Potential strike looming for the University of Rochester and its medical center

Potential strike looms for URMC

Potential strike looms for URMC

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A potential strike is looming at the University of Rochester and its medical center. Caregivers and service workers belonging to two unions will hold a strike vote this Tuesday.

Workers that News10NBC spoke to say their employer has been given plenty of time to act and that they just don’t feel heard.

“If my voice matters, treat us like human. Treat us like our voice matters,” University of Rochester cook Tacarah Reyes said.

Reyes is a part of the 200 United union and she says this has been a long journey for it and 1199SEIU.

“Being that our workers feel like they have been very disrespected, unappreciated. They’re ready for this strike because they want to have dignity, respect, have a living wage,” Reyes said.

Reyes was at the informational picket on Monday, along with more than 1000 other union members, trying to garner public support.

The unions and the University of Rochester have met 26 times to try and reach a new contract agreement.

“The workers are frustrated. They are extremely disappointed. They’ve worked for three years throughout the COVID pandemic, even before called it working short staffed. They still showed up each day, giving 100%. And again, through COVID and even now, they’re still showing up and giving 100%, being part of a care team, trying to deliver the highest level of care and support and or services for students,” 1199SEIU Union President Tracey Harrison said.

The vote for a strike will take place on Tuesday. And Reyes says she will be voting yes.

“Oh, yes, I’m definitely I’m all for it. I’m all for the good fight. Yes,” Reyes said.

Bekka Fifield reached out to UR Medicine, which referred me to the university for a statement, and they said:

“We are continuing good-faith negotiations, striving to achieve a multi-year contract renewal that is fair, competitive and equitable.”