ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nurses at Rochester General Hospital have formally filed to create an independent union.
Nurses spoke about their plan to unionize in April, citing bad wages, lack of staffing, and low retention as reasons behind the effort.
The union organizing committee released the following statement Tuesday, stating:
“Today, a strong majority of nurses at Rochester General Hospital filed with the National Labor Relations Board for our union election. We are forming an independent union, the Rochester Union of Nurses & Allied Professionals, in order to gain a voice to advocate for our patients and coworkers without fear of intimidation. We are speaking out for better patient care, a safer work environment, and fair treatment for RGH nurses. We are committed to improving our hospital so we can be proud and secure knowing that our patients will receive the most competent and compassionate care.
In the statement we read to the President of RGH today, we called on the administration to respect our right to form a union by remaining neutral and to stop wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on high-priced anti-union consultants and put that money back into patient care. RGH nurses are standing up to support each other and to support our local community, who deserve quality patient care.”
The New York State Nurses Association issued the following statement in regard to the movement back in April:
“NYSNA advocated for and won safe staffing standards that frontline nurses are implementing right now in hospitals around the state. We believe that all nurses should organize into strong unions that protect our practice and our patients. NYSNA works with all nurses, regardless of union affiliation, to advocate for safe staffing standards. In Rochester, NYSNA is hosting a virtual town hall later this month that is open to all nurses, patients and advocates looking to improve healthcare in their community.”
Rochester does have unionized hospitals. According to the New York State nurses association, 1199SEIU represents some Strong Memorial workers and CSEA represents some nurses and other healthcare workers at a long-term care facility.