Why nursing home workers strike: Our residents deserve high quality care

We're asking Guardian Angels to make an investment in its dedicated staff so we can continue to invest in this community

By: Nicole Mellum, nursing assistant at Guardian Angels of Elk River, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

By: Nicole Mellum, nursing assistant at Guardian Angels of Elk River, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

Last week in Elk River, Minn., more than 100 workers led a two-day Unfair Labor Practice strike — I am one of those workers.

We care for our residents tremendously in a variety of roles, such as housekeeping, laundry services, dietary planning, health unit coordination, nursing assistance, recreation and maintenance services. Working together, my co-workers and I have elevated this residence to a five-star facility. Now, we are asking our employer, Guardian Angels, for safe staffing levels, and pay and benefits that reflect our experience and demonstrate respect for the work we do.

After 10 bargaining sessions, Guardian Angels failed to make a respectful offer. So my co-workers and I voted to take action and stand up for what is right for our jobs, our residents and our community. We were out on strike for two days with the support of our families and community members.


I’ve worked at Guardian Angels for 14 years and I am deeply immersed in the community I serve. This work isn’t always easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Serving my residents brings me joy, and I know they depend on me to help them live comfortably and with dignity. I believe my fellow workers and I deserve to know our work is valued and taken seriously by our employer.

We are asking Guardian Angels to make an investment in its dedicated staff so we can continue to invest in this community. Our residents deserve the best.

Watch this video to see my Elk River brothers and sisters on strike.

Nicole Mellum, right, is a nursing assistant at Guardian Angels of Elk River

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