Mankato Mayo employee demands vote to remove union officials
Sat, May 13, 2023 10:30 AM
By Mary Stroka, The Center Square
A Mankato Mayo employee has filed a petition asking the National Labor Relations Board to hold a vote on whether a union’s officials should be removed.
National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys are assisting the employee, Melody Morris, who’s calling for a vote regarding ousting American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees officials, according to a foundation news release. Most of Morris’ colleagues within the work unit under the control of AFSCME union officials supported her petition. The National Labor Relations Board mandates that a union “decertification” petition contain the signatures of at least 30% of workers in a unit to prompt such a vote.
The petition was signed May 9 and filed May 10 for the unit of 200 clerical, environmental services, and nursing service employees, the board’s database records showed.
Since Minnesota isn’t a Right to Work state, union officials decide whether workers under their control pay dues as a condition of employment, the foundation said.
“Minnesota healthcare workers may have any number of reasons for opposing monopoly union ‘representation’ in their workplaces: divisive union politics, inefficient work rules, or strikes that take them away from patients,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix said in the release. “But one thing is for certain: They are increasingly exercising their right to boot out unwanted unions, and the push from union officials and their allies at the highest levels of government to coerce and trap workers in unions shows a preference for power over worker freedom.”
Nurses from Mayo’s St. James, MN, branch removed the AFSCME Council 65 union from their hospital in August 2022 with Foundation aid, the release said. Their signed petition was dated May 16, according to National Labor Relations Board records.
Employees from four Cuyuna Regional Medical Center locations across the Brainerd Lakes region sought Foundation aid in their 2022 decertification effort against Service Employees International Union officials, the foundation said.
Mankato Mayo Clinic hospital registered nurses voted the Minnesota Nurses Association union out of the facility in a July 2022 election, according to board records.
“Mayo Clinic Health System is aware of a petition filed by a staff member to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to vote on whether representation by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) should continue,” Mayo Clinic Health System spokeswoman Amanda Dyslin said in a Friday email to The Center Square. “This is a staff-led effort, and we are grateful for the confidence these individuals have in Mayo Clinic Health System.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported in June 2022 that 9% of the state’s private sector employees and 16% of all employees in the state are union members.
AFSCME didn’t immediately respond to The Center Square’s request for comment.