In southern Minnesota, nurses at a Mayo Clinic Health System facility have voted to discertify from union representation twice in the past week.
Nurses at the Mayo Clinic in St. James received permission from Council 65 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees to be decertified, the National Labor Relations Board said on Monday. Decertification was approved by Mayo Clinic St. James nurses by a vote of 15 to 2.
A registered nurse at Mayo Clinic St. James named Heather Youngwirth spearheaded the petition for decertification. The National Right to Work Legal Foundation, a right-wing non-profit that aids in freeing workers from union representation, provided assistance to Youngwirth.
The Mayo Clinic St. James nurses’ current contract with AFSCME Council 65 was due to expire on August 21, but the vote was postponed until then. According to Kylie Thomas of the NWRL, all 17 nurses cast mail-in ballots in the election.
The Rochester Post Bulletin’s attempts for response from Youngwirth were not immediately answered.
“These nurses clearly feel they would be better off without the union, but I’m unable to offer any more precise reasons in this situation,” Thomas said of the decertification decision. I can state that employees have mentioned ineffectiveness, poor management, a lack of accountability, and giving internal union concerns priority over those of rank-and-file workers in earlier decertification attempts.
A request for comment about the vote received no immediate response from AFSCME Council 65.
Nurses at the Mayo Clinic in Mankato who made the decision to renounce their membership in the Minnesota Nurses Association union received assistance from the NWRL as well.
Brittany Burgess, a nurse at the Mayo Clinic in Mankato and the stepdaughter of Mankato millionaire Glen Taylor, who owns the Minneapolis Star Tribune and is a former Republican state legislator and owner of many major sports teams in Minnesota, spearheaded the decertification drive.
In addition, the NWRL is assisting other Minnesota nurses who work at the Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in the Brainerd Lakes area and want to decertify their SEIU membership.
Attempts to decertify the Minnesota nurses unions are being made against a backdrop of otherwise rapidly expanding labor organization across the country in other industries.