Workers at Hennepin County Medical Center are scheduled to go to court Tuesday in an effort to halt the layoff of some 200 workers at one of the state’s top medical facilities.
Their union, AFSCME Council 5, is seeking a temporary restraining order against the layoffs. The matter is is scheduled to go before Hennepin County District Court Judge Amy Dawson at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The lawsuit charges that HCMC violated the workers’ union contract in multiple ways, including:
- Outsourcing work and hiring non-union contract workers to replace laid-off workers.
- Violating the rights of veterans, who are entitled to keep a job as long as it exists.
- Not laying off contract and temporary workers first.
- Not doing layoffs based on seniority, not giving workers notice of their bumping rights and not giving them enough time to decide what to do.
Workers say the layoffs are not only unfair, but threaten the quality of patient care. For the last two weeks, they have been telling their stories, which were posted on the AFSCME website and a Workday Minnesota special section.
“This was handled very haphazardly,” AFSCME Local 2474 President Sara Franck, an HCMC dental assistant, said of the layoffs. “They did not meet with us to strategize. They made very poor decisions that patients are going to be affected by. They do not have enough people to do the work, to care for the patients who depend on us, who need us to survive.”