U of R medicine home care workers vote to join largest healthcare workers union

UPSTATE, N.Y. – About 115 professional home care workers at University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) voted to join 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union.

Professional home care workers from URMHC are the first and unique type of job category to vote to join a labor union.  Workers assist patients with the transition from the hospital back to their home and workers provide nursing care, physical, occupational, speech therapy, medical and social work services.

Professional home care workers are set to begin negotiating their first labor contract with the largest private employer in Upstate New York, University of Rochester soon.

Since the massive one-day strike held by bedside caregivers and service workers at University of Rochester Medical Center last year, more and more workers in Rochester are voting to join a union.  

Last year, some 1,600 Home Health Aides, Personal Care Attendants and Consumer Directed Personal Attendants across New York State who are employed by Community Care Companions, Inc. voted to join 1199SEIU. More than 600 of those home care workers live in Upstate with approximately 400 of them from the Rochester area. Home care workers are currently negotiating a first contract with their employer.  

Earlier this year, University of Rochester Graduate Students began forming a union to fight for living wages with the largest private sector employer in Upstate New York.

The newly organized Professional Home Care Workers at URHMC work as Registered Nurses, Child Life Specialists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Dietitians, Licensed Practical Nurses, Medical Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Pediatric Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Speech Language Pathologists, and Speech Therapists.

University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) workers provide professional home care services for patients in Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties.