Nurses’ union prepares for five-day strike at Rochester General Hospital

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Nurses at Rochester General Hospital have voted overwhelmingly to strike again. That means hundreds of nurses are getting ready to hit the picket line for the second time this year.

After a year of negotiations, no contract has been reached between the hospital and the nurses’ union.

This strike — to last five days — will be longer than the first.

Shortly after Wednesday’s union vote ended at 9 p.m., News10NBC received word from a union nurse at RGH that the strike is on. It passed with 91% in favor, as negotiations between the union RUNAP (Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals) reach an impasse.

Nurses at RGH say they are putting hospital administrators on notice — again.

“We would plan on delivering the notice tomorrow to the C suite, and from there. they have to have at least a 10-day notice,” said RGH nurse Lindsay Rockefeller.

For Rockefeller, it all comes down to making sure there are enough nurses to take care of patients.

“Our biggest thing is staffing. We want a contractual agreement that will hold them accountable if they are not staffing to the grids that we have put forth,” she said.

Along with staffing increases, RUNAP nurses are demanding wage increases.

Rochester Regional Health administrators addressed these issues in a statement released last this afternoon, saying that their latest offer included a 6% increase to all RNs after a contract is reached, along with a 20% average increase over four years.

That’s something that nurse Phoebe Sheehan says is a move in the right direction but not close enough to reach a deal.

“We saw them come closer to some of our proposals. They aren’t quite good enough, And that’s exactly why we are back here for another strike vote,’ Sheehan said.