Workers reach tentative agreement with University of Rochester ahead of planned strike vote

Workers reach tentative agreement with URMC ahead of planned strike vote

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Leadership at the university and the unions that represent the university’s caregivers and service workers have reached a tentative contract agreement on Thursday night.

The agreement postpones the strike vote set for Friday. The two unions – 1199SEIU which represents URMC workers and SEIU Local 200 which represents River Campus workers – went on a 17-hour strike last week and were considering going on another strike.

Together, the unions represent 1,800 employees including patient care technicians, stock keepers, drivers, food servers, nursing assistants, and janitors.

The unions have not yet shared the details of the tentative agreement. Union leaders say they’ll unveil the details once it’s ratified by union rank and file, expected to happen next week. Tracey Harrison, vice president of 1199SEIU, spoke with News10NBC after the agreement was reached.

“People are looking forward to this being over so they can get back to their normal lives. Again, continuing to show up every day and putting forth the highest level of professional care and service,” Harrison said.

The unions have worked to reach a contract ever since their previous one expired on Oct. 31. Thursday’s tentative agreement came during the 33rd bargaining session. Union leaders say they’re fighting for a living wage along with comprehensive benefits to help recruit and retain workers amidst staffing shortages.

Here is a statement from U of R about the agreement:

“After months of negotiations, the University of Rochester and 1199SEIU and 200United SEIU on Dec. 21 reached a tentative agreement on a contract renewal. This new 3-year agreement is expected to be ratified soon by union members. The University is grateful that through months of good faith bargaining, the two groups were able to achieve a fair and equitable resolution. We deeply appreciate the work of these staff members and they are valued members of our University community.”

Workers represented by 1199SEIU picket on Wednesday Dec. 13 (WHEC photo)