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Strike at University of Rochester

December 14, 2023

Workers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and the University of Rochester River Campus strike as negotiations end without a deal on living wages, benefits

Following multiple extensions, informational pickets, a rally, and a strike authorization vote, workers and leadership were unable to reach a deal on a contract. As a result, 1199SEIU and SEIU Local 200United members walked off the job this morning at URMC’s Strong Memorial Hospital and University of Rochester River Campus to begin their 17-hour strike to demand a fair contract that includes living wage increases and a quality comprehensive benefits package to help recruit and retain more workers to help with staffing issues.

Workers represented by SEIU Local 200United at the University of Rochester include Building Services, Dining Services, Porters, Cooks, Stack Attendants – Library, Catering Service Assistants, Bus Drivers, Truck Drivers, and Stockkeepers.

Patient caregivers and service workers represented by 1199SEIU at Strong Memorial Hospital include Environmental Service Workers, Nursing Assistants, Cooks, Food Service Workers, Dietary Workers, Dental Assistants, Drivers, Patient Care Technicians, Materials Processing Specialists, Patient Unity Secretaries, Porters, Stockkeepers, Transport Assistants, Transportation Center Workers, Truck Drivers, and Unit Support Assistants.

“As a 34-year employee, I want to feel respected for the hard work we do,” said Wendell Broadhurst, Environmental Services Work Leader at URMC’s River Campus. “It’s time that all workers get the dignity and respect they deserve on the job and we won’t settle for less.”

“It feels like they want us to work more for less money,” said Dana Allison, Patient Care Technician at URMC’s Strong Memorial Hospital. “My job requires patience and understanding to provide care for the patients as they recover from surgery. Many people come in and they are nervous about their procedure, and I reassure them and their family, but sometimes if we are short that special attention can’t be given because we have so many other tasks to complete to keep surgeries flowing for the day.”