MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - More than 500 doctors and healthcare professionals with Allina Health have voted in favor of forming a union. The votes were tallied on Friday with 325 for and 200 against. The move sets the stage to become the largest private-sector doctor's union in the country.
The union would be a part of Doctors Council SEIU Local 10MD and would cover clinics in Minnesota and one in River Falls, Wisconsin. In August, medical providers told FOX 9 the move is not about money, but rather about fixing a "broken" healthcare system that got worse during the pandemic.
Doctors Council president Dr. Frances Quee says one of the main complaints she has been hearing from doctors has been regarding staffing numbers.
"Staffing was an issue and nobody listened to them. Patients were overbooked, and the doctors were really burnt out. If there was a consensus between management and the doctors on how to take care of the patients, I don't think this would have happened," said Quee.
Allina Health will have to recognize the new union, and then the process of forming a new contract can begin.
If they are successful, the new union would join 140 doctors at Allina's Mercy and Unity Hospitals who voted to unionize in March but claim their employer has refused to recognize their union.
Following the vote, Allina Health sent FOX 9 the following statement:
"Allina Health is first and foremost deeply appreciative of the exceptional care our providers deliver to patients every day. We are also proud of our ongoing work regarding employee well-being. Allina Health has been nationally recognized as one of the top places to work in health care, with special attention for our efforts to support employee mental health.
"While we are disappointed in the decision by some of our providers to be represented by a union, we remain committed to our ongoing work to create a culture where all employees feel supported and valued. Our focus now is on moving forward to ensure the best interests of our employees, patients and the communities we serve."