U of R, URMC union sets strike date if no deal

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A union at the University of Rochester and the university medical center is preparing to go on strike. The union says if they don’t have a deal by October 24th, 300 members will walk.

The U of R says it’s trying to get a fair deal. If the strike happens, they have a plan in place to make sure the teaching, research and patient care can go on.

The union, Local 158 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, includes engineers, mechanics and heavy equipment operators. The union says it’s the people behind the scenes who make the university run.

Negotiations started in June. The contract was extended several times. A vote on a deal was rejected by the union in September and Monday the union went public saying if there is no deadlin two weeks, they plan to strike.

“The last thing these employees want is to go on strike, but they have made their position very clear. These employees are united in their willingness to take a stand, and Local 158 stands behind them one hundred percent,” said Mike Lyons, Business Manager of Local 158

If there’s no deal by 8:30 the morning of October 24th, the strike begins.

Here is the statement from the U of R: The University of Rochester has been negotiating in good faith since June with union representatives from IUOE for a multi-year contract renewal that is competitive, fair, and equitable.  The IUOE is the bargaining unit that represents about 320 skilled trades staff who service and maintain University campus facilities, including the central utility plant and the Medical Center. Despite our extensive efforts, the IUOE submitted an intent to strike notice on October 8, with the strike action scheduled to start October 24. Should a strike begin on Oct. 24, contingency plans are already in place that will ensure that all University activities, including operations at the Medical Center, will continue without disruption. Students, faculty, staff and patients at the University of Rochester are not expected to see any changes to normal operations.