URMC workers plan to strike

Two unions representing caregivers and service workers at University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center's Strong Memorial Hospital and River Campus plan to strike Dec. 13. 

The unions, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and SEIU Local 200 United, issued a 10-day notice for a strike on Nov. 30, according to a news release. 

Union members authorized a strike during Thanksgiving week. Negotiations for a new labor contract on behalf of 1,800 workers have been ongoing since late August. According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, workers include nursing and dental assistants, patient care technicians, truck drivers, food service workers and other professionals.

Caregivers and service workers seek "a fair contract that includes fair living wage increases uplifting some out of poverty and a quality comprehensive benefits package to help recruit and retain more workers to help with staffing issues," according to the release.

In a statement shared with WXXI, the University of Rochester argued that it has bargained in good faith "for a multiyear contract renewal that is competitive, fair and equitable."

The statement added that should a strike begin as planned, URMC has contingency plans in place to ensure care continues without disruption.

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