Healthcare workers at the Jordan Health Center in Rochester staged a walkout Monday in an effort to get a new labor contract passed.
The employees, represented by Local 1199 SEIU picketed the building calling for a contract negotiation that gives them fair wages and healthcare. They were also speaking out against a wage freeze proposed by the center.
Beverly Colon is a Certified Medical Biller at Jordan Health and says they’ve been fighting for six months for fair wages and healthcare; and that in the end, they’re not looking for much more than what they give their patients every day.
"Our patients come in who don’t have healthcare, we work with them to make sure they can get health care and that they are being seen, and we're asking for the same."
Colon says it’s frustrating that every time they come to the table they’re denied, but says as employees they want to make the organization better, and are passionate about its mission.
"My father has worked for Jordan Health Center, my sister has worked for Jordan Health Center, and now I work for Jordan Health Center. Why? Because we believe in the community. We believe that everybody should be able to receive fair healthcare, fair wages. I could somewhere else and work if I wanted to but I choose not to."
Christopher Rowe has been a Medical Records Clerk at Jordan for 5 and a half years.
"A lot of people here believe in the mission statement Jordan, more than wages, more than anything. We've had people here who have worked here 20, 30 years. It’s to help the community it’s to help the people who need it."
Jordan Health responded by saying, they have put a fair wage and benefit proposal on the table which the union has rejected, and that they are ready and willing to negotiate with the union.
They said some difficult decisions had to be made in order to reach the budget approved by the Board of Directors, including some layoffs, as well as a hiring freeze.
Negotiations for a new contract began last November.
The workers will all return to work Tuesday.