Contract Talks Begin for 2,000 Service Workers at Strong Memorial Hospital and University of Rochester

August 10, 2021

For Immediate Release:

Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications | (716)449-1620 |

Negotiations for a new union contract covering more than 2,000 service workers represented by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East and SEIU Local 200United at Strong Memorial Hospital and University of Rochester began today. The current collective bargaining agreement between the unions and the hospital is set to expire September 11.

“We want a contract that represents our sacrifice during the pandemic,” says Michael Harold, a Perioperative Support Associate.

Healthcare workers are demanding that hospital management improve wages, health insurance and address staffing issues impacting workers daily. Workers want hospital officials to show dignity and respect for the work they do to provide quality care to patients in the Rochester area.

“In previous contract negotiations, workers have dealt with issues where discrimination, equal opportunities and affirmative action needed to be addressed by implementing policies and new procedures as a way to remedy these types of concerns,” says Tracey Harrison, 1199SEIU Vice-President. “As a result, we were able to establish contract language that gave direction and commitment to ensuring that all employees receive equality in the workplace. Upcoming negotiations will be focused on making sure that all of our members receive the dignity and respect they deserve,” says Harrison.

“I am hopeful that this contract will address some very specific concerns our members have. We hope these negotiations will bring more equality and fairness to their workplace,” says Harrison.

A Federal Mediator will participate in negotiations with the unions and hospital management. To date, both sides are scheduled to meet for seven sessions.

Bargaining unit members covered by negotiations with the hospital and campus are Environmental Service Workers, Dental Assistants, Food Service Workers, Materials Processing Specialists, Patient Care Technicians, Patient Unit Secretaries, Perioperative Support Associates, Stock Keepers, Transport Assistants and Unit Support Assistants.


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.

SEIU Local 200United, a union of thousands of members who are working people striving for fair and just workplaces and communities. We represent two million members in New York, Vermont, and Pennsylvania in the public and private sector.