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Here's when Rochester General Hospital nurses are going on strike

People hold signs on a sidewalk in support of nurses
Gino Fanelli
Nurses with the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals rally outside Rochester General Hospital on April 25, 2023.

The nurses at Rochester General Hospital have voted to strike.

According to the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals, which represents around 900 registered nurses, contract negotiations over pay, staffing and patient care that began last October have stalled. Hospital officials maintain they are continuing to bargain, and have brought federal mediators to the discussions.

Union officials say the hospital system is unwilling to meet demands that would improve patient care. In a statement, the union said more than 90% of voting members favored a strike.

The union, formed last year, said “the decision to strike was not taken lightly,” but that they are concerned “over inadequate staffing levels and unsafe working conditions.”

The nurses are planning a two-day walkout on Aug. 3 and 4.

Lisa Williams, a nurse at Rochester General Hospital casting a ballot Thursday on the strike authorization.
Racquel Stephen
Lisa Williams, a nurse at Rochester General Hospital casting a ballot Thursday on the strike authorization.

Earlier on Thursday, union organizer Nate Miller said, “Our goal is to settle the contract, not to go on strike. But if they push us and force us to, we will because the conditions here are totally intolerable.”

The union contends that "unsafe staffing has been a persistent issue at Rochester General Hospital," and with a strike, the nurses aim to bring attention to the problem and prompt immediate action from hospital management.

Rochester General Hospital released a statement in response, saying they are “very disappointed” that RUNAP has authorized a strike. The statement says RGH has a “strong commitment” to address the challenges nurses are facing “while providing them with competitive pay and benefits.”

Hospital management said they hope the nurses do not strike, but if that happens, they are “fully prepared and equipped to continue serving our patients and community.”

Hospital officials said there are two bargaining sessions scheduled and they will work to set additional dates for talks with the union.

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.
Racquel Stephen is WXXI's health, equity and community reporter and producer. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
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