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Union workers at Jordan Health to hold one-day walkout

The union representing 65 licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, clerical and service employees at Jordan Health in Rochester says that they will stage a one-day walkout on Monday.

Local 1199 of the SEIU say they are picketing to protest management’s wage freeze proposal.

Negotiations for a new contract began last November and a federal mediator has been overseeing the talks. Union officials say in response to management’s wage freeze proposal the union negotiating committee submitted a plan to completely off-set the cost of a modest wage increase with funds rebated from a health insurance plan surplus. But they say management would not accept that offer even though it would not increase labor costs this year.

A statement from Jordan Health says that it has “put a fair wage and benefit proposal on the table which the union has rejected…” Officials say in order to reach a budget approved by the health center they have had to implement some difficult decisions.

Those moves include not filling some jobs and eliminating a small number of positions.

The statement from Jordan management also says none of the senior leadership team will receive any salary adjustment this year. Jordan will also implement a wage freeze, and the health center says they do not anticipate any wage adjustment for Jordan Health employees for the 2018 fiscal year. But they say the budget does maintain employee benefits at their current levels with Jordan Health absorbing the 2018 rate increase.

President and CEO of Jordan Health Dr. Janice Harbin says that the health center will remain open with its services uninterrupted.

The SEIU says employees will return to work on Tuesday.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.