Owatonna Hospital Workers Approve First-Ever Contract; Hospital Workers Gain Workplace Safety Standards, Wage Increases
"This contract will make our hospital a better place to work and a better place to get care," said Shannon Beaton, a surgical technologist at Owatonna Hospital. "This is proof that when we stand together, we can improve the quality of care for our patients, our families and our communities."
“This is proof that when we stand together, we can improve the quality of care for our patients, our families and our communities.”
The contract provides more than 100 health care workers at Owatonna Hospital with the first-ever agreement for guaranteed wages, benefits and workplace standards. Among the improvements made in the two-year contract are average wage increases of 5.2 percent in the first year and four percent in the second, as well as health insurance benefits that are similar to those other Twin Cities hospital workers receive.
"While Owatonna Hospital provides exceptional patient care today in less than ideal space, this new, cooperative strategy with our staff will help us to provide even better service to our patients and community," said Dorothy Erdmann, president, Owatonna Hospital. "This contract comes at a time when state and federal health care programs are cutting $300 million in payments to Minnesota providers; something we all can agree is detrimental to providing quality health care."
In addition, represented employees will now be included on the hospital's environment of care committee, which works to improve patient care.
"We are working to improve quality care in our hospital," said Carol Weber, a surgery scheduler at Owatonna Hospital. "We are best able to improve care when we ourselves have access to the same care, have the equipment and supplies to do our jobs, and have a safe and respectful workplace."
News of this ratification comes after an announcement that Allina and members of SEIU Local 113 are working to develop a strategic alliance, a partnership designed to solve problems and improve the delivery of quality health care.
Allina and Local 113 agreed to work together to establish a partnership agreement, during which time, both parties have agreed to work cooperatively on a number of issues, including expedited negotiations for metro contracts, maintaining a positive approach to communications, and joint problem-solving.
More than 100 workers at Owatonna Hospital voted to join SEIU Local 113 on April 13, 2005. Negotiations on their first-ever contract began in July and a tentative agreement was reached on December 3.
About Owatonna Hospital
The Owatonna Hospital, part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, is a not-for-profit regional medical center committed to providing quality, comprehensive care to patients in and around Steele County. Owatonna Hospital provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency care services, as well as home health and palliative care and hospice. Owatonna Hospital works in collaboration with Owatonna Clinic - Mayo Health System, to provide quality health care to the Owatonna area. Owatonna Hospital's services along with the latest health information can be found online at www.owatonnahospital.com.