Tech workers submit formal petition to Essentia Health leadership

A formal petition was submitted to Essentia Health leadership in Duluth in support of Union Technical Workers Thursday evening.

The petition features the signatures of more than 1000 workers and community members, according to a union member.

United Steel Workers petition at Essentia Health

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Zac Tuominen, Unit Chair for USW 9460-08 Technical Workers Unit, said he hopes the petition will help the workers and Essentia secure a fair and equitable contract after more than 6 months of negotiations.

“We hope that senior leadership will recognize the sacrifices made, the work that is undertaken, and the value we provide to our community,” explained Touminen. “This contract includes over 700 members in over 50 technical job titles, including Pharmacy, Mental Health, Laboratory, Radiology, Surgery, Communications and Dispatch, Respiratory Health, and many other behind-the-scenes Technical Workers that support our community’s wellness daily.”

Essentia Health has released the following statement to WDIO in response to petition:

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 have been meeting with the USW this week (Tuesday, Wednesday and today).