Rochester, NY– More than 100 nursing home workers at Unity Living Center have been working without a contract since July 31, 2022. Their three-year labor agreement have expired. Healthcare professionals are members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
The employer and the union have been unable to reach an agreement. Last month nurses represented by Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals held a rally to draw attention to staffing problems at the hospital and lack of a union contract. Nursing home workers at Unity Living Center re facing similar staffing issues and concerns over low wages. Both Unity Living Center and Rochester General Hospital are operated by Rochester.
“We work 16 hour shifts five days a week to make sure our residents are being well cared for,” said Arleaser Brady, Licensed Practical Nurse. “When we are short staffed, our residents don’t get the face-to-face time with us. They don’t get the care they pay for or that’s promised to them. We worked 36 residents with two aides on one unit. It’s unsafe for us and our residents,” said Brady.
“These nursing home workers are standing up to their employer to help protect their residents,” said Tracey Harrison, 1199SEIU Vice-President for Rochester/Corning area. “They want to be able to provide the best possible care but can not do that with short staffing levels. We are seeing more and more workers across the country demanding a union and a fair contract. It’s time that this employer respect the rights of union workers and come to the table offering them a fair contract that helps to recruit and retain more staff – enough is enough,” said Harrison.
A Federal Mediator from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) will join labor talks in an effort to help both sides come to an agreement. Negotiations are set to continue Wednesday, February 15, 2023.
Both Unity Living Center and Rochester General Hospital are operated by Rochester Regional Health