University of Rochester Medicine Home Care Workers Vote To Join 1199SEIU, Largest Healthcare Workers Union

March 19, 2024

1199SEIU Logo 1@3x.pngPress Release: March 19, 2024
Contact: April Ezzell, (716) 449-1620, 1199SEIU Communications

Interview Opportunity


Professional Home Care Workers Among Growing Local and National Trend As Workers Join Labor Unions To Demand Improvements In Their Workplace

UR Home Care Workers Victory_final.jpg

Upstate, NY – Workers at University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) have followed a national rising trend[1] and voted in favor of joining a labor union this week by a large margin. About 115 professional home care workers from URMHC unit voted to join 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union. 

Professional home care workers from URMHC are the first and unique type of job category to voting to join a labor union.  Workers assist patients with the transition from the hospital back to their home and workers provide nursing care, physical, occupational, speech therapy, medical and social work services.[2]

“Our work in home care is very fulfilling but can also be challenging.  We work directly with patients and their families on personalized plans to meet their needs and goals. I’m proud to be involved with my coworkers at URMHC in forming our union with 1199SEIU. We will now have the power to make changes for the betterment of our patients and for all dedicated professionals working in the home care field,” said Cindy Lorenzetti, who has been a Physical Therapy Assistant for more than 30 years.

“I thoroughly enjoy helping people become as independent and safe as possible in their homes after medical events. Working in healthcare is not without its challenges.  Reimbursement rates change causing a rise in expectations and demands for our type of work. Together in our union we will work to ensure our voices are listened to and our family and work life balance is respected,” said Dave Simon, Physical Therapist for 24 years.

“I love my job in home care. Meeting patient’s needs in the comfort of their home provides for better outcomes and our patients prefer it. In homecare especially, you need a union to ensure that your voice is heard. My colleagues and I look forward to having a stronger voice in our work life and to obtain a better work life balance. We are ready to work towards our first union contract,” said Mary Willome, Registered Nurse for 14 years.

Professional home care workers are set to begin negotiating their first labor contract with the largest private employer in Upstate, University of Rochester soon. 

Since the massive one-day strike held by bedside caregivers and service workers at University of Rochester Medical Center[3] last year, more and more workers in Rochester are voting to join a union.   

Last year, some 1,600 Home Health Aides, Personal Care Attendants and Consumer Directed Personal Attendants across New York State who are employed by Community Care Companions, Inc.[4] voted to join 1199SEIU. More than 600 of those home care workers live in Upstate with approximately 400 of them from the Rochester area. Home care workers are currently negotiating a first contract with their employer.   

Earlier this year, University of Rochester Graduate Students began forming a union to fight for living wages[5] with the largest private sector employer in Upstate New York. 

The newly organized Professional Home Care Workers at URHMC work as Registered Nurses, Child Life Specialists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Dietitians, Licensed Practical Nurses, Medical Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Pediatric Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Speech Language Pathologists, and Speech Therapists. 

University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) workers provide professional home care services for patients in Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. 


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.


[1] University of Rochester grad students looking to unionize (
[2] History - About UR Medicine Home Care - University of Rochester Medical Center
[3] Over 1,000 URMC workers return to work following 1-day strike -
[5] University of Rochester grad students looking to unionize (