UR facilities union protests wages outside Strong Hospital

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Facility workers at the University of Rochester made some noise outside Strong Hospital on Friday.

Members of the local 158 union are demanding a fairer contract. Earlier this week, the union delivered a strike notice to the university.

They could start striking Oct. 24 if a deal isn’t reached by then. Union leaders say what they want is something really quite simple.

“We just want to be recognized, that’s all, and appreciated,” said Robert Carr of International Operating Engineers Union Local 158. “Appreciate us with a little bit of some human dignity. We’re out here begging for a couple of bucks an hour. It doesn’t seem fair.”

Union members say they want “honest bargaining” from the university and a fair wage. They define that as a wage that keeps pace with inflation.

UR says it’s been negotiating in good faith since June for a multi-year contract renewal that is competitive, fair, and equitable. The university also says if a strike happens, they have contingency plans in place to make sure everything runs as normal.