Picket for union representing URMC caregivers and service employees scheduled for Nov. 13

Two unions at University of Rochester and its medical center plan informational picket

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – More than 1,800 caregivers and service employees at University of Rochester Medical Center plan to walk the picket line on Monday, Nov. 13. The 1199SEIU Union handed in its 10 day notice to URMC leaders.

News10NBC talked to a lead negotiator about what they’re trying to achieve. During an informational picket, employee still go to work but demonstrate to the public about their concerns.

“I think that there is such a great hype of frustration and disappointment on behalf of the employees,” said Lead Union Negotiator Tracey Harrison.

After 23 straight meetings, all failing to reach an agreement between Rochester’s largest employer and the unions representing both caregivers and service workers, the next step is to hold an informational picket.

“You know again just making folks aware of what’s happening and the individuals that are going to be impacted by the decision that are being currently made by, in this particular case. This employer Strong Memorial Hospital University of Rochester versus what you are now seeing played out as strikes,” said Harrison.

He also makes it clear the union is not on strike at this point.

“Strikes, that means no one works. Right, they are in a position to withhold their labor versus an informational picket. Folks will come out on their breaks or lunches, before work, after work. You know that sort of deal,” said Harrison.

As typical of labor disputes these URMC union employees are fighting for better wages, and benefits for now and in the future.

“We just believe that that is something that’s very critical for a variety of reasons, but mainly for recruitment and retainment purpose these needs have to be met,” said Harrison.

This planned walk out comes off the heels of last month’s two-day strike by union nurses across town at Rochester General Health. They ratified their first contract last week. We asked Harrison what did he learn from that work stoppage.

“Number one, I looked at that with courage. You know these folks had courage to get out there and stand up and you know advocate strongly on their behalf to get what they deserve,” said Harrison.

News10NBC reached out to the University of Rochester Medical Center for comment and is still waiting for a response.