March 5, 2024

Rochester Regional Health responds to ‘disappointing’ decision on nurse strike

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Hundreds of nurses at Rochester General Hospital voted to walk off the job in the coming week to protest working conditions after months of bargaining. In response, Rochester Regional Health has issued a statement, along with a plan on how they will maintain operations during the strike.

In the statement, executives with Rochester Regional Health and Rochester General Hospital say negotiations with the Rochester Union of Nurses and Allied Professionals have been ongoing since October, noting 15 bargaining sessions regarding staffing, wages, and working conditions so far and their disappointment with the outcome, stating, in part:

Despite making progress in the negotiations, RUNAP’s leadership has decided to strike from 7:00 AM Thursday, August 3, through 7:00 AM Saturday, August 5. This disappointing decision could hurt our nurses, the hospital, and the community. We don’t want a strike, and don’t believe anything we have done at the bargaining table warrants a strike.

The hospital says they are prepared for the strike, explaining that screened replacement nurses have been contracted, with orientation and training before working in Rochester General Hospital. In addition, Rochester Regional Health says security will be increased, and picketers are not allowed to interfere with hospital operations or people entering and leaving the hospital.

But some nurses who spoke to News 8 earlier this week do not believe that.

“All along, they appear not to be as prepared as they’re letting on,” said RGH nurse Stacy Judson. “We have had safety concerns from the beginning, so we anticipate, unfortunately, they’ll continue.”

Just over a week ago, RUNAP explained their decision to strike:

The decision to strike was not taken lightly by the nurses; however, their commitment to their patients, coupled with the growing concerns over inadequate staffing levels and unsafe working conditions, led them to take this step to protect the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals.

The strike is limited to RGH, and hospital officials say they will continue to bargain to reach an agreement.

Read the full statement from Rochester Regional Health/ Rochester General Hospital:

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