ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester General Hospital nurses are now back to work following a two-day strike.
With the strike over, the question now is — what’s next?
Both sides agree when they say getting back to the negotiation table is the goal.
RGH nurses are back on the floor, and Gillian Kingsley, a labor and delivery nurse and member of the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals, says they’re ready to negotiate again. She says, “Hopefully, they will realize that the nurses are serious and that they make some more serious movement.”
Kingsley says returning to work makes her happy, but “It was hard to hear the stories of the near misses and how patients were harmed in those two days.”
One of the main contract negotiations is a pay raise for RGH nurses, something that Rochester Regional Health says, if given, would make RGH nurses among the highest-paid nurses in the country. Kingsley says this isn’t the case.
“We proposed fair market wages,” says Kinsley, “We have seen nurses leave our system to go to Auburn, Syracuse, and Buffalo. So that’s why we found it really important to have wages that were competitive with those areas.”
Kingsley says she’s disappointed it had to come to a strike, but in the end, she was glad to see the nurses come together.
“But seeing us come together, seeing the amount of community support— There was a large group of us having a conversation on Friday night and Saturday about how there’s a sense of pride again,” she says.
Kingsley adds no dates have been set for when RUNAP and RRH will be back at the bargaining table.
News 8 has reached out to Rochester Regional Health for a statement.