SEIU locals at UR ratify contracts

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Rank-and-file Service Employee International Union workers at the University of Rochester voted Wednesday to ratify a three-year contract.

Two SEIU locals together represent some 1,800 workers at the university. SEIU Local 200United, which represents River Campus workers, and 1199SEIU, which represents UR Medical Center patient-care and other workers, had jointly negotiated terms with UR.

Both bargaining units’ contracts expired Oct. 31 after several extensions of their previous pacts. The new agreements run until Sept. 5, 2026. Contract terms call for the university to match increases granted to non-union workers.   

The newly approved contracts call for general wage hikes of 18 percent. In year one, general wage increases range from 6.98 percent to 10.58 percent , and years two and three include a general wage increase of 4 percent each year, union officials say. Raises are retroactive to Sept. 23.

Patient-care workers and materials processing specialists will see their job classifications upgraded to get a higher rate of pay and are eligible for hourly supplements of 50 cents to $2.15 for training.

The starting hourly rate for new hires at the lowest pay grade rises to $17 in year one of the pact and goes up to $18.38 in year three. Currently, lowest-grade new hires start at 15.45 an hour.  The new pacts also shorten probationary periods for new hires.

Under an SEIU-sponsored plan, UR union members are covered by a zero-premium health plan with no deductible co-pays as low as $10.  

Union negotiators and the university agreed to terms last week after the union staged a 17-hour walkout and had been on the verge of staging a longer walkout.

Local 200United is continuing efforts to organize some 1,500 URMC and River Campus graduate-student workers.

Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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