After being in place for the past two years, the collective bargaining agreement covering more than 1,800 service workers at Strong Memorial Hospital and University of Rochester is set to expire Saturday, September 9, 2023.
Contract talks between the two unions and management began on Tuesday, August 22.
Workers employed by the hospital are represented by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, and workers at the University of Rochester are represented by 200 United SEIU. Both unions are coming together to negotiate one agreement that includes fair wage increases that respect the high level of service and support provided throughout the hospital and campus. Better wages and a quality comprehensive benefit package will also help to retain and recruit more workers and alleviate short staffing problems.
“We asked them not to forget about us and they have forgotten about us,” said Dana Allison, Patient Care Technician. “We were called heroes and we are still lagging behind in wages,” said Allison.
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.
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.
A Federal Mediator from Federal Mediation Conciliation Services will join negotiations on the first day. Both sides have agreed to eight sessions over the next several weeks including another session on Thursday, August 24.