Nurses at Rochester General Hospital call for support

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Nurses are calling for a change at Rochester General Hospital. Unionized nurses say they have been trying to work with hospital management for months to negotiate a contract.

They say the quality of patient care at RGH is being affected by a severe lack of staff. They also say rumors of a “nursing shortage” are not to blame.

“I believe that Monroe County has 12,000 registered nurses in it. It’s not a shortage of nurses,” said clinical nurse leader Abby Rice. “We have seven nursing schools. They all do clinicals here at our hospital. But they don’t want to work here because they’re going to get paid less than they would make at other hospitals. They don’t want to work here because they see us on the floor with ten patients.”

Rochester Regional Health says the hospital has increased wages and kept benefits in check. The hospital’s average RN vacancy rate is on par with other New York State hospitals.

In a statement, Rochester Regional Health said:

“RGH is committed to bargaining in good faith with the goal of reaching a collective bargaining agreement that ensures patients receive the best possible care and that nurses are treated fairly and can do their best work.”