Some labor unions push back against Mayo Clinic plan

Three labor unions are distributing flyers at the Minnesota Capitol saying they oppose a plan to provide taxpayer funding for improvements in Rochester related to the Mayo Clinic’s expansion unless “key questions” are answered.

The hospitality union UNITEHERE!, the Minnesota Nurses Association and SEIU Healthcare say they will oppose the Destination Medical Center (DMC) plan until Mayo Clinic and Rochester officials provide more details.

“We ask the legislature to OPPOSE providing any tax payer money to the DMC until Mayo answers key questions about the impact this proposal will have on our jobs, our homes and our communities,” the flyer said.

The plan put forward by the clinic and its supporters asks for more than $500 million in state funding over the next two decades to help Rochester support the Mayo Clinic’s proposed expansion. The clinic says it plans to spend $3 billion expanding its Rochester campus but wants the state subsidy to build roads, bridges, parking garages and other amenities around the expansion.

The unions want to know specifics about where the DMC will be built, how many jobs created will be union jobs, what the impact will be on other health care and hospitality employers in Minnesota, what Mayo’s commitment to low income patients in Minnesota will be, and whether Mayo will commit to “labor peace agreements” with the workers and unions that represent them.

The flyer sets up another hurdle for Mayo’s lobbyists as they push for the state subsidy. The chairwoman of the House Taxes Committee has already said she doesn’t like Mayo’s plan to tap future income, sales and property taxes to pay for the projects in Rochester. She said she wants to see Rochester and Olmsted County kick in more money to finance the local construction projects.

The flyer put forward by the three unions also shows that there is a division among organized labor over Mayo’s plan. The Minnesota State Building & Construction Trades Council is backing Mayo’s plan and actively lobbying for the state subsidy.

Here’s the flyer.

Mayo Pushback

  • Kim Peters


  • DW

    As a resident of Rochester, the Mayo expansion will cause more crime, congestion, pollution, higher taxes etc…. Also the city wants to put another expansion on the auditorium which has never made a profit. This Mayo expansion would ultimately double the size of Rochester to 200,000 people. That means that the local government will have to add (again) to services like, Police, Sheriff, Fire, utilities, water, sewage, Park/rec etc…. Rochester used to be a nice town when it was about 50,000 people, now it is becoming a place that I would not want my kids to grow up in. I will be moving this year if this expansion is approved! Rochester will ultimately become another Detroit decades down the road when nobody will be able to afford medical treatment. Check the areas around John Hopkins in MD.

  • Bob

    More union garbage from a union that hides its greed and self serving motives behind a fake veil of concern for patients. UniteHERE doesn’t represent nurses in Rochester, and hopefully, they never will.

    While it’s true that Rochester has seen many changes since going over the 50,000 mark, not all the impact has been bad for Rochester. Rochester is now at 106,000, and I don’t see how we can go back, so we may as well move forward, though we should do so with a plan in mind. Those who don’t like the progress should feel safe in the knowledge that nobody will try to stop them on their way out. As far as the comparison to Detroit- anyone that has been to Detroit and Rochester can tell you that to compare the two is laughable and a stretch of reality. Yes, there is always the chance Rochester could go the way Detroit is, but there is no chance that anyone alive today will see it happen in their lifetime. While I think there will always be negative consequences for someone, it won’t be the end of the world for everyone. Someone will always whine about progress.

  • Toby

    Another ploy by MNA to bad mouth Mayo and other non-MNA hospitals. What the MNA doesn’t get is that these nurses are esentially happy with their employment and Mayo works to keep them happy. Those nurses do not need a labor union to represent them at $800+ each per year per nurse.