URMC and UR River Campus union workers are voting Wednesday on new contract

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Unionized workers at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the university’s River Campus are voting on Wednesday on whether to ratify a new contract.

The voting at Strong Hospital started at 6 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. It comes after the two unions representing caregivers and service workers reached a tentative agreement with the university’s leadership on a contract last Thursday night. The agreement came after 33 bargaining sessions and a 17-hour strike.

The two unions – 1199SEIU which represents URMC workers and SEIU Local 200 which represents River Campus workers – includes 1,800 employees. Those include patient care technicians, stock keepers, drivers, food servers, nursing assistants, and janitors.

The workers’ previous contract expired on Oct. 31 and they’re been working to reach a deal ever since. Union leaders say they’re fighting for a living wage along with comprehensive benefits to help recruit and retain workers amidst staffing shortages.

After the tentative agreement, the unions cancelled a planned vote on whether to go on another strike. Details of the contract won’t be released until after it’s ratified by union members. The results of the contract vote may be in as early as 7:30 p.m.