other stories with Essentia Health you can read more here.