SEIU asks Gundersen Health System executives to “respect and invest” in staff

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- The union representing hundreds of Gundersen and Tri-State employees says its members deserve better pay. 

Representatives and members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) gathered at a park across from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.  According to SEIU, Gundersen executives recently agreed to a $15 minimum wage, but medical center employees already making more than that will only receive a 1% increase.  A dietary aide who spoke with News 8 Now says demand on employees and the cost of living are rising quickly, and Gundersen’s wages are not keeping up. “We want to have what we all deserve for the hard work we have been doing and we are still doing,” says Lance Helgeson. 

Gundersen Health System provided this statement:

Gundersen supports the gratitude expressed for all amazing healthcare workers who have committed themselves to care for our communities during the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes our dedicated union staff. Union staff are entitled to collectively bargain, and Gundersen will continue to honor and respect that right. While Gundersen won’t discuss current union negotiations in public, we are grateful for union members’ contribution to the care and experience provided for patients, their families and coworkers, especially during a pandemic that has caused unimaginable challenges for Gundersen and every single person in the United States.