Ben Magno: When people ask me why I joined the union the answer is very simple to me:

2019 5 30 Ben Magno, Gundersen Union Preceptor

I’ve worked Non-Union jobs my whole life, at jobs with no union contract where the rules and policies can change at the whim of whoever is in charge that day, where workers have no say in what those policies will end up being.

I don’t want to work in a company where I am helpless to affect change, where my supervisors not only refuse to listen but criticize me for speaking up.

When people ask why I became a Preceptor, that answer is easy as well, Information and Communication is important and so often times its inaccurate. As a Union Preceptor I know that when people ask me a question I can ensure the information is correct.

I like the fact that I have someone in my corner and that I’m no longer subjected to the changing tides of whoever happens to be in charge next. I hope the Union and Gundersen can keep trying to work together so we can continue to improve our place of work and our lives.

Thank you all for being part of this union, SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin, with me, and let me know if you have any questions!

EA: Ben

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Members Xiong & Manderfield Meet Representative Kind to Advocate for Higher Minimum Wage

2019 3 20 Manderfield Xiong with Rep Kind

Rank-and-file workers across the nation are fighting for a living wage, including in Wisconsin. Recently, Ar Xiong and Jared Manderfield, two SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin union members at Gundersen Health Systems, met with Representative Ron Kind to call on his support for the Raise the Wage Act. The Raise the Wage Act would improve the lives of working families and improve the economy by gradually raising the minimum wage to $15/hour by 2024. Ar and Jared discussed with Representative Kind how raising the minimum wage would positively impact workers at Gundersen Health Systems and in the La Crosse, WI community.

Jared Manderfield says, “I’m hopeful that we will get the change that we need. The federal minimum wage hasn’t increased since 2009. I think the minimum wage needs to increase so families can go back to living the American Dream, not just fantasizing about it.”

To learn more about the Raise the Wage Act and the campaign to fight for a living wage, click here:


Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin members at Gundersen Hospital use their Mutual Interest Committee (MIC) with Gundersen Managers to resolve issues at Gundersen.

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and Gundersen Health System announce the establishment of the Mutual Interest Committee (MIC), which will provide members and management the opportunity to jointly deal with workplace problems directly and effectively. MIC provides the chance for labor and management to improve their relationship by discussing shared interests affecting the work place.

The committee will meet bimonthly. The MIC is comprised of 12 union-appointed members and hospital -appointed managerial members. The meetings are chaired by one Union-appointed co-chair and one hospital-appointed co-chair. At least one union staff representative and one representative from Human Resource will be in attendance at each meeting.

  • Read the Full Announcement Launching the Mutual Interest Committee HERE
  • Read the MIC Progress Report, March 2015 through July 2015 HERE
  • Read 2015 Gundersen – MIC – Mutual Interest Committee Calendar for Meetings HERE
  • Read 2015 Gundersen MIC CNA Sub Committee Meetings HERE
  • Read 2015 Gundersen MIC Environmental Services Sub Committee Meetings HERE
  • Read 2015 Gundersen MIC Food Services Sub Committee Schedule HERE

Contact our MIC Union members with any agenda items or concerns. Our Union MIC members are:

Jill King, Union Co-Chair, Environmental Assistant
Veronica Craig, Environmental Assistant
Jim Wemette, Environmental Specialist
Danita Miller, CNA Float Pool
Jessi Denson, CNA Neuro
Jonna Peterson, CNA Obstetrics
Caryn Oldenburg, Food Service
Patty Seidel, Food Service
Joe Pitsch, Logistics


Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Gundersen Hospital Members Ratify New Three Year Contract

Gundersen union workers and bargaining team members worked around the clock for months to win new three year contract.

Gundersen union workers and bargaining team members worked around the clock for months to win new three year contract.

La Crosse, WI –

After months of negotiating, Gundersen hospital members of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin settled a new, three year contract with hospital management on Dec 19, 2014 and ratified it a four days later on Dec 23.

Union members made no concessions on benefits and won across the board pay raises,  extended bereavement leave, advance notice of disciplinary or investigatory meetings and a ban on the use of surveillance technology to evaluate or discipline workers.

“It feels really great,” said Jessi Denson, a certified nursing assistant and union bargaining team leader.  “The hospital wanted to take away our union security but hundreds of members stood up and spoke out, and as a result, we won a significantly stronger contract.”

Members say there’s still a lot of work to do at Gundersen hospital to end the subcontracting out of good union jobs and ensure a safely staffed hospital.

Your new union contract is available online HERE

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Thankful For You

Our union gives us a voice on the job and the power to bargain collectively over wages, benefits, & working conditions; the opportunity to move up before outsiders move in; protection & representation when it matters most; and a lot more.

At Gundersen members are working hard to win a good contract that puts workers and patients first. This year, we want 1) Respect for Our Union. 2) An End to Subcontracting Out Our Jobs. 3) Raises For Everybody. 4) Safe Staffing Levels. Last week, we had discussions with management on scheduling, subcontracting, and disciplinary practices, but they will still not move off of their positions on the big ticket items, like trying to take away union security.

This year, we’ve already won extended bereavement leave, prior notice and purpose of meetings, a non-discrimination policy & restrictions on the improper management surveillance of employees.
2014 11 Gundersen-SEIUhcWI Bargaining Team

In the past, we’ve won weekend differential pay, better scheduling practices, generous PTO benefits, pay raises, dozens of grievance & arbitration cases, kept our pensions & a lot more. Let’s go for the gold. Stand up, speak out & we will win. Strength lies in unity. Hope lies in action.

We Are Thankful For Our Union and For All Our Members Who Make Us Strong

Your SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin bargaining team with Gundersen Health System,

Jill King, Environmental Services Assistant
Jim Wemette, Environmental Services Specialist
Sandy Summers, Food and Nutrition
Mike Norquist, Facility Ops
Joe Pitsch, Logistics
Danita Miller, CNA Float Pool
Kateeri O’Brien, CNA Behavioral Health
Jesi Denson, CNA Neuro
Veronica Craig, Environmental Services
Tim Hoeth, Facility Ops
Jonna Peterson, CNA Short

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment


Union Settles Three Issues with Management:

  • Managers and supervisors cannot harass, bully, intimidate or retaliate against employees.
  • Workers can now use paid bereavement time whenever they need, not just within five days of a death in the family like before.
  • Schedules must be built starting with all regular employees first, followed by on-call employees second to fill the holes, rather than the other way around like some departments were doing.

Stand Up For Union Security! Don’t Let Gundersen Take Away Our Rights!

Union security gives us the resources and power we need to fight for what’s right at the bargaining table.
Gundersen management wants to weaken our union so they can:

  • Make us work more for less pay;
  • Pay more in premiums for less benefits;
  • Face more discipline with less representation;
  • Gut our pensions and retirement accounts.

Enough is enough! The hospital would not run without hardworking union members and it’s time management starts to respect our rights on the job!

Our next two bargaining sessions will focus on:

  • Staffing,
  • Workload,
  • Scheduling, and
  • Surveillance.

Attend Bargaining With Us:

  • Tue, Oct 21, 7:30am-6pm, Heritage 2R Training Center (above the credit union),
  • Wed, Oct 22, 7:30am-6pm, Lower Level Training Center, Green Bay Building.

In Solidarity – Your Bargaining Team

Jill King – Environmental Services Assistant – days
Jim Wemette – Environmental Services Specialist – days
Sandy Summers – Food & Nutrition – days
Mike Norquist – Facility Ops
Joe Pitsch – Logistics
Danita Miller – CNA Float
Kateeri O’Brien – CNA Behavioral Health
Jessi Denson – CNA Neuro
Veronica Craig – Environmental Services – PMs
Tim Hoeth – Facility Ops – Alternate
Jonna Peterson – CNA – Short Stay – Alternate


Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Report from Gundersen Bargaining and Attend Future Gundersen Bargaining Sessions

*** Union & Gundersen Management Exchanged Proposals on October 6th

Our Union 2015 contract bargaining has begun. As in the past, both sides attempt to resolve non-economic issues before economics so no economic proposals have been exchanged. Our Union has offered real proposals to improve working conditions, raise member living standards, improve patient care and make Gundersen a better, safer place to work.

Get the full report from the first day of bargaining HERE


*** All SEIUHealthcare Wisconsin / Gundersen Union Members Invited to Attend Bargaining!!

Please mark your calendars to attend bargaining sessions whenever possible. You can come at any time that fits into your calendar and stay as long as you want to. You can only observe while Gundersen Management is in the room but during Union caucuses you can participate in the discussion. Bargaining will take place on the following confirmed Bargaining Dates for 2014 from 7:30 am—6pm:

  • Monday, October 13—Green Bay Bldg Lower Level Training Center
  • Tuesday, October 14—ICE House, 4th Floor

Get the full schedule HERE


Even more Gundersen membership chapter information available HERE

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment