City of Madison and Dane County pass resolutions, Support of Nursing Assistants and Caregivers

WHEREAS, Certified Nursing Assistants provide safe and compassionate care for our vulnerable populations including our disabled and our elderly by providing for all activities of daily living including feeding, bathing, toileting, etc. as well as meeting the emotional needs for our short-term, long-term, and acute care populations; and,

WHEREAS, a recent Wisconsin provider study, “The Long-Term Care Workforce Crisis: A 2016 Report” found that there is a crisis in caregiving due to wage and benefit disparity and scheduling processes that lead to burnout and understaffing.  The study found:

– 4 out of 5 personal caregivers who took jobs outside of health care left for better pay, better benefits and/or better hours.

– 84% of open hours are filled by using double shifts, overtime, and other strategies which are leading to caregiver burnout and understaffing.

– The median hourly starting wage for personal caregivers is $10.75 compared to $12.00 for local, non-health care, unskilled, entry level work.

– More than 50% of providers do not offer health insurance to part-time staff and one in four providers had at least 10 employees on BadgerCare Plus,

WHEREAS, according to the same Wisconsin study the expected need for personal care workers is projected to increase 26.4% by 2022 which means unfilled shifts and understaffing. The study found:

– There are an estimated 11,500 vacant caregiver positions in Wisconsin long-term and residential care facilities.

– There were 24% fewer people applying for certification as a nursing assistant between 2012 and 2015 and there was a 24% decline in renewals during that same period; and,

Read the full City of Madison Resolution

Read the Dane County Resolution regarding the Crisis in Caregiving Support of Nursing Assistants and Caregivers


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Nursing Assistants are speaking up together to deliver best care for patients, residents and to promote important jobs!

We care for your mother, your father. We care for your son, your daughter. We care for those who cannot care for themselves. Our patients and residents need our expertise to ensure their safety and dignity.

Continue Reading HERE

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Tracy Suprise — Support Fellow Members in San Bernadino

Dear SEIU members and former members,

We all are aware of the horrific deaths of 14 people in San Bernadino, California. Many others were injured. I know we all are concerned about this senseless violence but there is more to this tragedy.

Ten of the fourteen people who were murdered are SEIU members. Yes—is that not a double tragedy for us? I think so….

I am bringing this to your attention because WE ARE UNION. This means we take care of each other. The members killed were young—-have families and did not plan to have funerals or not be able to provide for their children.

WE NEED TO HELP OUT— Help Families, Help kids that lost a parent! You can send money and small amounts are important too—

ATT: Local 721 Member and Family Support Fund
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

You can also donate on-line here:

Our International Union is providing grief counseling and other supports. We can also make a difference. We care and can show it with any contribution. Thanks for all you do!!


Tracy Suprise

– Tracy Suprise is a former UW Health RN, former President of the Union and a current member of the SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Retiree Chapter.

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Dian Palmer Statement and Op-Ed Supporting Secretary Clinton Endorsement

Sisters and brothers,

I’m very excited to pass on this wonderful op-ed from one of our sisters in Iowa (link and text below), Ann Byrne, who wrote about her support for our union’s decision to endorse Hillary Clinton for president. As Ann wrote in the Gazette, “I’m proud to have been one of the thousands of SEIU nurses who fought for the Affordable Care Act and I trust Hillary Clinton to protect, defend and improve it.”

I couldn’t agree more with Ann. Sec. Clinton has been a part of our fight for quality, affordable healthcare from the very beginning. She also understands the critical role we as caregivers play, as providers and as family members.

SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) voted to endorse Secretary Clinton on Nov. 17th after a months-long process that included three polls, multiple tele-townhalls and hundreds of local executive board discussions. While we respect the opinions of members who support a different candidate, the consensus among the IEB, which I sit on, was that Clinton is best prepared to fight, win and deliver for working families.

We will be in touch in the coming weeks to let you know how you can get involved and make a difference for our patients and our families.

On this Thanksgiving eve, I’m thinking of the SEIU nurses who’ll be away from your own families on the holiday to care for others’. I’m thankful and proud.
In Unity,

Dian Palmer,
Chair, SEIU Nurse Alliance

Ann Byrne, guest columnist
Nov 23, 2015 at 9:00 am

Every day as a nurse, I deal with challenges of not enough resources, not enough time and precious lives on the line, and I need to make the right decision. After all, people put their trust in me, just like they put their trust in the nurses, doctors and health care workers they encounter in hospitals and health care centers every day. If you think about it, not a lot can get done in health care without trust.

Thinking about that is why I’m proud that my union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), voted to endorse Hillary Clinton this week. I trust Secretary Clinton. People in the health care profession especially know that she has been making the right decisions in service of the American people for decades. I’m proud to have been one of the thousands of SEIU nurses who fought for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and I trust Hillary Clinton to protect, defend and improve it.

For the first time in my 26 years as a nurse at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, I am finally seeing patients get preventive care. That’s life changing and it is all because of the ACA. Thanks to the health care law, more Americans have coverage than any time in U.S. history. Dads who previously were denied health care because of a pre-existing condition now have affordable insurance, working moms are getting annual screenings and birth control at no additional cost, and young adults can stay covered on their parents’ insurance while they get on their feet after college.

President Barack Obama led the way. But it was Hillary Clinton who put affordable health care at the top of the national agenda for the first time as First Lady. She fought for it then, she kept up the fight as a U.S. Senator. Who better to entrust the continued fight to in the White House?
We’ve made too much progress to put our health care future back in the hands of a Republican president and the corporations that back them. I’m not willing to let tens of thousands of Iowans to lose their health care. Or allow 16 million Americans to lose their affordable coverage at the stroke of a pen. Or see 100 million Americans lose the peace of mind that comes from the lifting of lifetime coverage caps and the end of denials due to pre-existing conditions like cancer and diabetes. There’s not any guesswork here. Every Republican presidential candidate has plans to gut the ACA. We need Hillary Clinton as our next president to stop that from happening.

We also need her new ideas for strengthening health care. Secretary Clinton has outlined plans to take on the out-of-control drug prices that are endangering patients with chronic or serious health conditions. She would require drug companies to provide rebates to seniors on fixed incomes. And insurance companies would have to cover three sick visits to the doctor without triggering a deductible payment. That’s just common sense.

Hillary Clinton has proved that she will fight, deliver and win for working women and men. She knows that when people are able to join together in unions — whether they are nurses, fast food workers, home care workers or adjunct professors — it means a fair shot at raising wages for everyone. Here in Iowa, moms are the sole, primary or co-breadwinners in more than 70 percent of families, and yet their paychecks don’t go far enough. Some 45 percent of Iowans in the private sector do not have a single paid sick day. In the fight for our and our children’s future, Secretary Clinton will be with us every step of the way.

The Iowa caucuses really aren’t far away and every second counts: the holidays are upon us now and before we can blink, it will be February 1. Between now and then, I will join thousands of other nurses and working people to door-knock and phone-bank for Hillary Clinton. I hope you will join me.

• Ann Byrne is a registered nurse. She lives in West Branch.

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SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Stands with Sheboygan Kohler Strikers

2015 11 20 SEIUhcWI supports Kohler Strikers

Please plan to attend Saturday, 11/21 Picket in Sheboygan! CLICK HERE for details.

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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


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“Right-to-Work” is WRONG for Wisconsin

2015 2 26 Gathering1 for Rally at State Capitol

[CLICK on the above image to watch a news report of Wednesday’s Rally]

On Tuesday, February 24th, and on Wednesday, February 25th, 2,000 Wisconsinites showed up at the State Capitol to speak out against a proposal to make it illegal for private employers to enter into agreements with labor unions that include provisions requiring people pay for the costs associated with negotiating, defending and improving their union contract.

Since 1947, it has been illegal to require a person to join a union as a condition of employment.

This “Right-to-Work” (for less) law, exclusively supported by Republican lawmakers, will likely result in lower wages for most workers as job standards decline. Meriter Nurse Allison Sorg addressed the Wednesday Rally as dozens of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin members attended the rally and registered their opposition to the proposed law. SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin members were among the more than 160 people requesting to testify to the Senate Labor Committee on Tuesday before it was abruptly halted, denying them their voice in the proceeding.

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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

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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

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Causing Better Jobs at Gundersen Health

“Our union was built by those who fought and struggled before us.  Giving their time and energy to build the rights and benefits we all enjoy today.  UNION starts with us!  Please support your union brothers and sisters for we are trying to make this a better environment for all of us, and for all of those who come after us.  It is our responsibility to help build a united front, to stand with our fellow workers.  To take the time needed to make a difference. We have to stand as ONE. It is up to all of us to help better the lives of our co-workers, our patients, and the ones who will come after us!  If we do that and encourage our fellow workers to do the same, then we can be PROUD of ourselves, knowing that we fought the fight for EVERYONE and not just for ourselves.  Let’s join together and make a different in OUR world!  Do ourselves and our families PROUD in this hour of need.”

– Environmental Assistant Kerry Creger

2014 Gundersen Environmental Assistants Scott Breska. Nancy Haynie. and Kerry Creger


Above: Environmental Assistants Scott Breska, Nancy Haynie and Kerry Creger attended contract negotiations on Wednesday and told Gundersen management personal stories from the hospital floor about how being over-worked and under-staffed is leading to increased concerns about worker and patient safety.  Three CNA’s also came as guest speakers and told management that their patient load is too high.

Stand up and support our Gundersen bargaining team on Wednesday, November 19, Green Bay Building, Lower Level Conference Room, anytime between 7:30am – 6pm

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